A Short Exhilarating Space Adventure
Out there Somewhere (2014) is the debut game of the Brazilian indie developer MiniBoss and successfully blends action– with puzzle platforming. The cosmonaut Yuri lands on an unknown world – reminiscent of Metroid’s planet Zebes (1986 ongoing) – where he plans to confront the villainous Grigori. Just like in the cult classic by Nintendo, the path towards this scoundrel isn’t straight forward, but requires Yuri to explore the world, find hidden upgrades and, surprisingly, think with portals, as he forces his way past the space overlord’s minions and traps.
The game’s main mechanic revolves around the teleportation gun Yuri carries with him. Its beam instantaneously brings the hero to whichever wall it hits. This sounds simple enough, but at times requires players to think laterally as they will have to learn how to use it to circumvent enemies, jump on to seemingly unreachable ledges, and reach hidden regions. As the game progresses, many of the rooms prove themselves to be real brain teasers that will have everyone’s gray cells occupied for quite a bit.
The mechanics and controls in Out there Somewhere are simple yet precise with all rooms and enemies being well-balanced, meaning that players won’t feel like they suffered from any cheap deaths. The frequent checkpoints also greatly reduce the amount of punishment one gets for accidentally jumping towards certain death. However, Out there Somewhere can present itself as too difficult for casual players and is more aimed at those familiar with sidescrolling platformers.
The blue, red, and green light pillars that alter the raygun’s beams will pose themselves to be real challenges for novices and most likely cause them to stop enjoying the game. Especially since later on in the game, when players will have to keep Yuri’s momentum in mind as they will teleport themselves from pillar to pillar or wall to wall. Another challenge might be the shoot ’em up segment at the end of the game, which can be quite challenging for those that didn’t find the spaceship upgrades while also unfamiliar with the genre.
The game is not without issues. During two of my playthroughs, I beat Grigori rather swiftly and was confronted with a very minor bug, which was a blue pillar remaining in the boss room and preventing me from leaving the area. But that wasn’t a problem: After casually jumping into a lava pit and dying, I could just go ahead with the game. The other minor problem players might encounter revolves around the “But how? – Have 30 or more teleshots on the screen at once”.
In a room with two mirrors facing each other, players are supposed to shoot the ray gun 30 times in quick succession for there to be 30 teleshots simultaneously on the screen, sadly, weaker machines, like the acer E1-410 won’t be able to achieve that. (I was playing this on the ol’ toaster (a 32-bit Windows Vista Home Premium, Intel Core 2 CPU, Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT, 3070 MB RAM, DirectX 11). Even though the Steam forum recommends playing in windowed mode, this still does not work for such models. If this should be the case for you, you can still finish and get all other achievements in the game, save for this “But how?” one.
Overall, Out there Somewhere is a short game that will take players around 90-120 minutes to play it through. But after the first time around, they will likely want to go again to find the hidden upgrades and rooms that might have missed. On the whole, there’s quite a bit of replay value to this brief game and the developers did a great job making it.
Out there Somewhere is a solid 8 Pew Pew out of a total of 10 Pew Pew Pew
Where to Get
Out there Somewhere can be gotten on Steam as digital download $1.99 USD or your regional equivalent.
The mandatory Followup
Like always, please do feel free to leave a comment. The comment section is completely open and you do not need to register or log-in. All screenshots presented here were taken by me during my gameplay and you can also follow my curation on Steam by clicking on this link here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/gaoscorner#curation