Explore a dying PC in offbeat Metroidvania Visual Out

Visual Out, a 2D Metroidvania-style platformer from solo developer MadameBerry Games, may have finally figured what happens when a computer inevitably, inexplicably slows down and dies: a little green man goes bebopping around cyberspace fighting programs.  

"As a program defying your operating system's wishes, plunge into the depths of a dying computer," its Steam page reads. "Uncover the secrets behind the computer's - and its creator's - demise."

Apart from discovery, your goal is to defeat the bosses of the PC's four sectors. But to even make it to them, you'll have to unlock six different abilities which focus on manipulating power, like "Jammer, Current, Turret" and others. 

There's something unsettling about Visual Out's world. It uses an abstract mix of digital and natural themes to create a surreal place where butterflies and jellyfish float alongside glitches and code given form. The sector bosses look almost like germs, and there's a desolation to it all. "They deserted us," it says. "You're all that's left." 

That aside, I'm more worried about the operating system. It acts like some kind of overseer, its directives periodically cutting through the game's synthy electronic soundtrack. "You have no choice but to execute your program, don't you?" it asks. "I pity you," it says. 

Visual Out is dripping with sci-fi meta-narrative funk and sounds like a fun, minimalist spin on Metroidvanias. It's available on Steam and Itch for $10. If you're looking for a faster, decidedly more neon 2D romp through a PC, have a gander at Exception, where you play a program trying to save an old woman's computer from a virus. 

Thanks, Kotaku

Austin Wood
Staff writer, GamesRadar

Austin freelanced for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and has been a full-time writer at PC Gamer's sister publication GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover-up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news, the occasional feature, and as much Genshin Impact as he can get away with.