Every year it gets tougher for me to differentiate from the bounty of new farm sims being developed, which usually range from pastoral to fantastical in various shades of green, but One Lonely Outpost is a rarer specimen: a sci-fi farm sim. Developers Freedom Games shared a new trailer for the extraterrestrial life sim during today's Guerrilla Collective showcase, and it reminded me just how much of a sucker I am for space westerns.
One Lonely Outpost boasts all the usual farm and town sim features: crafting, fishing, cooking, mining, romance—oh, and terraforming, which is what really caught my attention. "Rise up and overcome unbreathable air, inedible food, unfertilized ground, and inaccessible water sources," Freedom Games says. That is a siren song to a map-completionist, fog-of-war-clearing gremlin like me. "Discover the plethora of fish, bugs, and other flora and fauna living in this otherwise lifeless world, chronicling every new material or creature in the Omninac for future reference," it adds, which is even more juice for my checklist-loving brain.
On top of that, I'm just very into the space desert full of clunky ships, drones, and a retro-future looking blend of analog tech. You can fish with an underwater drone, set up floating space-y sprinklers, mine and terraform with a multitool gauntlet.
But One Lonely Outpost nearly hid its coolest feature: gene splicing and plant tending. If I had a nickel for every sci-fi farm sim with genetic crop science I'd have two nickels (which isn't a lot, so I'd like more of them). In last summer's trailer for OLO you can spot splicing together hybrid Strawmatos with blight resistance and a cute little activity of pruning and tending to your smiley tomato plant.
It went totally unmentioned in the newest trailer and on the OLO store page though, so I worried the feature had been cut. A representative for Freedom Games confirmed that gene splicing is still a go, though it won't be available in the initial early access launch. So genetic science will have to wait, but I do quite enjoy a bit of custom crop fiddling.
I've played a hell of a lot of farm sims, spending an embarrassing amount of time in various versions of Compound-word Valley, so I'm always tickled to see a twist from a game that plans to send me off picking radishes and tomatoes someplace other than temperate rural anywhere.
One Lonely Outpost will launch in early access this month on June 26, with plans to launch on other platforms at its exit from early access later on. You can find it to watch and wishlist on Steam.