Outer Wilds, you may recall, is a first-person game about exploring a solar system in 20-minute intervals on account of the time loop the whole shebang is trapped in. We played and rather enjoyed an early build in 2015 (opens in new tab) but haven't heard much about the game since, until now. Today, developer Mobius Digital Games announced a partnership with publisher Annapurna Interactive, who also published What Remains of Edith Finch and Gorogoa. Together, the two will finally bring Outer Wilds to PC later this year, well over three years after its announcement.
The prospect of exploring a solar system may remind you of No Man's Sky, but in practice Outer Wilds is closer to Subnautica (opens in new tab). Its solar system is contained and proudly handcrafted, which makes sense since you only have 20 minutes to take in as many interesting things as possible every run. It's also fully simulated, at least as much as a cartoon solar system should be. The planets orbit a sun, as planets tend to do, and traveling between them takes a basic understanding of how gravity works. Otherwise, you might fling yourself into the void or into that massive sphere of fire. Here's how the newly minted Steam page (opens in new tab) describes it:
"The planets of Outer Wilds are packed with hidden locations that change with the passage of time. Visit an underground city of before it's swallowed by sand, or explore the surface of a planet as it crumbles beneath your feet. Every secret is guarded by hazardous environments and natural catastrophes."
Outer Wilds made quite a bit of noise around its initial reveal. It won the grand prize (opens in new tab) at the 2015 Independent Games Festival for one, beating out nominees like Invisible, Inc and The Talos Principle. It was also one of the earliest projects (opens in new tab) on crowdfunding and investment hybrid site FIG.