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Out Among the Stars, June 23, 2010
by Ghalev (Colorado, United States)
The goal is simple enough: youíre a restless starfarer with a fine sailing ship, in the mood to get away and see something new, deep in space. And with that, despite the gameís linearity, it satisfies what non-linear games are usually better at: the sense of exploration. If you play these games (in whole or in part) for the sense of discovery, and you avoid linear play out of habit, I urge you to let this game be an exception for you.
The writing is richly evocative without being purple or self-indulgent, and the constant sense of cosmic vista defines the game experience. There is, really, almost nothing else to it.
There are one or two times where I struggled with the gameís verbs (Spoiler - click to show)(the puzzles, such as they are, are mostly about fiddling with sails, and some nautical terms work, and some donít, and you just have to experiment to see). There is, at one point (I believe) a kind of very important false choice, and that frustrated me a little, but not for long Ö the game was simply too lovely, too rewarding in its own small way, not to forgive.
Itís a brief jaunt into the wind-and-sail version of space adventure fiction. Itís very nearly a one-room game in practical terms (not entirely, but nearly). It is linear. It is predictable (the ending I got, I saw coming when the story was barely underway). But Ö it is beautiful, and it is everything it needs to be.