Relaxing exploration titles have a divisive way about them. They offer unlimited exploration in a confined space. Furthermore, you are free to assume the meaning behind the story. There are few goals to work towards, and you feel the stress draining from your body. This isn’t for everyone, but having played Aery and Life of Fly, I’ve got a soft spot for these games. Exo One is the latest title to hit this genre, but it comes with a twist! It focuses heavily on eye-watering speed and death-defying tricks, so forget about the slow approach.
Developed by Exbleative and published by Exbleative and Future Friends Games, this is a Sci-Fi adventure title. It’s a dreamy and safe look at the future where tech opens up many opportunities. You’ll get to experience alien worlds, but you never walk upon them, you won’t talk to strange beings, nor will you discover bizarre artefacts. No, instead, you’ll soar through the skies, gathering speed, while enjoying the surroundings.
Exo One defies gravity!
The laws of physics demand many cogs work in harmony to allow an object to fly. Yet, our future selves are much wiser. No longer are we bound to the use of engines, and the power of flight happens by harnessing the pull of gravity. Exo One demands that you utilise the environment to propel your craft. Leaping from mounds, you can dip and soar to gather speed and launch yourself again.
You’ll scour the landscape to find mountains to climb and valleys to fall into. You’ll plan your approach, build up your momentum, and then enjoy the wild ride. With an array of planets to explore, you are treated to some spectacular scenery. Whether it’s sprawling hills, icy tundra, or miles of cool water, it never gets old.
Your spherical vessel appears to have the consistency of mercury. Its malleable structure changes to a flat disc to maximise acceleration. You’ll roll up mountains and time your shift in form to maximise your descent. It was a fantastic test of timing and one that’s super rewarding when you master it.
It needed something else.
When the action relies heavily on the environment to add depth, you need every stage to be exciting. Fortunately, every planet looks great, and they are unique, but sadly, the fun gradually plateaus. As the alien landscapes become flatter, the opportunities to soar are reduced! Therefore, you lose a sense of freedom that the opening stages offered, and this was disappointing.
Exo One is all about speed and exploration! You’ll rocket miles into the air and crash back to earth while breaking the sound barrier. As you perfect the movement of the ship, you’ll reach new heights and speed faster than you could ever imagine. The desire to go higher or faster never dissipates, and it’s only the level design that prevents this. I wish the developers had added more elements to the gameplay to ensure their core concept remained enthralling throughout.
Exo One is gorgeous.
Exo One is undeniably one of the best looking titles I’ve played in a while. Its variety of Sci-Fi-inspired environments and beautifully blurred imagery will capture your attention. Then there are the little things that stand out! You’ll adore the glow of the ship as it increases its speed and the seamless transfer from sphere to disc. Furthermore, it’s incredible when you fly through an electrical storm and the surrounding landscape becomes an incomprehensible mess. The developer’s eye for detail was amazing and graphically it is stunning.
This awe-inspiring aesthetic continues through emotive audio. With no goals to focus on, it was essential the soundtrack kept you going. The airy tunes accompany every moment, and this is supported by a brilliant mixture of sound effects. You’ll enjoy the wind rushing, thunder roaring, and the sound barrier being broken. Soaring to new heights enhanced these noises, and though it was loud, I adored it.
Exo One believes less is more, and this is no more apparent than its minimalist tutorial. Within a minute, you have the fundamentals mapped out and away you go. The developers clearly want you to tweak your skills as you go, and this was fine by me. Honing the finer points was half the fun and mistakes matter not. You’ll be smiling in no time as your ship blasts across every alien planet.
The main issue I have with any of these games is the reason to return. Once you’ve explored each stage and completed the loosely instructed tasks, there is nothing else to do. Yes, you are free to fly forever, but that eventually becomes tiresome. This isn’t a title that will keep you focused for hours. Instead, it’s excellent to help you unwind between other adventures.
Exo One is tremendous.
When a game has pretty much been created single-handedly, that deserves plaudits. Therefore, it’s fair to say that Exo One is a tremendous title that stands out from its peers. Its easy controls and excellent aesthetics make it a joy to play. If the developers had added extra elements to the latter stages, then it would have been perfect. It’s free to play on Game Pass or can be purchased here! Soar through the sky, absorb wonderful alien landscapes, and enjoy the relaxing ride.