“The only way off the island is through The Other 99.” That's quite a strange and ominous way to begin your next gaming experience.
The Other 99 is a single player, action survival game developed by Burning Arrow and published by Deck13 that throws you on an island with 99 other strangers, all challenged with the task of escaping. You will be forced to fight, maintain your water and food levels, and be as sneaky or aggressive as you wish! Make sure to turn the sound up, though; you'll need it to listen for attackers!
It's not just another survival game
I know what you're thinking: It's another survival crafting game, another Rust, another 7 Days To Die. Don't worry about that, as this is strictly a single player experience. To some that may be a deal breaker, but that's unfortunate because what The Other 99 offers is a compelling story, problem-solving and adventure. At the same time, it incorporates the survival aspect with maintaining health and fighting your way through the other survivors.
You will find several notes and clues throughout the island, like ideas of how to get off, stories of betrayal or even a guy trying to fly off into the sunset. Using your notes, you will follow each lead to unlock the story behind why you are here, why there are cameras and who's watching.
Be careful, however, as the other survivors will randomly roam the island, scavenging, looking for shelter or even hunting. They might come up behind you when you least expect it or tremor before you as you approach. Just listen to how The Other 99 developers describe their dynamic AI system:
Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Simulations are hard at work in the background determining how AI’s move, kill and survive. This affects the world you play in and provides unique situations every time. Campfires are lit because AI have actually visited them and bodies are there because they have died, the world lives around you.
The combat system is a bit tricky to begin with, but once you get a grasp of the game, it will become more fluid. A basic attack is simply a left click; right click defends and swiveling your mouse wheel will perform a stabbing motion. Of course if you have a steam controller this will not be an issue.
Fights will involve a lot of moving around, back and forth and maintaining your stamina. Swing too furiously too quickly, and you'll gas yourself. Try to make each blow count as you catch your opponent off guard and in between their attacks.
So as you're adventuring across this island of hell, you will have to fend off enemies, stay alive, eat and put your best Sherlock Holmes to work — but did I mention alarms? No, not quite like a tornado siren, or fire alarm, but rather strings of empty cans that, if tripped could alert nearby AIs. I lived a frightful event when I ran right through one completely oblivious and turned around only to find a survivor with a bone club ready to smash my face in.
After my scary experience, I died. It's no big deal, as it's just a game. But as is the case with any single player game, remember to save! I was quick to realize I had not, and was forced to completely start my game over after my first hour.
The Other 99 is a frightening good game. It has a great premise, which may seem overused, but puts a fun spin on it with the mystery and problem-solving. The Other 99's taking a risk that pays off in not spoon feeding everything to you. The atmosphere and thrilling music cues are great, as are touches like the wristwatch which seems to keep track of how many survivors are on the island. You will have to connect the dots and traverse the map without any waypoints or auto-traveling. It's up to you to escape this island, and you will be put to the test.
I promise you'll enjoy every minute of this great independent game, and will look forward to other projects to come out from this great developer #indiespirit.
Name: The Other 99
Creator: Burning Arrow
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Release Date: Out now
Think you can make it off the island? Will you take a sneaky or aggressive approach? Let us know in the comments below!