Victory Fanfare: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of ANOTHER WORLD
Another World, also known as Out of this World in America, and Outer World in Japan was released in 1991 on the Amiga. In 1992 Interplay Entertainment brought it to the Mega Drive and SNES and with that the many different names. Designer Éric Chahi, composer Jean-François Freitas complete the team who made this game. If Chahi’s name sounds familiar to you it could be because like Another World, Heart of Darkness — his follow up, has an insane cult following.
The story here isn’t very complicated. You are Lester, a physicist, who was working at his laboratory on an experiment when a lightning bolt strikes the lab causing an explosion opening a hole in time and space, teleporting Lester to a barren alien planet.
For this reviews sake, I’m going to call the game Out of this World. That was the name when I first played it, and continues to be as I’m playing the same cartridge I had then. Time to beat Out of this World is two hours and 20 minutes, or if you’re a completionist you could beat it in two hours. Well, now that I’ve given you a bit of an introduction to the game let’s get it on!
Out of this World has always been applauded for its art direction, and with Éric Chahi being the only person to work on this game, yeah, I get that. It’s amazing to think he created this world on his own. The game itself is a bit like Prince of Persia, or Flashback. If you’re not a retro gamer- let me explain.
Most games today walk you through how to play the game, this is called a tutorial section, and more often then not they hinder the gameplay. A lot of retro games don’t have this, you learn the mechanics by playing the game, and reading the instruction manual. Sometimes the manual is also the only place you get to know the story, which is the case in this game.
The game, while looking a bit dated to today’s standards, is a game of the past to marvel at in all of its 16bit glory. The controls are also very nice, if you die, it’s more than likely your mistake. It has a distinct feel that is close to something like Dark Souls, in that its all trial and error. But be aware, this begins with you in the water and you can die at the literal opening of the game if you’re not prepared. The first time I played it I thought that this was totally unfair.
You know what? It is unfair. How was I to know about the treacherous opening the the first time? Look at the instruction manual? Well, it doesn’t mention that. So, for your sake just remember, this game begins in the water, get out or die.
Like I said before, this game is really just a whole lot of trial and error. If that’s something you dislike in games, you’ll probably want to skip out on this one.
There are no options in the game either, so if you don’t have the instruction manual you probably will have a hard time playing it without a game faq. Once you get it down though, you’ll never forget it. Here are a couple of key things to know when you play this game:
• Learn the gazelle run, it’s key in some sections.
• It’s easy to forget the gun that will drop when you break out of your cage, so DON’T FORGET TO GRAB THE GUN YA DANG.
• everything kills, well, except for buddy. Or as Game Grump fans may call him- “mycaruba.”
The ugly thing is the fact that Éric Chahi doesn’t make more games. Critically, both Out of this World and Heart of Darkness received mixed, but favorable reviews, and for good reason. They’re astonishing games with a simple and challenging mechanic. Éric Chahi’s last effort, From Dust, was released in 2011, and it is amazing! My god, I wish this man would make more games so much. I’ll talk more about that game another day.
All in all, if you like games that don’t treat you like a baby, you should totally play this game. There are many places where you can play Out of this World. You can get it in the App Store, PS4, and Xbox One under the original name Another World. If you’re lucky enough to purchase it on the SNES, or Mega Drive, do that! It shouldn’t be too expensive. If you’re spending more than $25 dollars, you’re probably paying a little too much. I saw a copy at my local retro game shop for $15.
If you have played Out of this World, what did I miss? What were the challenges you had with this game? Let’s chat about it!
Victory Fanfare is a monthly game review effort to go through Johnny Ketchum’s game collection and play them all. Once the game is complete Johnny takes all of his random thoughts and breaks it down to the good, the bad, and the ugly.