Outernauts – A Facebook Game Worth Playing!

“Facebook gaming” is one of those terms, like Final Fantasy VII Remake, that brings instant rage to most gamers. This is mostly because “gamers” are stubborn and only feel like they’re playing a game when they’re sitting on their mom’s couch in the basement while being verbally harassed by 13 year old children who spend their entire summer perfecting their KDR in the newest Call of Duty clone. The reasoning, as stated by many, is that Facebook games aren’t real games, which is what has been said about smartphone gaming as well. I can understand this sentiment to an extent, but you can’t tell me that Final Fantasy III does not classify as a proper game because I play it on my T-Mobile G2. Let’s face it, Facebook and smartphone gaming are on the rise. Rather then be contentious, it’s time to embrace this new form of interactive play. Not because it’s the future of gaming, because it’s an extension of it.

I present to you Outernauts! Outernauts is a brand new game on Facebook, it just went public yesterday, developed by Insomniac Games. Stop rubbing your eyes, I didn’t make a typo. For those of you that don’t know, Insomniac Games is the developer behind Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet and Clank, and the Resistance franchises. They have crafted a fun, adventurous, exciting game for Facebook. One that I feel could appeal to the mass audiences on the same levels that Farmville and Angry Birds have in the past.

The game looks great even at full screen!

Outernauts combines the simplicity of a point and click energy management game, standard Facebook fare, with vibrant and exciting graphics. NO TEXT WALLS! No “Click here to do Quest” buttons that don’t do anything. Instead your character moves on the field, and takes part in battles in real time. Well. . . “real time.” The best way I have to describe Outernauts is if Pokemon took place in one of the many Ratchet and Clank galaxies. Very similar art style to the R&C games, with a fresh take on the Pokemon formula.

You start Outernauts off by picking 1 beast from a selection of 6 or so. Each beast has different abilities, stats, and elements, and they all evolve beyond their initial “cute” appearance into some really crazy looking monsters. Once you’ve chosen your beast, you’re thrown into a quick battle tutorial and then you’re free to travel around the opening zone until you run out of energy. Don’t worry about walking too far, walking is free. Actually doing things costs energy. Things like digging up plants, opening chests, and battling enemies.

Throughout your travels your Outernaut will come across wild beasts that can be battled for experience, or captured and added to your team. Much like Pokemon you can only have so many beasts in your party, and even captured, at any given time. Even at the default level, with 3 on your team and 4 in your base, it’s still enough for you to handle anything that comes your way. There’s only one problem I have with my “wild” beasts – they’re significantly weaker then my starting beast. I’ve tried my hardest to use my beasts evenly to ensure proper growth, but I’ve run into a wall with leveling anything besides my starting beast. To put it in perspective my starter is at level 11, my highest below him is 6. The weakest wild beast I’ve battled in the last 2 days was 8. I end up shuffling my weaker beasts in and out of battle so they get an Exp bonus for participating, but it’s not as beneficial as completing a battle from start to finish.

My quiet little planet.

Other then the difficulty curve, I love Outernauts! It’s really fun to play, and very strategic. Beasts learn new moves, and they can only have 4 moves by default. You can unlock more by paying for them with advanced in game currency which is obtainable by purchasing it with real money. I haven’t needed to do this yet, and don’t see it being a necessary at any point. The advanced currency can also be used to speed up tasks, level up your beasts, and even provide permanent stat boosts. Your Outernaut has a home planet which acts as your “house” or “farm” like other Facebook games, only it actually serves a purpose other then looking cool and reflecting your personality. You can add new buildings that allow you to use your items to make new ones, train your beasts, or produce resources like fuel and lunar (gold).

The social aspect seems like it’s taking a back seat for this one. You can visit friends planets and clean up their grass and such, and you can send gifts and get gifts in return, but that’s about it. You aren’t required to have more friends to advance further. You don’t need them to expand your army. You just help each other out by sending items needed to get things done faster. It’s a really great way to handle the social aspect, because not everyone has 300 friends that all play the same game.

I highly recommend you check out Outernauts on Facebook! Is it a deep, immersing experience? No. It is a very entertaining game none the less, and a great way to kill some time on Facebook. Let us know what you think about Outernauts in the comments below!

is not a boss.

You can Email Eric or follow Eric on Twitter @EricSweeten or Facebook

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