The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Out There

There were a lot of games released this week, a surprisingly large amount in fact, and there were plenty of great ones in that list. But one title stood out as rather special among the pack, and that game is Out There [$3.99] from Mi Clos. Out There sees you in the role of an astronaut who, during a cryogenic sleep, goes off course and ends up… somewhere. You awake to find yourself in completely unfamiliar territory somewhere in the vastness of space, with nothing but the shirt on your back, so to speak. Your job is to make smart use of your resources on hand and the capabilities of your ship in order to inch yourself closer and closer back to your home planet of Earth.

outthere

Out There puts you up against impossible odds and forces you to use your wits and a bit of luck in order to get yourself out of a life-threatening situation. There's permadeath, meaning every attempt at getting back home is a one shot deal. Don't make it, and all the equipment, items and anything else earned in your run goes bye bye and your next attempt starts as fresh as the first time you played. It's not an easy task by any means, and an otherwise phenomenal run can be snatched away with even the tiniest stroke of bad luck, but there's nothing quite as satisfying as getting further than ever in a subsequent run.

Another aspect about Out There that's sometimes not given enough attention in roguelike games is story. Sure, you're given the basic premise of being lost and tasked with getting back home, but there is so much detail in the various planets and solar systems you'll explore that it brings more meaning to your actions. There's a hint of "choose your own adventure" in the storytelling, giving you options in how you deal with your various encounters and situations in the game. It really feels like there's a full, actual universe with its own lore packed into Out There.

What really sets Out There apart from the rest of the games this week is how well it captures the feeling of being stranded and almost helpless out in space. It's a lonely, scary feeling, and I'm not going to lie but the vast majority of your attempts to find your way home will end in your own demise. It's a startling realization, but also makes it that much more satisfying to do well in a run when the odds are against you, and eventually, actually "beat" the game and see one of its various endings. I haven't got there yet, but I sure am having fun trying over and over and over again. Out There is a beautiful, challenging experience, make sure you check it out.

  • 21tigermike

    What's up with that Comicbook Font?! ><

    • StumbleSojourn

      Aside from it looking really good, and fitting the aesthetic of the game?

      • 21tigermike

        Haha... Good one!

      • thiagovscoelho

        well if you can give some reasons aside from those I'd appreciate it

      • frederigoxcz305

        my Aunty Arianna got a nearly new silver Chevrolet Colorado
        Crew Cab by working part time off of a macbook air. try this B­u­z­z­3­4­.­ℂ­o­m

    • nonen

      The lowercase-but-looks-capital 'F' is pretty jarring indeed.

  • Amenbrother

    Agreed, one of the most memorable experiences I have had in a while.

  • RSA586

    Excellent choice. It can be ridiculously frustrating when a random event pops up and kills your progress in an otherwise great run but that's the nature of the game.

    Regarding the font in the trailer, I'm pretty sure its more of an homage to 70s sci fi noir not comic books.

    • Themostunclean

      More likely an homage to 50s serialized sci-fi movies and shorts.

      Sci-fi/noir is a rare mashup genre (since they're usually considered 2 completely different types of movies). There were some in the 40s and 50s such as Kiss me Deadly, DOA and Invasion of the Body Snatchers but it actually has become more popular in the last few decades with films like Blade Runner, Dark City and The 13th floor.
      --End OCD movie geek moment--

      Awesome game!!

      • JP Falcon

        I am really enjoying this game as it reminds me of Shifts, allocating limited resources as you travel through space...highly recommended.

      • Bloodangel

        Is shifts an iOS game?

      • JP Falcon

        Yes, Shifts is an IOS game and a damned good one at that. It can be as frustrating as Out There but that makes your victories all the more rewarding.

      • jweber4

        Thank you both for preceding the word "homage" with an "an" instead of an "a".

  • khann

    I'm liking how frustrating it is.

  • Ultima12

    I'll check it out.

  • bigjack66

    You people are weird. You like being frustrated and annoyed! Don't you get enough of that at home and work? You go through the game only to be screwed by some mishap and it's back to square one! Wow!

    • fearlesskk

      Then dont play the game...

    • thiagovscoelho

      permadeath is appropriate for games such as this one; though in games like this one you can usually have saves from which to restore so there's that

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Wow, you got lucky on Disqus' new change to stop showing "down vote" totals. I bet you got 50+! heh

  • Revolvix

    Oh Bigjack you big ol troll, lumbering in and drooling at the mouth! Get away, shoo!

  • gmattergames

    Agree, this game is special. Agree, this game is frustrating. Is it worth $4? The lack of IAP and pop up ads, yes, i believe so. Should you wait till it drops in price? Unless your really jonezing for something new, wait till it hits a buck.

    • jati

      There are a lot of developers and publishers out there (see, what I did there?), who never do any price reductions. 4 Dollars is ridiculously cheap anyway. Just think of it as a 15 Dollar Game (real world price outside of the App Store), permanently on sale for just 4 Dollars.

      But if you wanna wait, wait. I really love this game and I hope the devs earn lots of money with this.

    • Jake7905

      To paraphrase: "This game is special and well worth the asking price, so don't buy it until it's discounted." Love the logic.

  • Bigperm9

    I like it and have zero regrets about paying full price, and generally I'm cheap as hell. Even when luck is against me and I can't catch a break I find myself enjoying it. The story is captivating to me. The only thing I wish I had was a way to keep track of the words learned from encountering life (other than writing them on scrap paper). A mini in game dictionary, that is of course reset each death, would be all kinds of awesome. At any rate, the game is first class. Get it if you think you're interested and have the money. You won't regret.

    • regh

      words you've learned are automaticaly replaced in your next encounters dialogs (if the word is present of course)

  • phorte

    Not sure if I'll pay full price to be frustrated just yet. I'll add it to the watch list. What were the other quality titles from this week?

  • XvEsunavX

    I'm just throwing it out there. Runs great on itouch4. Been asked several times in release thread.

  • Jake7905

    The random nature of Out There is also what gives it that "lost in space" atmosphere; if every game was the same you wouldn't exactly be (or feel) lost.

  • anabolicMike

    Woah! You picked one I agree 1000 percent on! That's likes first lol. Very good choice though. This game is great, I'm actually up and sittin on the can. Why am I up? I had a nightmare I was in space and ran out of air. Yes, I have played Out There too much but it grips the atmosphere and ever so perfectly.

    I can't believe the amount of great games that have come out of the App Store in the last few months. Seems every week there's a game out that just staggers the mind. Keep up the work indie devs. I'll give you guys my money anytime!

  • Pete Osborne

    It's so bad that I haven't played it yet. It's sat in my special folder like a bottle of wine you save for a special occasion. I don't know why I do this, so many great games in that folder taunting me!

    • MoHeyNow

      I'm one of those too, sometimes I think I must like reading about games and collecting them more than playing them...

      • xx99

        For me (and I'm sure many others) this is part of getting older. I still love games, but don't have the same time to play them as I did when I was a kid/teenager. I have more money to spend on them and less time to spend with them.

        More specific to your comment, I've also got a lot more time where I can read about games but can't play them with that same time (e.g., work).

      • Revolvix

        Me too, I thought I was the only one!!

    • thiagovscoelho

      I know I didn't play the new Zelda for nearly a week because I wanted to have a large enough amount of time to play through a respectable bunch of it but then I said screw it

    • Revolvix

      It's the strangest thing but I do that too, I get psyched for a game, install it then don't play it for ages. I'll read all the reviews in the meantime though, jeez!

  • JohnnyJ301

    I'm enjoying the game. One of the best games to come out on iOS/android in a long time.

  • a_apple

    "Don't make it, and all the equipment, items and anything else earned in your run goes bye bye and your next attempt starts as fresh as the first time you played. It's not an easy task by any means, and an otherwise phenomenal run can be snatched away with even the tiniest stroke of bad luck"

    I truly don't understand. How are these kind of games "fun" to anyone at all?

    • webman2k

      Because when you do finish it, you can reflect on your perseverance, the journey, and have a sense of real accomplishment.

      You play knowing you're likely going to lose. When you don't, it's extremely satisfying.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Call it "facing a challenge"?
      It's another way of looking at the video game challenge factor, that's all.
      Rogue-likes for some people are their favs. (Like me.)
      My heroes die a lot, but when they survive & win, it's oh so much elation!!!

  • BaltimoreDave

    truly a great game. The UI is not to my to my however as close buttons are too small and its very annoying to have to scroll up to close the technologies window. Game play pulls you in and with the sound track make you want to keep playing

  • doomsday3706

    I'll wait until FtL

  • curtisrshideler

    Oregan Trail in space... with style.

    • thiagovscoelho

      Oregon Trail had a lot of stress involved with getting to Oregon but was actually pretty easy to finish, a tad harder to actually get good scores. I don't think this is the case with this one.

  • Vestid

    FAIL GOTW. No way is this better than Oceanhorn.

    • kioshi

      You know Oceanhorn was released some weeks ago so it isn't competing this week right?

    • bunksteve

      You mean the game that came out December 6th? Yeah! Why didn't this get Game of the WEEK? C'mon TouchArcade! What kind of calendars are you using?! Accurate ones?

    • mike

      disagree, oceanhorn has been done by zelda...this game is way original

    • DeNappa

      Obvious troll is obvious ^_^

  • Gameplaya

    What happened to TA plays? I miss them.

    • Thawkk

      TA Plays are now the Twitch stream from Monday-Thursday. On Wednesdays Eli plays all the new NZ games, but on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday he takes game requests from the chat.

  • mike

    This game is FRICKING GOOOOOOOOOD!!!!

  • James D. Dunn

    I am really liking this game. As frustrating as it is, it is a heck of a lot of fun. 100% recommended.
    I would be lying if I said I didn't miss combat sometimes.

  • mike

    The writing for this game is top notch, lots of depth. There is an amazing sustaining tension.

  • mike

    i beat it!!!!!!!! wow this game is the best game on ios, cool ending...and there's more to do, more plot twists. wow good GOOD writing

    • VirtualBoyFreak

      Good ending? Which one? I know of three different ones... (Just granted you a few more gameplay hours ;-))

      • mike

        yea i've been at it trying to get the other endings lol...this thing has some real good replay value

  • Gamercub

    Love it
    I got to the alien race that tells you what happened and it ended my story I was gutted!!!! Was still miles away from home :-/
    Needs to have an option to skip the intro

  • PadreTomasito

    Incredible game. Great presentation, fantastic music, very good replay-ability. Last time I was amazed in a similar way was after playing King of Dragon Pass (however, this need to be clear, KoDP is much more complex game).

  • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

    Got it. Like it. (Got it on my Android, slowly moving off iPhone. Works great.)
    Game pace is slow. Kind of has a 'flash game' feel. It's a strategic game where you can easily croak, but you get better with repetition. And it's not Flappy Bird repetition, it's repetition where you have new encounters and are exposed to new tech.
    In a strange way, I suppose this game could teach folks about (very basic) chemistry as well? It'd be nice if more games included KNOWLEDGE along with game.
    Sidebar: A few things missing in this game could be some background 'lore', like basic astronomy knowledge about different planets & stars, some xenology info so we can look back at all the aliens encountered & marvel at their characteristics, etc.