Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds is a first-person exploration and adventure game developed by American indie studio Mobius Digital and published by Annapurna Interactive. The game was initially released in 2019 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows, with later ports for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5.


In Outer Wilds, players take on the role of an unnamed alien explorer from the planet Timber Hearth. The game is set in a miniature solar system that operates on a 22-minute time loop, after which the sun goes supernova, and the loop resets.

  • Exploration: Players are free to explore the solar system in a non-linear fashion, uncovering clues and secrets about an ancient civilization and the impending supernova.
  • Puzzle-solving: The game features a variety of puzzles and challenges that require players to use their knowledge of the game's world and its unique physics to progress.
  • Time Loop: The 22-minute time loop is a central mechanic, allowing players to retry challenges, explore different paths, and uncover new information with each cycle.

The game features a unique art style that combines stylized, low-poly 3D graphics with a painterly aesthetic, creating a visually striking and atmospheric world.

Story and Setting

Outer Wilds takes place in a compact solar system consisting of a handful of unique planets, each with its own mysteries and hazards. The player's character is a member of the Outer Wilds Ventures, a fledgling space program on the planet Timber Hearth.

As the player explores the solar system, they uncover the history of the Nomai, an ancient alien race that once inhabited the system. The player must race against time to unravel the mysteries of the Nomai and find a way to prevent the impending supernova that threatens to destroy the system.


Outer Wilds received widespread critical acclaim upon release, with praise directed at its innovative structure, engaging exploration mechanics, and thought-provoking narrative. The game won numerous awards, including Best Game at the 2020 BAFTA Game Awards and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival.

Fun Facts

  • Outer Wilds began as a student project at the University of Southern California and was later developed into a full commercial release by the newly formed Mobius Digital studio.
  • The game's soundtrack, composed by Andrew Prahlow, dynamically adapts to the player's actions and the passage of time within the game's world.
  • The game features a unique "quantum moon" that changes location each time it is observed, based on principles of quantum mechanics.

Outer Wilds is a unique and captivating exploration game that challenges players to unravel the mysteries of a dying solar system. With its innovative time loop mechanics, engaging storytelling, and stunning world design, it stands as a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of the indie game development scene.