Try the demo for Outpath, a fusion of Minecraft and clicker games

An interesting-sounding experiment has picked up Overwhelmingly Positive Steam reviews over the past week: It's a demo called Outpath: The First Journey for a game coming in 2023 that'll be properly called Outpath. It's billed as a prologue chapter, but it's very much a demo of what seems to be planned for the main game. I think it'll appeal to fans of games like Forager foremost, but it'll also attract the idle-clicker, survival crafting, and production optimization crowds.

Playing is all about your expected gathering of resources, collecting of doodads, and crafting of tools, but layers an automation aspect on top, letting you set up your base to function without you. As you get more resources you buy more islands, with more resources—you know the drill on this. The experimental choice here is that in theory Outpath is designed to let you idle in a way that games like Forager or Satisfactory or Minecraft aren't quite designed for.

The goal is that it's a fusion of those styles—something that Forager did pretty well but which wasn't quite an equivalent or as satisfying playstyle as active play.

The result feels a lot like Forager, but gives a lot of twists due to its 3D environment and extremely chill gameplay. It's not quite as polished as others in the genre—it is, after all, one of those prologue-demos we see so many of these days. As it stands, there's about 10 hours of gameplay here to check out, and a very calm 10 hours it is.

If you like the games I've namechecked above, then, well, this might be one for you to check the demo of. If you just kind-of like those games then you might want to wait to see if the full version is more polished. Or don't. As always, I'm not your dad.

You can find Outpath: The First Journey on Steam, and the page for Outpath itself as well. It's made by solo developer David Moralejo Sánchez and published by GrabTheGames and UpgradePoint.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.