Platformers have long been a popular genre which boasts a gameplay element that has withstood the test of time. So it’s only a natural reaction to roll your eyes whenever a new game promoting “a different gameplay” pops up. Because, really, platformers don’t really have that much wiggle room in terms of adding more gameplay elements, thanks to the numerous games that have come before. Well, somebody forgot to tell that to the developers of Outcome, because they certainly added a new gameplay mechanic to the genre.
Choose your outcome… and environment
Upon starting the game, you’ll definitely get the vibe that Outcome is a different one. Yes, the game does feature a lone character that’s automatically running like in most platformers. Yes, that character’s only available action is jumping over obstacles along the way. And, yes, you finish each level by reaching the end. All three gameplay mechanics are staples in the platformer genre. So, what makes Outcome different? It’s the rotate function.
You’ll immediately notice at the start that the game’s top and bottom screens are different from each other. They feature different designs and contain different obstacles. Whenever you trigger the rotate key, which is assigned to the ‘Z’ key on your keyboard, the screen will rotate in a complete 180 degrees, switching the top and bottom screens. And all of that will happen while your character is still running. Certain circumstances will even require you to jump as you rotate the screen in one fluid motion. It can be tricky in the beginning and you are most likely going to mix up the jump and rotate buttons when obstacles become more difficult to navigate. But as you repeatedly go through a level, your instinct and reflexes will most likely get better and better.
The purpose of the rotate function is to avoid obstacles that are too high for the character to jump over and also to collect as many of those little items scattered around the level that are marked with a swirl pattern. Those items are used to unlock more levels in the game, so you will find yourself repeatedly going through a level if you are still short. The levels can be unlocked in any order as long as you possess the required number of those items.
It’s a dark world out there
Another thing that makes Outcome stand out among other platformers is its dark theme. The game is obviously set in a post-apocalyptic world. Platformers tend to be more lighthearted since they are more geared towards young gamers. The background music of Outcome is quite fitting to the black and white aesthetics, giving a gloomy feel to the game. The developers could have chosen a more detailed look to the game, but the simplicity of the muted theme equally brings out the intended effect.
Outcome boasts a different take on the platfomer genre, even if it’s only through one key element (the rotate function), but it executes it well and integrates it smoothly into other familiar gameplay mechanics. So, for that, Outcome deserves a “must play” label.