Is it time to start calling block games like Minecraft? I can’t say I’ve seen too many in the past that have successfully channeled Mojang’s charming survival adventure, but Outerverse is a pretty impressive take on the blocky shoulders of Minecraft. On top of that, it takes inspiration from boss items from Valheim, as well as world automation from Factorio and Satisfactory.
If that sounds like an odd combination of items, it makes a lot more sense in the hands. Powered by Tbjbu2, Exterior (opens in a new tab) it’s like minecraft in space. Instead of that flat world that lasts forever, you spawn a cube world that you can explore, build, mine, farm, before creating a little spaceship to find a new planet to explore in your galaxy. I played around a bit to see how it worked and was quite impressed with its potential and how quickly it gets you up and running on your automation adventure.
We encourage you to mine, build machines, and eventually upgrade your character and repertoire to the point where you can find and defeat six different bosses scattered throughout the universe. These titans are Valheim-esque in that they are all quite different in body and abilities, and you have to find their counters, like fire, lasers, or rockets, to make sure you’re up for the fight.
Machines play an important role, taking over much of the work that you would traditionally associate with the survival genre. They will do everything out of the box, but can also be programmed by the player (when starting a world you have the option to play ‘manually’). This will disable the machines, automation, logic, and wires so you can get everything to work and behave exactly the way you want.
For the small part I played, I would describe Outerverse as generous. From the game’s automation approach, which makes it easier to find mines and make machines do your bidding, to the sheer amount of light a torch sheds, the game wants the player to thrive more than survive. I’m not sure how it scales, but it was a relief when I built the first ‘machine’, a cave finder, and it did a lot of the mining for me. A line stretched from the seven-block structure to the bottom of the earth, even through a lake on the line’s path into an open underground space. Outerverse cuts the cruft and wants you to get to the good stuff ASAP.
Although I described it as a cocktail of Minecraft, Factorio, and Valheim, it’s a lighter version of each. The automation explanation feels a bit overwhelming, although there are helpful little images like LEGO guides explaining how things are built. And the visuals aren’t as charming or expressive as those in Minecraft. The sand is pink, as is the iron ore, as are all the animals and some of the enemies I encountered. But as a very small version of a fairly large genre, Outerverse does a pretty excellent job of taking bits and pieces from every game he likes and molding them into something he hasn’t seen before.
Outerverse is brand new, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for future updates, as even the little bit I played was quite fun. And oh, in case you were worried that the name sounded blockchain or NFT-y, Outerverse was sadly already caught up in a controversy-leading publisher. Freedom Games will deny its involvement in any crypto scheme (opens in a new tab). A scammer used the game as a front for unlucky users to buy tokens. Whoever claimed he could use said tokens in the Outerverse, but Freedom Games quickly made it clear that the website and accounts had nothing to do with the actual project.