As a big fan of Viscera Cleanup Detail, the idea of taking that and basically turning it into co-op party game definitely sounded appealing to me. You got the alien disposal, the blood cleanup, and the space station sanitation from that game, but this time with an Overcooked skin slapped over it. The result works surprisingly well.
So the objective in this game is rather simple. All you’re asked to do is rid a space station of its alien infestation. This includes disposing of all alien organisms, mopping up the blood and goop they leave behind, and sanitizing any objects they may have touched. This is done on a room-by-room basis, which, depending on the map size, can be have as many as 12 rooms. Once you’ve cleaned one room, you’re able to power it with a battery, granting you and your teammates vision of that room and allowing powered appliances to be placed down on outlets in that room.
The way that the difficulty is managed is pretty cool too. As you clear more rooms, you have to keep an eye on said rooms to make sure an infestation doesn’t pop up again. This can come from adjacent infested rooms, an air vent, or even a misplaced food item that has since expired. It becomes this balancing act of tackling new rooms while at the same time maintaining the ones that have already been cleared. Focus on one end of that balance for too long and it will become difficult to deal with the other, as my friend and I learned the hard way when we first tried tackling a large map. And of course, this is all on top of maintaining your character’s hunger, exhaustion, and cleanliness. It’s a pretty cool way to create difficulty when there’s no difficulty levels in place.
It’s a simple formula overall, but it’s a fun one, especially if you have a group of friends helping out. Games with my friends would involve sleeping on the job, intentional sabotage, and shouting at each other, all while methodically cleaning and maintaining the space station. It’s definitely a chaotic experience, but that’s what made it so fun for us. It also helps that the game works perfectly with Steam Remote Play and is simple enough that new players can just drop in without any need for a tutorial. In fact, this is exactly how I cleared my first large map with two friends that had never played the game before.
However, the game is not perfect. Although the maps may be randomly generated, there really isn’t enough variety to keep players interested for maybe more than an hour or so. My friends and I would tackle one, maybe two maps before being done with the game and moving on to something else. Granted, this might not be that much of a problem considering the game is a party game and likely won’t be played in longer sessions, but even across sessions, the lack of variety really stood out to me. The game really needs some more room types, objects, aliens, and maybe even more gameplay mechanics to keep it fresh. As it stands, it’s only a game I could see myself playing for an hour at a time. Hopefully future content updates can expand upon the experience.
Regardless, it’s a fun enough little party game and one I would recommend, especially if you’re looking for a co-op game to play in small sessions. The core gameplay loop is simple, yet chaotic at the same time, making for a great experience if you have a friend or two to play the game with, which you can easily accomplish with Steam’s Remote Play feature. As a singleplayer title, it’s still doable, but nowhere near as fun and the online multiplayer is pretty much empty as well. With that said, I would only recommend it if you already have some friends to play it with.
You can buy Out of Space on Steam here.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.