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    Exo One

    Game » consists of 0 releases. Released Nov 18, 2021

    Discover strange new worlds in this momentum-based exoplanetary exploration game.

    Exo One is a game about a ball

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    Humanity

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    EXO ONE

    Exo One recently got added to Game Pass and I've heard several prominent podcasts discuss it which caught me off guard since I had never heard of this game until this week. The funny thing about Exo One is that it's name is very ambiguous and if you've never seen a single screenshot or video of gameplay then it's kind of difficult to picture. In Exo One you take control of a space probe meant to home in on a distant signal being sent to us from outer space. This probe built from alien design docs is essentially a metal sphere that rolls around with the whims of gravity. The alien planets you explore with the singular goal of finding a "launcher" that propels you to another "level" are usually comprised of peaks and valleys that your little ball rolls up and down on. Exo One's primary trick is that at any time you can make your probe much heavier, causing it to accelerate towards the ground, and subsequently with this gained momentum launch out of a valley not unlike a big ramp, sending it hurtling across these alien worlds. The final trick in your repertoire to fully tie this game of momentum together is the ability to squish your ball into a flat disc that can glide in the air. Each "stage" or planet has a singular destination to reach and it's up to you how fast or how slow you get there. There are no penalties or timers ticking down, just you, the alien hum of a faraway world, and a beam of light in the distance. Initially the game offers wide open vistas that let you get into the groove of rolling, launching and gliding in harmony with your terrain. Later stages begin to offer passive resistance in the way the terrain is structured or environmental forces that try to knock you off course. Exo One never feels hostile and is a largely meditative, zen-like experience not unlike a game like Journey. My complete run through the campaign was prominently clocked at 2hrs and 4 minutes on the main menu, strongly suggesting multiple playthroughs to improve your results. I've heard it described as an interactive screen saver and while I do think it's more than that, the comparison is not without merit as the gameplay is quite minimalistic. Not only is this a beautiful looking game, it is also a real joy to play once you get the hang of the push and pull mechanics. As you learn to chain moves better and go faster and faster there is an immense sense of satisfaction as you break the sound barrier and see your little metal ball emit sonic booms in it's wake. The sense of speed is palpable and it's exhilarating to see the world zip past you.

    This is another one of those "hey I wouldn't buy this, but I'll gladly check it out on Game Pass" sort of deals.

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    isomeri

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    Sounds like I need to play this. Thank you @humanity.

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    Ohverture

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    I have played this and I didn't fully grasp all the controls until the second last level, and now I want to take this new-found knowledge on a second run. It's such wonderful exploration and meditation.

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    jaqen_hghar

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    @ohverture: May I ask what it was you didn't fully grasp? I think I got the gist of the controls, but I did have trouble getting high enough to get at least one upgrade. If there is something I missed I would love to know about it before maybe doing a second run myself.

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    Ohverture

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    @jaqen_hghar: Believe it or not, I missed the cue about the gliding and water-skipping. I knew I was missing something but I did that entire first water level without once using the flat disc except for a plummet. I was doing some funky movement but in retrospect I entirely missed the bit about L trigger for flattening. I want to do that bit again but knowing what I'm doing - and having the finesse. Kinda like when you first work out the dip and glide of the cape in Super Mario World properly. And I didn't quite understand the charge and drain mechanics of using gravity until that super huge-scale level that felt like a series of massive cube islands. Yes, I'm a long-time gamer and I feel much shame for this. But then sometimes I find myself halfway through games without spending a single point in upgrade trees because I didn't know they were in the game, and by then I've gotten so good at it that I feel O.P. as soon as I upgrade. Such is life I guess. :)

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    Ohverture

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    @jaqen_hghar: Other thing is - it's just a lot of fun without being too stressful, and I'd like to experience it again.

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    jaqen_hghar

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    #7  Edited By jaqen_hghar

    @ohverture: I didn't get the skipping myself until very late on the first water planet. I thought maybe I had gotten something about the plummet and dive back up wrong, as I felt the game told you would pull up while I didn't really get any height out if it I think.

    I really liked the zen quality of the game myself, and while I initially did not plan on playing it more than once (got too many games to play right now) I think I will do another run right now!

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    cikame

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    Thanks for showing me this it's extremely my kind of thing.

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    Kyary

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    It's sort of like, if Flower watched 2001 and Contact. I really dug it. It does have some weird issues (no vsync is weird on console) but the art and sound is really neat. The section where you lose all your abilities, including steering, except for gravity manipulation was really really fun. Happy to see it doing well.

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    naveta

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    Graphically and aesthetically it is super beautiful. The lifespan is indeed very low but for this kind of games it suits me very well.

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    isomeri

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    I finally played this last week and enjoyed it a whole lot. It's a bummer that after completing the game there seems to be no way to go back to certain worlds to do some basic chill flying around.

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    Hayt

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    #13  Edited By Hayt

    @isomeri: Maybe it's not in the game yet but I am almost certain they added in a level select recently. I had been planning to use it to go for some of the achievements.

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