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Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds is an open world mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop. Welcome to the Space Program! You're the newest recruit of Outer Wilds Ventures, a fledgling space program searching for answers in a strange, constantly evolving solar system. Mysteries of the Solar System... What lurks in the heart of the ominous Dark Bramble? Who built the alien ruins on the Moon? Can the endless time loop be stopped? Answers await you in the most dangerous reaches of space. A World That Changes Over Time The planets of Outer Wilds are packed with hidden locations that change with the passage of time. Visit an underground city of before it's swallowed by sand, or explore the surface of a planet as it crumbles beneath your feet. Every secret is guarded by hazardous environments and natural catastrophes.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

If you are reading this, STOP READING REVIEWS. Don't watch the let's plays, don't read the game articles, don't do anything. I went into this game knowing literally nothing about it. I was just saw it on the recommended page in the store, and was like, "huh. looks cool. sure." And you know what? That seemingly dumbass decision lead to one of the best experiences I've ever had playing a video game. Trust me, the less you know about this game going into it, the better of an experience you will have.

Review from Steam

It's not easy to write a review for this game since the best experience you get is if you know as little as possible about it.
That doesn't make it easy to decide to buy the game though, so I'll try and outline what the game is and what it isn't.
This game is a first person exploration puzzle game set in space.
There is no voice acting, no quests or objectives with markers on the map.
There's no combat and no upgrades or unlockables.
It will not tell you where to go or what to do, it leaves everything up to your own curiosity.
The only thing you gain in this game over time is knowledge. You can complete this game within 20 minutes as soon as you start it the very first time if you know what to do. But you won't for hours - you'll find clues as to what is happening and
where to find answers for specific puzzles or obstacles along the way to point you in the right direction.
Everything you learn will be recorded in your ships log as a visual representation of not only visited locations and
facts you learned there, but also how they connect to other things you know about or have read or seen so you don't lose track of things.
Most of the clues throught the game are text you read - never a lot at a time, but small snippets of text strewn across
an area you are exploring.
The puzzles aren't just puzzles for the sake of being puzzles. Pretty much every puzzle is the environment itelf. A cave that fills up and is inaccessible at certain points, entrances that open when specific things happen and so on.
You never feel like you're solving a puzzle - you always feel like you're exploring and learning new facts about the world
you are in. There thought of "what am I doing wrong" quickly changes to "what do I not know yet" if you get stuck on something.
Every system, every clue and everything you learn will come together towards the end of your journey in a nice and organic way.
If you like exploring things for the sake of exploration, to get to know what is happening in the world around you or if you like space exploration in general this game might be for you.

Review from Steam

First rule of Outer Wilds, we don't talk about Outer Wilds.
Second rule of Outer Wilds, if someone is talking about parts of Outer Wilds, leave the conversation immediately.
This is one of those games in which the greatest enjoyment is learning for yourself. DO NOT let someone spoil it for you. This game isn't about reflexes or skill or crafting. This game is about discovery and story and marshmallows over an open fire. There are not many gems like this one.

Review from Steam

Figured out how to autopilot
Picked a distant planet and set it to auto-fly
A different planet entered my path
Crashed into other planet
Broke ship
Tried to fly broken ship anyway, it was dead
Put on spacesuit, got out, found ship damage
Repaired broken parts of ship
Realized too late autopilot was still on
Watched in horror as my ship flew across the galaxy without me
10/10, would die in the vacuum of space again
This is, undoubtedly, one of the best games I have ever played. I'm ashamed that I put it down originally after a few hours, but it wasn't because I wasn't interested in the game. It was because it made me nauseous. I ended up finding a third-person-view mod (search for Outer Wilds Mod Manager, it's one of the mods you can activate), and that made a world of difference.
I've spent the last week straight playing this game. My 8 and 10 year old kids have been with me every step of the way, actively engaged and interested in the puzzles and the story. We haven't been able to put it down. We finally beat it last night, and sang our Champion song.
At its core, this is essentially a puzzle game. But it's a giant puzzle with so many parts to it, and so it takes a little while for the puzzle to even start to take shape. The puzzles don't look like puzzles, they look like interesting questions. At first you have no idea what your objective even is. But the more you explore, questions start to form. Questions that you're able to come up with theories on. As you explore more and discover more, things start to become clearer. Even once I had a pretty clear understanding of what had happened, and what was happening, I still had questions all the way up until we solved the final puzzle.
Every puzzle in this game is solvable; there's truly no need to use a guide. If you can't figure it out, make a mental note and explore somewhere else. You may be missing knowledge that you need for it. This is an open universe, and the game doesn't even remotely try to steer you in any direction. If you explore enough, you'll actually be given the answers to almost everything, but I'll tell you, it's such a feeling of accomplishment to figure things out on your own. My children each figured out certain things that I hadn't noticed, which made it so much more enjoyable all around.
If there was one complaint I had about this game (other than having to mod the game to get a third-person view), I wish you could fast-forward time. On a couple of occasions I knew where I had to be and when I had to be there, but then had to wait for awhile for that moment to come. It would have been nice to be able to speed up time, but that is a very small complaint for what is otherwise an amazing game.
My favorite games are the ones that make you think. Yes, I like a good story, but I LOVE a story that I need to figure out for myself. Something that doesn't quite give me all of the answers, but lets me mull it over when it's complete. This game does this exceptionally. I will be thinking about and analyzing this for a long time.
Overall, while it took me a little while to get into it, once I did, I was hooked. It was wonderful to experience this with my children. It is a memory I will cherish for a long time.

Review from Steam

the best game ive ever played with literally zero replay value

Review from Steam

Spoiler Free Review
Outer Wilds makes you feel like you're the real protagonist of the game, not an observer in someone's life. An outstanding story told in an unusual way, the kind that remains in your mind for years to come. It's a game about space exploration that doesn't reward ambition and conquest, but rather knowledge and perseverance. All wrapped up with magnificent music and memorable characters. This game is poignantly beautiful. Most players who have finished it know why. It's so hard trying to explain it without even sharing a little bit of something that you could've found on your own. The overwhelming presence of the unknown. Gut-wrenching yet spectacular.
When i play open world games, i tend to open up the map and create a path to the main quest spot that includes the most locations and markers. I end up being bored to death halfway through the game and i rush my way to the main objective. I'm tired of unimportant sidequests or places that reward me with weapons i won't equip and items i will not use. Outer Wilds, on the other hand, made me rediscover my passion for exploring. I wanted to learn and see everything because i was curious. Knowledge as a progression system is phenomenal. One of the game's best features. Everything is explorable from the beginning, you could finish the game in your first save. It's not about lacking tools or items, you lack the knowledge. At the same time, It's not a walking simulator. This game is full of thrilling moments, just not your usual type.
You start your save in Timber Heart. A new space explorer, beginning his first adventure.
My advice is to take your time learning your tools, mess around in the Zero G cave and enjoy your home's peace and tranquility. After obtaining the launch codes, you load your space ship and take off into space.
At this point, most players (me included) thought: "...and now where do i go ?"
That's the point. The truth is that we're not used to be free. Games that are free end up being massive empty areas. Games that promise you freedom usually end up not having it. Outer Wilds is neither of these. I suggest you to let your instinct guide you, because you're eventually going to find your objective somewhere. "Be Curious On Your Journey!" -In game quote.
Outer Wilds is a game where you begin thinking you're going to save the universe and you end up feeling things you were never going to expect. Buy it and dive in, my friend. Don't be surprised if you see a spaceship flying somewhere, i probably forgot to park it again.

Review from Steam

I can’t wait to grow old and get Alzheimer’s so that I can experience this game for the first time again and again.