David Moralejo Sánchez’s Outpath, a blend of island base-building game and idle clicker, is now out on Steam with a launch discount and a rapidly growing sackful of positive reader reviews. The gist, for those who missed out on the demo: you walk around small islands punching resources out of the landscape, building crafting stations and dwellings, and slowly amassing the means to access other islands. Or, you ignore all that, and treat the whole thing as an idle clicker, with no time limit and no real opportunity to fail.
Graham had a look at Outpath’s free prologue in December. His verdict: “it’s first-person Forager, which already mixed idle and survival games, island-buying and all. That’s not a bad thing, given how much time I put into Forager. Or, it is a bad thing, given how much time I put into Forager.”
I didn’t play Forager myself. Instead, Outpath reminds me of Minecraft’s old SkyBlock maps, which spawn you on a floating island with token resources, then ask you to complete a series of initially impossible-seeming tasks that often rely on combining things (such as water and lava) in fiendish ways.
Outpath is sort of SkyBlock but for people who can’t be arsed with SkyBlock, and just want to soak up the island ambience and the steady dopamine drip of “exponential growth”, to quote the game’s launch trailer. It’s kind of bizarre to see apocalyptic econo-speak like that floating against the game’s blissful pixelated idylls, but I can’t deny the gentle satisfaction of watching auto-crafting facilities cough up commodities, as critters frolic about and the sun sinks slowly beneath the waves.
The ambience is certainly a nice change from the baleful October palor outside my window at the time of writing. It’s pretty Minecrafty, with a spread of biomes including foggy fungal landscapes and winter wonderlands, but the text fonts remind me of A Short Hike. Base-building and optimisation aside, there’s also a fishing minigame, a dash of parkour movement, and talk of “secrets”. Hmm. Anyhoo, the Steam link is over here.