Tales from the Backlog 40: Outer Wilds

Some games deserve a second chance. The first time I played Outer Wilds, I enjoyed the mystery and the experience of exploring a mini solar system, but got very frustrated by what I thought was supposed to be an opening area and a [REDACTED] mechanic that resulted in a lot of wasted time. I then became "the one guy in the channel who didn't like Outer Wilds", which was kinda fun for a while, but I always had a nagging thought that told me to give the game another shot. Nothing worse than the feeling that everybody else is "getting it" while you don't, right?

So I decided to give it that second chance, and I'm glad I did. There are a lot of things to commend Mobius Digital for, but the fact that they created a fully open-world, clockwork solar system to explore with state changes and unique mechanics for each planet is truly a marvel. It would have made one hell of a tech demo (and it did!), but they also managed to weave one of gaming's most engrossing stories into this clockwork system. The result is a game driven by exploration and the desire to learn more, as opposed to the carrots that so many open-world games dangle in front of players to entice them to explore. And despite some big frustrations with one late-game section, I will forever be impressed by what Mobius accomplished here.

Joining me to discuss Outer Wilds is the host of The Main Quest podcast, Keith Gasper. Keith is a great podcaster, an even better dude, and a returning guest on the show, previously heard on the Earthbound episode. The Main Quest podcast is Keith's personal journey to revisit every game he played throughout his childhood and early adulthood, burning down the nostalgia within...or not! It's a great podcast, and he doesn't just play the hits. You can find everything Main Quest via this link.

You can listen to episode 40 of Tales from the Backlog (Outer Wilds) of Tales from the Backlog in the player below, or you can follow the links to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, Stitcher, Google Podcasts or search "Tales from the Backlog" in your favorite podcast app!