I’m touring by way of the galaxy in a spaceship with a pig, a couple of aliens, and two closely armed mercenary penguins. I myself am a robot—named Robotic Baratheon—and I’m enjoying Für Elise on an electrical guitar I stole from a large library I found at the bottom of an ocean as we journey to a forest planet to find cotton so I can craft a teddy bear to give to an actual bear.
Not one of the above is particularly uncommon in Starbound, the 2D area-based exploration and crafting sandbox from developer Chucklefish. What begins as a quest to save lots of the universe from an historic evil rapidly devolves into a enjoyable and charming rabbit hole of tasks and to-do lists, some official but many more personal. Sure, it’s good to upgrade your armor so you’ll be able to defeat a quest boss who bombards you from a flying saucer, however in case you tire of digging for titanium ore you can instead spend hours fastidiously decorating your starship with furniture and wall-hangings you stole from a bipedal alien frog’s swamp-house. It’s up to you tips on how to spend your time, and Starbound is very simple to spend plenty of time in.
Like Minecraft or Terraria, the pixelated sandbox of Starbound entails plenty of mining, gathering of assets, stock management, shopping for, selling, farming, stealing, and crafting. There’s a large and sprawling universe out there stuffed with planets to go to: some green and leafy, some arid and sandy, some principally covered in ocean, some radioactive, swimming in lava, or covered in ice. There’s a lot to find: colonies of friendly aliens dwelling on the surface, forgotten civilizations hidden underground, flying pirate ships, indestructible ghosts, even tiny neighborhoods of gnomes guarded by patrolling robots. Not each planet is interesting, but enough of them are to make exploration worthwhile and fun, and occasionally surprising.
As you journey, explore, and collect, you start to upgrade just about everything within the game. Craft better armor, improve your mining software’s range and power, unlock new tech that permits you to double-bounce or flip yourself into a spiked rolling ball, and create protective suit modules that let you visit planets cloaked in radiation and deadly temperatures, which give you access to new assets you should utilize to build and upgrade even more. Even your crafting tables themselves could be upgraded to permit you access to newer and higher gear. Very little of this progression is defined in-game, so if it’s your first time enjoying you’ll most likely be visiting wikis and boards as recurrently as you visit new planets.
There’s a main storyline that can send you hunting by means of the galaxy, searching for hidden civilizations and historical relics, and battling by some visually fascinating ranges and difficult, highly effective bosses. Side quests are principally of the forgettable, radiant variety: fetch me this, deliver me that, craft me X amount of Y, discover my idiot buddy who has the ability to teleport but by some means can’t escape from a shallow puddle of water with out your assist—however they’re typically easy and lead to profitable the favor of NPCs who could be recruited as your crew. As your crew grows, you’ll be able to begin increasing your starter ship, though in contrast to the houses you possibly can craft from scratch, most of the customization of your ship is restricted to cosmetic decorations.
Starbound has three modes: informal (dying is barely an inconvenience), Best survival games (you drop objects upon death and must eat), and permadeath. There’s also co-op, so you’ll be able to play alongsideside mates either on a dedicated server or just by joining their game through your Steam list. I attempted a bit with Tyler through Steam. It was good enjoyable, it labored very well, and I hope to play more.