How Metroidvania is it? Barely Comparable. There is technically an ability gate along the way, but otherwise this is a strictly linear puzzle platformer with optional pick-ups that make the final boss easier.
Primary Challenge: Spatial-Reasoning Puzzles
Time to beat: ~2 hours
Review Info: Out There Somewhere was played on Steam.
Buy Out There Somewhere if you like…
- Puzzle Platformeres with Unique Mechanics
- Schmup Sections
- Achievement Hunting
- Quirky style
- Wormy Aliens
▼ Review continues below ▼
Some indie games just need a good idea to justify their reason for existing, and Out There Somewhere’s teleport gun serves that purpose. During its short play time, the game builds on its core mechanics enough to feel satisfying just before it wears out its welcome. This makes it worthwhile at its budget price-point as a fun proof-of-concept and makes it a fun “Mini-Puzzle Platformer” as a diversion from more meaty games. However, the way the whole thing ends it’s hard not to feel just a little short changed, not from the money spent, but from the potential of what could have been.
The game starts out with a Schmup section which, theoretically, you could win the game right during its intro if you’re good enough. The more common outcome however is that you’ll die, and you crash land onto an alien planet equipped only with a teleport gun. Firing your gun onto most surfaces causes you to instantly appear where the bullet landed, and this is basically the only mechanic in the game. Later you get a gun that breaks things, which you use to clear out debris that’s in the way of your teleport gun, but that’s about it. The level design then carries the rest of the experience, bending the rules what you thought were the limitations of your abilities as you seek out your quarry and try to repair your ship.
Overall the game does a good job with its design. It never gets boring – and there’s a really fun boss that utilizes the teleport gun mechanics – but it also feels sort of incomplete. It would be amazing if they added in a few more mechanics, and really emphasized the open world Metroidvania aspect a little more – something more akin to what Supraland accomplishes with its similar puzzle focus. As-is the parts of the game that earns its Metroidvania tag feels sort of tacked on, and you’re often gated from back tracking to get missed collectables anyway. The reward for having a keen eye is that you can upgrade your ship for the inevitable retread of the Schmup section introduced at the beginning of the game. In my case I went straight through the experience with the intent to backtrack, only to be locked into the schmup fight unable to collect the power-ups the game teases. Left with the choice of starting over from the beginning (and retreading old puzzles) or “git gud”, I went with the latter.
I think that it’s safe to conclude that if you’re looking for a Metroidvania game, this one will likely not scratch that itch for most. If you’re a fan of puzzle platforming in general though, then it’s a pretty good choice. Similar to a ”Mini-Metroidvania” I’d recommend this to people that are looking for a taste of a Puzzle Platformer experience, but also don’t really want to commit to a longer game. At its price point “just good” is perfectly fine.
There are a few bosses though this isn't a focus. The puzzle mechanics are used in clever ways
The Puzzle Aspect pushes the platforming to greater heights
Exploration can make parts of the game much easier, but it's never necessary
The game has just enough length to dry up its main gimmick.
There's nothing that stands out or detracts from the game
Pixel art is professional looking and pleasing to the eye
Music is always appropriate though not particularly memorable
You're not likely going to find all the secrets on a first playthrough so you may feel compelled to come back for 100%
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All Time: Very Positive
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