Out of this World
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RAM Requirement: 1 meg RAM
Control: Joystick or Keyboard
Release Status: Abandonware
Publisher: Interplay Productions
Developers: Rebecca 'Burger' Heineman
System 6 Compatible: Yes
Hard Drive Installable: Yes
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Out of this World was quite probably the last IIGS game to be released by a mainstream company.
It was released by Interplay and programmed by its resident IIGS demigod, Bill 'Burger' Heineman. Out of this World is known on some other platforms as 'Another World', such as the original Amiga version. The game seems to have been ported to almost every popular computer/console in the early 90s - Atari ST, PC, Mac, SNES and Genesis/Megadrive...and rightfully so, because this game totally kicks ass.
The story is simple and wonderfully presented to us at the beginning of the game. As a well-to-do scientist, one of your experiments goes wrong and you are transported to another world. This introduction still impresses me today - it's entirely done with polygons. What's even more impressive is that as you play the game, you realise it's ALL done with polygons too; an incredible feat of production and understandably why it took original designer Eric Chahi two years to create.
The IIGS version allows for four different types of video display, with Television being the smallest and Full Screen being the largest. The IIGS was relying almost solely on processor power to keep the polygons rolling and even on my real IIGS, with an 8Mhz ZipGS, it still wasn't going full speed at the largest screen size. Playing the game by emulation should present no such issues. You can choose to use joystick from the opening options, utilising both buttons, one for shoot/run and the other for jump. Keypad can also be chosen with shift and control as the two buttons. You can toggle both the sound and music on and off here, as well as during the game, but I recommend leaving the music on as it's way cool and uniquely I haven't heard it on other versions, although I've only seen the PC, Amiga and Mac versions.
The game itself is a combination of action and strategy. If you've got quick reflexes, they'll only get you so far before you need to think about overcoming your obstacles. Instead of saving games as you progress through Out of this World, the game includes codes, which you enter, by pressing "C" anytime during the game, which will then take you to a certain stage in the game. It's a good idea to write these codes down, as they can save you much frustration in having to backtrack through parts of the game that took you hours to master (yes, hours!). Unfortunately, backtracking can become unavoidable even with the codes, as you need to repeat your actions to arrive at something you're stuck at. If anything, this is my only criticism of the game, as it makes the player's frustration double at particularly hard parts when they have to go through other parts you've already played over and over again.
I'm not going to spoil the game by listing the codes here - it will be an effort and a struggle to finish Out of this World, but that's where the fun lies. There have been few other games where I've felt incredible triumph and relief when passing difficult areas. But don't let that make you forget to write down the code for the area you've just entered!
At the very least, Out of this World is one of the '90s best games. At most, it's one of the most brilliantly conceived and executed pieces of interactive entertainment ever. Have a lot of fun with this one.