Out There Somewhere Review

Out There Somewhere

developed by MiniBoss

If you’ve been craving some classic action-puzzle-platform gameplay that will challenge your mind, hand-eye-coordination, and twitch reflexes then you needn’t look any further.  Out There Somewhere, recently released by Studio MiniBoss, is sure to quench your hardcore puzzle-platforming thirst.

There are dozens of retro platformers out there and the avid gamer might find it harder these days to decide which ones are worth trying and which are worth buying.  If you’re a fan of classic puzzle platformers from the mid 90’s then the decision, in this case, is easy.  Out There Somewhere is sure to entertain, challenge, and occasionally frustrate gamers, in familiar but satisfying ways.

Out There Somewhere is very light on story but it makes up for this shortcoming with it’s unique gameplay.  The game starts with a level straight out of a horizontal Shoot’em Up.  Players will fight through wave after wave of enemy ships that culminates in a boss battle.  The game doesn’t really begin until you’ve lost this boss battle.  Yes, there’s no real way to win this first boss fight.  After having your spacecraft shot down by this boss it crash lands on the planet below.  From here our protagonist, Yuri from the Great Mother Planet, sets out on his adventure to find the spare parts needed to fix his ship and escape this strange planet.

From there the game starts to play much like your average puzzle platformer.  Yuri can run and jump like any of your favorite side scrolling mascots.  However, Yuri is also equipped with a Teleportation gun right from the start of the adventure.  Before long, players will discover what separates Out There Somewhere from other puzzle platformers like it.  Wherever you fire his teleportation gun, Yuri will teleport to.  There are limitations and restrictions to this teleportation technology though, including environmental obstacles that change the way the teleport gun works.  This is where the puzzle platforming and problem solving come into play.  There’s a slight ‘P0rtal’ feel to the teleportation mechanics but aside from that Out There Somewhere stands very well on it’s own as a puzzle platformer.  This core mechanic doesn’t come off as gimmicky either.  It’s utilized very well throughout the entire game and it makes mastering all of Yuri’s abilities and items very much necessary in order to make any real progress.

Though the teleportation gun will be your most utilized item, you’ll also be able to find other weapons and objects along the way that will allow you to take out enemies or alter the terrain of a level.  By combining these elements the player will encounter a number of small challenges that will require extremely quick reflexes and coordination, especially in the latter half of the game.  With that said, Out There Somewhere will not be for everyone.  The difficulty level ramps up rather quickly.  Puzzle solving is paced evenly, but the dexterity needed run, jump, and teleport through those problems increases much more rapidly.

The graphics and audio are straight out of the 90’s.  If it wasn’t for the unique mechanics in gameplay, Out There Somewhere might easily be mistaken for another generic platformer.  That’s not to say that the game doesn’t look or sound good though.  The soundtrack is actually pretty good.  Also, there’s a lot of detail to each level and new area.  Paying attention to your surroundings while understanding how the numerous changes in elements from one area to the next will be key to progression and solving environmental puzzles.  However, the real shining star of this show are, as mentioned earlier, the combination of running, jumping, and teleporting.

Out There Somewhere is your classic puzzle platforming adventure with it’s own unique gameplay mechanics.  It shouldn’t be passed up by gamers who love these types of games.  Like some games from the 90’s era, Out There Somewhere can be very challenging.  Everything starts off evenly and well balanced, but before you know it the difficulty ramps up significantly.  As an avid gamer I have no problem with the challenge, but the more casual gamer might find the experience a bit frustrating.  If you enjoy being challenged and don’t get frustrated or scare from puzzle platformers easily then you will definitely appreciate the clever gameplay behind Out There Somewhere.  If you’re not a fan of games that require good hand-eye-coordination, equally good reflexes, and are easily frustrated, then you’ll probably want to skip it.  Still, I’d recommend that all platform game fans at least check out the demo.

With all of that said, the full game is very affordable.  You can enjoy the complete experience for the low price of $4.99 at the developers website or through Desura.

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