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'Out There' falls short of providing FTL level fun for iOS

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Out There for iOS

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Out There landed on iOS devices on Thursday, widely hyped as the kind of game that can keep fans of FTL: Faster Than Light satiated until it officially hits their iPads.

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Sadly, while the new release is a decent time waster, especially when it comes to mobile platforms there just isn't enough ... there, there. The game features a main character who is an astronaut that accidently went off course and is now floating lost through space.

At the beginning of your journey you run across a space station that features a giant glowing cube. Once you come in contact with the cube, it gives you another location halfway across the galaxy that you need to try and reach. You aren't able to locate that spot in one jump, but rather through a massive number of jumps from one star to another.

This is where the game gets its name, you are out there and you are looking to find this special location that will eventually, hopefully lead you home. The adventure part of the game comes in because you have a finite number of supplies on your ship.

As you travel you need to stop at different planets in order to gather oxygen, iron and helium or hydrogren in order to power your ship, keep your life support system running and repair your ship. Along the way you run into alien species who will either give or take things and materials from you, while also gradually learning the alien languages.

Where Out There deviates from FTL is that there aren't intricate space battles to be had. Exploration is the name of the game and thats also where the game starts to get a little boring and repetitive. The race to the distant corner of space only continues as long as you have enough fuel and air and as long as your ship holds together.

Different tasks rob you of materials at different rates, as does the determination of how far you decide to go in one jump to another star. At some point you will have to send out a probe and attempt to recover those materials from gas giants or mineral rich locations.

You don't get to pick what materials you gather, its a bit of a luck of the draw and that can mean that you run out of one material while having plenty of another. Once you run out of air or fuel or your ship breaks apart, your journey is done.

Out There isn't a bad game, it just doesn't quite live up to the hype that was heaped upon it before its Thursday iOS launch. For $3.99 you can get quite a few hours of fun out of the app, as long as you are able to take a great deal of joy in doing the same tasks over and over. If you're looking for something that rivals FTL: Faster Than Light then you are going to have to keep looking.

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