Out There Somewhere
The latest in the "absolutely amazing" sub-category of platform adventures, Out There Somewhere from MiniBoss puts you in a world of not-so-intelligent aliens (well, there are a few smart ones), falling blocks, massive pits of lava, mysterious sky-facing beams of light, and seemingly impassable corridors, all standing between you and the pieces you need to fix your ship. Explore a non-linear world filled with puzzles and passageways, using your teleportation gun in some very crafty ways.
Out There Somewhere begins with a brief arcade shooting sequence. At the end of that, you're attacked by an enemy vessel that send you crashing to an unknown planet. As Yuri, an astronaut from the Great Mother Planet, your job is to find your way out of this place, collecting abandoned cores to make your ship stronger and hunting down the elusive Lightorb to make it sky-worthy once again.
Your only real tool on this alien planet is a teleport gun, a non-weapon that can move you around the stage one shot at a time. When you fire the gun and the shot hits a wall, you're instantly teleported to that spot, preserving any momentum you had built up. You can shoot through some walls that would otherwise be impassable, and jumping while firing the gun through a narrow gap is a common theme throughout the game. There are also beams of light that teleport shots can't pass through, refracting blocks that bend your shot at a right angle, and other obstacles that turn your simple stroll on an alien world into something very special indeed!
Analysis: Out There Somewhere follows a fine tradition of retro platform adventures, including Celestial Mechanica, Knytt Stories, and countless others. It manages to carve out a space for itself by making smart use of simple gameplay mechanics and twisting them to create complex, time-sensitive puzzles. When you jump, fire your teleporter gun, then turn and fire it in mid-air to teleport through a level five times in a row without touching solid ground, you'll know exactly what we're talking about!
Here's something worth checking out: Out There Somewhere's pixel art. Intricate isn't saying enough, and while the details aren't numerous, a lot of attention went into making this game look and feel just right. There's a vague 50s sci-fi B-movie atmosphere to parts of it, lightening the mood and making you feel a little more adventurous in spirit. Because, hey, you're an alien on an aliener world. How cool is that?
You can expect around two hours of play time from beginning to end, which fits nicely with the game's budget pricing. Naturally, you'll want more, but only because the game is so well-made. The puzzles are top-notch, and learning to use the teleport gun in crazy new ways is so unbelievably entertaining, you'll start to ask yourself "Portal what, now?".