Outer Wilds and its developer Mobius Digital first appeared on the scene a few years ago. And it was a few years ago I first heard of it and played a promising demo. But not long after it slowly fell off the map. Then in 2015 it emerged on the crowd-funding meets investing platform, Fig, where it successfully raised $126,000. But then it went dark again. Over the years – before and after the Fig campaign – many gamers wondered what happened to the unique and promising game they saw years ago.
But now, like it has in the past, Outer Wilds has once again emerged from the dark with a new trailer, a release window, and a new publisher in the form of Annapurna Interactive (the publisher most notably behind What Remains of Edith Finch).
As mentioned in the title, Outer Wilds is a spacefaring open-world adventure game were you explore a vast solar system that is stuck in a time loop. In it, you play as the newest member of Outer Wilds Ventures, a fledgling space program that is searching for answers in a solar system that is constantly changing and which it knows nothing about.
Speaking of strange, a lot of the game seems to revolve around mystery and pursuing it. According to the developer, the quest to solve the game's mysteries will have you venturing more and more into the most dangerous reaches of space, and will serve as the main tool for driving the narrative.
At first blush, it's easy to look at Outer Wilds and just see No Man's Sky. But there's a big difference between the two: No Man's Sky features a procedurally generated world, while Outer Wilds is more hand-crafted. A press release adds:
The planets of Outer Wilds are packed with hidden locations that change with the passage of time. Visit an underground city before it's swallowed by rising sand, or explore the crust of a hollow planet as it crumbles beneath your feet. Every secret is guarded by hazardous environments and natural disasters as the solar system spirals out of control.
Strap on your hiking boots, check your oxygen levels, and get ready to venture into space. Use the Little Scout space probe to illuminate dark caves, take photos, or test for hazards in your environment. Track down mysterious audio with your Signal Scope or use your Translator to decipher an ancient Nomai riddle. Navigate the darkness of space with your jetpack and ship. There's a lot to discover in the Outer Wilds.
Outer Wilds is poised to release sometime this year on PC and "additional platforms."