Outernauts Facebook cover image
|Release date(s)||July 2012 (open beta)|
|Genre(s)||Role-playing, Social network game|
Outernauts is an Adobe Flash social role-playing video game for Facebook. Developed by Insomniac Games, it is the developer's first social video game, as well as their first game for a non-Sony platform. The game is published by Electronic Arts and was released as an open beta in July 2012. It was announced by Insomniac Games that the game will no longer be available on Facebook from January 31, 2014 and will be ported to iOS. The game was shut down on February 1, 2016.
As Outernauts, players must explore alien planets to capture and nurture creatures with which to do battle, in gameplay similar to the Pokémon series. Player actions are limited by "energy", an in-game resource that accumulates over time, but which can also be purchased with real-world currency.
Critics praised the game's presentation, with Eurogamer noting its "classy cartoon visuals, slick orchestral soundtrack and finely-tuned UI." Eurogamer commented on the size of the game's world, describing how even with a week of play, the galaxy map still remained mostly unlocked. GamesTM too, praised the game world as "interesting to explore", the characters "providing a sense of unknown that continues to entice".
Inside Social Games compared the depth of Outernauts' gameplay favourably to other social games, but warned that the social viral mechanics, such as "nag screens" and "pay to win" mechanics would ward off the core gamers it set to attract. GamesTM likewise, found the energy system to be the game's biggest hindrance, and one which could frustrate by interrupting gameplay. Despite this, GamesTM concluded that Outernauts was "a step up on most Facebook games".
On December 14, 2015, Insomniac announced that all the microtransactions options were removed, and that the game is shut down permanently on February 1, 2016. Insomniac explained that the current player base is too small,[a] and that the overall game became unprofitable.
- According to Insomniac, the game was played by millions of players since its launch.
- Ben Maxwell (2012-05-09). "Insomniac reveals first Facebook game, Outernauts". Edge. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
- Pete Davison (2012-07-23). "Outernauts Review". Inside Social Games. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
- Johnny Minkley (2012-08-20). "Outernauts Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
- "Outernauts Review". GamesTM (126): 98.
- Makuch, Eddie (December 11, 2015). ""Millions" Played It, But Ratchet & Clank Dev's Outernauts Is Shutting Down". GameSpot. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
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