4 Hugues Ross Writes a Devlog: Games I Play #11: Starbound
Hugues Ross

12/17/13

Games I Play #11: Starbound

Really, it had to be this one. I've been anticipating Starbound for so long, and it came out so recently that I could think of no better game to return with than it. Technically, the game's still in a highly incomplete state. Despite that, the game has tons of content already so I feel pretty safe giving my impressions of it so far.

-Overview-

Starbound is a game in the exploration/mining/construction genre that Minecraft seems to have spawned. Like Terraria before, it plays in a 2d plane  and is much more combat-heavy than Minecraft. What separates Starbound from just being an effective clone of Terraria is mostly gained from its' setting. Terraria throws around a bit of everything: sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, and just plain weird. To compare, Starbound is distinctly science fiction. In fact, Starbound(as the name might imply) is all about space! You can travel to alien planets, find resources and settlements, and slowly work your way up from low-tech stuff like pickaxes and swords to high-tech things like blasters, space suits and 3d printers. The game is also separated into technological 'tiers' which are unlocked by beating bosses.

-The Good-

The game has tons of variety. You can fly to a nigh-infinite number of planets, each with their own randomly-generated alien inhabitants. You'll find all kinds of settlements and structures built by the game's sentient races, and even planets with similar biomes and characteristics can look extremely different. For instance, when I landed on a grassy planet, I did not exactly expect a village of robots in the middle of a field of giant tentacles. Along with this, you can find all kinds of randomly-generated weapons off of enemies or in abandoned chests. Breaking and placing blocks feels quite a bit nicer than most games of this sort, because you can work with more than just 1 at a time. You can also place any block in the background, which makes things much simpler than having both foreground and background blocks.

-The Bad-

Later on, almost all craftable items cost pixels, the game's currency. It feels like you never have enough to make the items that you want, even when you have plenty of materials available. The easiest way to get pixels is to fight monsters, but it can take quite a long while later on to get what you need. Another problem is that because there are so many different types of stone and dirt, not to mention the many varied decorative objects, your inventory fills up at an alarming rate. Another small annoyance is that you can die very easily. When you die, you only lose a small percentage of your pixels, but it just makes collecting them a bigger pain. Finally, you always warp onto a planet's surface in the same location. This means that building your house on a planet ANYWHERE ELSE is a massive pain in the butt(Also, building a giant hole in the ground where you spawned will cause you to warp into a death pit whenever you return to the planet).

-Final Thoughts-

Overall, the game's really fun, even in its' unfinished state. It cost me 15 dollars, and since the game was released two weeks ago I've put 28 hours into it. Even then, I'm still not done with the available content. For the 15 dollars I spent on it, this game has been worth every penny and then some. Personally, I highly recommend Starbound, especially to people who played and enjoyed Terraria.


You can buy the game here.
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