Starbound is an extraterrestrial sandbox adventure game! You’ve fled your home, only to find yourself lost in space with a damaged ship. Your only option is to beam down to the planet below and gather the resources you need to repair your ship and set off to explore the vast, infinite...
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (56,542 reviews) - 89% of the 56,542 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 22, 2016

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Recent updates View all (47)

August 2

1.0.4 - Changelog

Hey, everyone! :)

We've just released a small stable update that should fix the OSX crash introduced by v1.0.3, among other things!

Starbound v1.0.4 Changelog
  • fix OSX crash when performing certain GUI actions
  • fix a graphical bug when fuel tank contains more than its maximum fuel capacity
  • fix bug preventing Dreadwing's visible damage state from changing
  • fix arm images in Nuru's portrait in teleport confirmation dialog
  • fix Blink Dash dropping through platforms
  • fix booster flame positions on T7 floran ship
  • fix some problems resolving facing direction while dual wielding e.g. fist weapons
  • fix some typographical errors
  • fix hover state in MM upgrade interface while an upgrade is selected
  • fix bug causing wand/staff projectiles to not track properly on win32
  • adjust a few item prices
  • adjust nutrition value of Toast and Potato Grids
  • better sound effect for Violium Broadsword special ability
  • better sound effect for Wooden Hatch
  • disable monster touch damage when they are in special invulnerable states (Spookit, Orbide, Peblit and Trictus)
  • increase chat bubble duration
  • revert a previous fix for players beaming into terrain; needs a more complex solution
 

373 comments Read more

July 29

1.0.3 - Changelog

Hello all!

We've fixed a whole buncha bugs, so we're updating stable again today!

Starbound v1.0.3 Changelog

Bug Fixes
  • remove unbalanced wormerang listing from penguin weapon shop
  • resolve issue of banner rendering in front of a bookcase
  • resolve issue where the Grand Pagoda Library boss would sometimes reset
  • resolve issue where some weapons would let you wall jump in distortion sphere
  • make ore nibbler critter capturable without exploding
  • remove inappropriate tag from farm animal eggs
  • no longer open multiples of the same scripted interfaces (Rob Repairo, Tech Console)
  • resolve issue where cultists would die on destroying a ballista in the Baron's Keep
  • remove elemental aura visual effect when changing weapons
  • resolve issue where techs would interfere with each others tool suppression
  • improve performance when player has a lot of quests
  • resolve some issues with grappling hook
  • bosses are now immune to healing from staff secondary abilities
  • some pixels in armors were bad and are now not bad
  • fix issue where crew ship benefits would reset on ship upgrade (this unfortunately resets your current fuel capacity and fuel efficiency benefits as they have been moved to a more reliable storage format)
  • teach NPCs how to use some trickier doors like wooden gates
  • npcs may now get stuck in the ground less often
  • make tech gui not crash when encountering unknown tech
  • fix 3d printer issue when removing objects
  • change power scaling of crew members to more closely match the power scaling of the player
  • make it so saplings don't break when they are unable to grow into a tree
  • players should no longer get stuck in the ground if they beam to a friend in distortion sphere
  • remove deprecated keybindings
  • remove reference to a missing asset for the Avian temple boss
  • gui adjustment to allow bigger numbers in the Terrramart shipment box
  • remove deprecated elevator recipes
  • fix tabbing issues in the codex window

Other

  • statically link Visual C++ 2015 for the win32 version of starbound
  • keep rotten food in the food tab
  • UI usability improvements to server connect screen
  • dismiss confirmation windows when the source of them is not in reach
  • adjustments to ore samples
  • make it impossible to starve to death during cinematics
  • pressing the key for a selected action bar slot now deselects the slot
  • non-elemental Fluffalo drop more plant fibre
  • adjust npc and monster placement for generated quests
  • grappling hook adjustments; increased range, functional dual wielding
  • NPCs will now beam away to join your ship crew as soon as you recruit them
  • natural materials will now magically match the hue shift of the biome when placed
  • using the paint tool with the default color setting will clear any hue shift on unpainted blocks
  • make vertical scroll bars start at the top by default
  • improve one-handed damage of NPCs
  • add some clothes and dialog for novakids in generated quests
  • change some confusingly inaccurate labels for paintings in the grand pagoda library
  • tweak Shockhopper projectile lifetime and damage polys


Visual C++ 2015 Launch Errors

Since release, some people have been unable to play Starbound due to Visual C++ 2015 runtime failing to install on their PCs. This tends to be an issue with PCs on out-of-date versions of Windows, and tends to be solved by updating your Windows service packs and manually installing the Visual C++ 2015 runtime, but some people have been unable to do this or have found that it hasn't worked for them.

We've statically linked Visual C++ 2015 for the win32 version of Starbound, which should hopefully clear up this issue for a lot of people. You'll need to select 'Launch Starbound - win32' when you launch Starbound on Steam. :)

OpenGL 2.0 Launch Errors

If you're getting an error on launch that says 'OpenGL 2.0 not available', please ensure you've updated your graphics drivers!

OS X 10.8 Launch Errors

If you're unable to launch Starbound on a version of OS X lower than 10.9, please try updating to a more recent version of OS X!

In short, it helps to keep your software up to date! If you find that you've tried everything and Starbound still won't run for you, please email us with no less than a description of the issue you're having, a list of your PC's specs, and a copy of your full Starbound error log (starbound.log in your directory). Here's a post with guidelines for reporting bugs. :)

355 comments Read more

Reviews

“Each time I beamed down from my personal starship into the 2D sidescrolling craft-em-up that is Starbound, I found an experience that shoots for the stars and lands squarely among them.”
9.1/10 – IGN

“The game had a fairly rocky "early access" journey but after spending some time with the final build, but it looks like it has finally become the game we were promised all those years ago.”
4/5 – The Escapist

“A charming space sandbox that will keep you busy and entertained for hours.”
84/100 – PC Gamer

About This Game



You’ve fled your home, only to find yourself lost in space with a damaged ship. Your only option is to beam down to the planet below and gather the resources you need to repair your ship and set off to explore the vast, infinite universe…

In Starbound, you create your own story - there’s no wrong way to play! You may choose to save the universe from the forces that destroyed your home, uncovering greater galactic mysteries in the process, or you may wish to forego a heroic journey entirely in favor of colonizing uncharted planets.



Settle down and farm the land, become an intergalactic landlord, hop from planet to planet collecting rare creatures, or delve into dangerous dungeons and lay claim to extraordinary treasures.

Discover ancient temples and modern metropolises, trees with eyes and mischievous penguins. Make use of hundreds of materials and over two thousand objects to build a sleepy secluded cabin in the woods, a medieval castle, or an underwater arcade.



Starbound has been built from the ground up to be multiplayer and easily moddable. You have the tools to make the universe your own and modify the game to suit your play style - add new races, biomes, dungeons, and quests - the possibilities are limitless.



  • Choose from one of 7 playable races and customize your character
  • Save the universe in a story campaign featuring unique characters, bosses, dungeons and quests!
  • You're the captain of your very own starship! Decorate it, expand it and use it to explore a procedurally generated universe
  • Colonize uncharted planets and collect gifts from your tenants - if they like you, they may even ask to join your ship crew!
  • Three game modes - Casual (no need to eat), Survival (eat to survive/drop items on death) and Hardcore (permadeath)
  • Craft thousands of objects - building materials, armor, weapons, furniture and more
  • Capture unique monsters to fight alongside you
  • All content is available in online drop-in/drop-out co-op
  • Built from the ground up to be easily moddable. You have the tools to make the universe your own - add new races, biomes, dungeons, and quests

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB graphics memory and directx 9.0c compatible gpu
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: Core i3
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Discrete GPU capable of directx 9.0c
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Os X 10.9 or later
    • Processor: 64 bit Intel CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Os X 10.9 or later
    • Processor: 64 bit Intel CPU
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Debian Stable or Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or later
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB graphics memory and opengl 2.1 compatible gpu
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Debian Stable or Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or later
    • Processor: Core i3
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB graphics memory and opengl 2.1 compatible discrete gpu
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (56,542 reviews)
Recently Posted
(ΘCÐ) Wanderon™
52.6 hrs
Posted: August 27
This game is my vision of a perfect space game, but in 2D

You want to explore different planets that have a variety of different structers/ruins/colonies with varying hostility? You can do that!

You want to have a home planet where you can have a big base and a colony? You can do that!

You want to do different missions and go on an adventure while making your ship your home? You can do that!

I love how every race of NPCs have their own unique personality to them, and if a war breaks out, it will impact their relation with you, i love how in some cases, the same race that was friendly to you on one planet, will be hostile in another.

I love the outpost, it feels more like a social hub, with several different shops that sell differnt things depending on what their area of experties is.

Colonies feel alive, you can come across different villages and colonies of various races, and each of these races have their own unique style of buildings and things you can find in their chests.

The only thing missing from the game is ship fights, god i would love to be able to install weapons on my ship and encounter pirates or different ships and have space fights, it would also be nice to come across different NPCs IN SPACE... but one can dream.

I haven't played multiplayer yet since the singleplayer experience is just amazing on it's own, I also haven't played around with mods yet.

There are a few bugs here and there, but nothing major or game breaking

Starbound is an EXCELLENT game for anyone who loves space games and wants a game with different planets and settings.

I'll give this a solid 9.5/10 the only reason it's not getting a full 10 is the fact that it's lacking space fights and things like that
Helpful? Yes No Funny
UnkownObstaklez
23.4 hrs
Posted: August 26
Amazing Game few bugs tho
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Koob (Mom)
52.6 hrs
Posted: August 26
was a pretty crappy game at first but once the new story came out i was hooked, extremly sad to end the story and found there was nothin more to do, but still a really great game would reccomned


10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Heartache
744.7 hrs
Posted: August 26
Y'all saying this games not as good as it used to be, lmao.
At the time of writing this review i have somewhere around 700-800 hours in starbound. its an ok game
yes things have changed
yes there was neat things in the beta.
thats the thing it was a beta. not everything is going to be the same.
honestly i think the new version is pretty ok, because i got bored of the old versions. to be fair it could have been better. but yall are saying this is the better no mans sky.
no mans sky is 60 dollars
this is 15 dollars
stop expecting gold to come out of 15 dollars
heck look what 60 dollars got no mans sky
Helpful? Yes No Funny
マウス carry me to global
15.0 hrs
Posted: August 26
>universe
>spaceship
>craft
>random worlds
>creatures
>farm
>bosses
>U$14,99 (R$24,99)

10/10
better than No man's sky
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nemesis
3.7 hrs
Posted: August 26
Better than No Man's Sky
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Slurmp
63.3 hrs
Posted: August 26
I realy enjoy this game.

The Good:
-Pleasent graphics
-Ok story
-Fun and unique weapons
-Diverse biomes
-High levels of costomization
-Awesome contraptions

The Bad:
-Easy bosses
-Repetitive main quest gameplay
-Cliche eniding (youll see what Im talking about)
-End loot is not worth it (youll see hwht Im talking about)

Overall, I give this game an 8/10

Not enouphe multiplayer options.

PS: Make it esier to find the "Fish People" on the planets they supposidly inhabit.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vintage
6.7 hrs
Posted: August 26
smh get a no mans sky mod and save 60$ its probably better than no mans even without the mod
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jackson12ten
30.7 hrs
Posted: August 26
Why are you reading reveiws!? Words cannot explain how AMAZING this game is! BUY IT AND PLAY IT! And I don't mean go watch it! Play it! Let it be YOUR EXPIRIENCE!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Flandre Scarlet
52.7 hrs
Posted: August 26
Had fun at the start of the beta. Stopped playing to wait for release. Not fun anymore. Interface is awful. Just not fun anymore.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
899 of 1,142 people (79%) found this review helpful
846 people found this review funny
Recommended
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 12
The game you play when your computer can't handle no mans sky
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
498 of 633 people (79%) found this review helpful
229 people found this review funny
Recommended
32.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
No Man's Sky ... but:
- 2D
- better
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
163 of 201 people (81%) found this review helpful
39 people found this review funny
Recommended
143.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
A very enjoyable game about exploration, where you can do lots of stuff, like:
-Build a house/village, with the choice to have people move in.
-explore the galaxy.
-do countless fetch quests for villagers.
-kill bad guys.
-battle monsters.
-be a guy who is basically a star dressed as a cowboy,
-hunt.
-become a superhuman through techs.
-find weapons.
-use said weapons.
-complete the main quest.
-ignore the main quest until you need to get some gear from it.
-watch fish people be openly racist about plant people.
-escape from earth on a ship.
-farm.
-mine.
-have fun in general.
-play multiplayer.
it's like No Man's Sky but 2d and from what I hear, better!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
285 of 388 people (73%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
146.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
*TL;DR at the bottom*

Look at the most popular reviews for Starbound and 90% of them are negative even though the overall review is 89% positive. While many of these negative reviews do address issues with the game, I do not think they are giving Starbound enough credit.

"Starbound is space Terraria"
I do not think it is fair to compare Starbound and Terraria. Yes they are both 16-bit adventure/sandbox games, but each plays very differently. Terraria is more about the gameplay and having fun. Starbound is about the experience. This game throws you into a universe and gives your character a story. Each game is fun in its own way. (On a side note I actually like the combat in Starbound a bit better. Terraria's combat is too "arcadey" for me, but that is the appeal of the game for some people).

"Progression is too fast"
I got this game years ago when trying to progress through the game was like trying to swim through maple syrup while handcuffed. I would spend hours looking for enough fuel to jump to the next solar system. Now many people feel that progression is too easy. There is a fine balance between too fast and too slow and it is hard for developers to get it right the first time.

"Interesting things have been removed"
I agree with this to some extent. A while ago there was an update to starbound that added new food and farming mechanics but removed hunger. I was sad because I really liked hunger, but they added hunger back. The devs can always add back old things if they feel like the game needs it. Sure, a lot of cool content was removed, but does anyone mention all of the cool content that was added? Ship upgrading, the outpost, new combat mechanics, etc. Yeah some cool things have been removed, but far more ccol things have been added. Most importantly there is something called modding. If you want temperature back, someone has made a mod for it. Chucklefish has a vision for their game. They felt like Starbound did not need temperature, so they removed it. If you like temperature and feel like it would make the game better, you can add it. Modding is not meant to fix the game, but it can enhance it or alter it towards your specific tastes.

----------------------------------------------------------------
In the end I think people are more vocal about what is wrong with the game than what is right, and Starbound doesn't deserve that. Does anyone mention the amazing soundtrack or solid 16-bit graphics? Very few. Yes the game needs critizism, every game does. That is what allows a game to become better. Just remember that this game can be a great experience if you don't just focus on the bad.

TL;DR
This game has issues but it also has many great things to offer. Look at more than just the negative reviews and you will find an amazing game.

*Edited to clarify my comments about modding.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
441 of 616 people (72%) found this review helpful
22 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
186.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
I liked this game back when it first came out on steam. When 1.0 came out, I figured I might enjoy it again. That wasn't the case. A lot of content was cut and even exploration feels much more bland and stale.

-Temperature system has been removed. This was one of the nice features back during the beta. Most clothing had function (Snow Infantry set was very useful) and it felt very relaxing sitting by a fire on a snow planet so you could warm up.

-Sectors have been removed. You used to only be limited in exploration by the temperature system and how warm or cool you could get. A forest planet in a sector would be just as dangerous as a lava planet on that same sector, and you would find the same resources on every planet in that sector until you moved on to the next one. This was a favorite feature of mine and really enhanced exploration because there was just as much incentive to going to the forest planet as the lava planet.

-Most techs are gone. I remember all the vehicle and flying techs, and how you'd have to find them to actually use them. Now that I can't use my bubble tech, I have to build giant pillars to get on avian pirate ships. And this isn't all, there was also a mech and some other vehicles. The only surviving tech vehicle is the boat, only now you have to waste pixels buying it instead of being incentivized to explore to find it.

-Randomly generated monsters and weapons have been removed. I enjoyed this because it added to exploration and had you wondering what kind of creatures and crazy weapons you'd find on a planet you'd land on. Every creature was unique and every weapon was unique, down to the name and function. This also added a lot of fun to exploration because of course, you wouldn't know what you're going to find.

-Story isn't that great. I honestly had more fun back when you'd build the bosses yourself in order to advance to the next sector and unlock more equipment and crafting tables. I thought the beginning of the story was fine, but the rest felt repetative and boring. "Find a ________ settlement and scan objects" gets very annoying and I tend to just drift away from the story altogether. I have yet to face the final boss because of this.

-Plenty of weapons and armor have been cut, and I don't mean the randomized ones you used to find on planets. I mean weapons and armor you crafted at tables. Copper and gold almost seem to have no use anymore, and I quite enjoyed those armors, as bad as they were, and copper armor and weapons were easily obtained in the early game, allowing you to take on more dangerous things. It felt like I was legitimately getting stronger and every ore had a use. Almost any type of weapon could be made from any type of ore. Feel like making daggers? No problem. Spears? Yep. Instead now, there are too few craftable armors and weapons, and it seems ores have gotten even more scarce.

-Further cuts include certain dungeons (USCM bases are a prime example), and you can no longer attack NPCs unless you break all their stuff. If I want to be a murderous psychopath and purge xenos, just let me do it please. On top of all that, there's little reason to go to moons or asteroids anymore. Asteroids would be one of the most dangerous biomes in the game with the best resources, but now there's pretty much nothing.

I will repeat, I LOVED this game in 2013. Telling people to mod it in is no excuse and it's the wrong mentality to show to developers.

I'll change my opinion if some of the good features are added back into the game or some of the many promises Chucklefish made are implemented. Starbound simply feels like half the game it was when it first came out on Early Access.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
126 of 185 people (68%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
99.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
I just finished the game, must say the disappointment still sinking in pretty heavily.

They went in so many directions during the development process and a lot of them had so much personality an flair, sad to see that in the end chucklefish ended up pretty much handpicking the most bland uninteresting pieces they had over all the years of development and called it the final product.

I've played the very first version of starbound and came back to check on how it was doing from time to time. Ironically enough, the finished product looks like almost a full rollback to their very first early access version.

Ultimately this is just a shadow of an absolutely amazing game that could have been.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
171 of 260 people (66%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
32.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 4
The galaxy need saving and you're all we've got.

Starbound is a 2D space/extraterrestrial sandbox game from Chucklefish that, after several years in Early Access, has been released as a full game. Earth and an organization made up of seven races, the Protectorate, have been destroyed by an ancient and powerful foe. As the last surviving member of the Protectorate, it is your responsibility to defeat this evil foe! Or you could completely ignore the main quest, go to a far away planet, build some houses and get rich from the rent payments. It's up to you really.

You see, when Chucklefish describe their game as a sandbox, they really mean it. Sure, there are limits to it, but there's a hell of a lot of stuff you can do. Starbound does have a story, and even if you want to focus on other stuff you're probably going through the story quests. The story is a tad bit ridiculous but then so are the Novakids, people made out of neon gas. These quests, the first few of them anyway, are also used to teach the player about core mechanics and they do a fairly good job of explaining the basics. You can focus on the story if you want to or you can do any number of things, perhaps you just want to build a house and a farm on a faraway planet, or maybe you want to create a colony of Avians, hell I've heard there's someone trying to recreate the Death Star so you could even do something crazy like that.

One of the most important parts of the game is your character's ship. You have the ship from the get go but its FTL drive is completely caput, you can travel within your starting system but that's it. Completing a few story quests will get your ship repaired and then the game gets interesting. Once you have your ship you can do whatever you want. Your ship is fueled with a resource called Erchius Crystals which can be found on natural satellites (you'll need special breathing equipment before you can survive on them). When fueled, the ship can be used to jump to different star systems and then can be moved to positions over whatever planet or satellite you wish to visit. The ship is quite small to begin with (still big enough to build all of the crafting stations) but you can increase the size of the ship by hiring new crew members and then using upgrade modules at certain numbers of crew. Your ship ends up being pretty big so if you want to go for the whole space nomad thing it's possible.

When it comes to the planets themselves, there's a reasonable amount of variety. There are quite a few different types of them, ranging from lush forest worlds to worlds so cold you'll freeze to death without the proper equipment. They all have risk factors, the safest worlds are classed as Low Risk but they also have the lowest tiers of ore (Copper, Silver and Gold). You'll be wanting to visit more challenging planets fairly quickly so you can upgrade all your different crafting stations to access new armour, weapons, tools etc.

From what I've seen so far, all planets have some wildlife, most of which will attack you but some animals don't pay much attention to you. Sometimes this is all you'll find on a planet apart from some random chests and the odd travelling vendor. However, some worlds will be home to some pretty cool stuff. Perhaps you'll get lucky on an ocean world and find an underwater Hylotl city or maybe you'll find a Floran settlement in the middle of a jungle (completing quests for NPCs in settlements is how you get new crew members in the vanilla game). Some worlds are home to Penal colonies full of prisoners armed to the teeth, others are home to long abandoned Apex Labs. There's no way to know what a planet will have before you get there (something I find a tad frustrating) so it can be tough to find what you're looking for but when you do find them whatever it is you want, it's very satisfying.

No matter what you decide to do in Starbound, you're going to spend a fair amount of time collecting resources with your Protectorate Matter Manipulator. The MM is basically a combination of the basic tools you usually find in this kind of game, it can be used for mining chopping down trees etc. It can also be upgraded with special upgrade modules that improve its effectiveness. Unfortunately, mining for ore is one of the weakest parts of the game. The mining itself isn't so bad (though the lack of a quick way back to the surface sucks), the problem is that you never find large deposits of ore, I've never seen more than seven or eight bits of ore together. Not a huge issue by itself but when you consider the fact that you've probably gone to that planet specifically to look for ore it can be aggravating to spend half an hour doing it and ending up with 30 or 40 ore, that’s not going to last long.

Another big issue with the game is its performance but it seems to be a case of luck of the draw as to whether or not you'll actually have any problems. Some people have had issues that make the game unplayable, other have had issues with the game simply not performing as well as it should. I've been pretty lucky and the only performance-related issue I've had is some trouble getting fullscreen to work but there's no guarantee that you won't have any performance trouble. The only way to know if you're going to run into trouble is to buy the game and see if it works, not particularly helpful I realize but worst case scenario you can just refund the game and wait for fixes.

A couple more things I'd like to mention. Firstly, Starbound has an awesome modding community. Starbound is definitely enjoyable if you're playing Vanilla but there are some fantastic quality of life mods as well as complete overhauls out there that make it even more fun to play. Secondly, the game's drop-in multiplayer works very well and while singleplayer is a lot of fun I find the game even more enjoyable when playing with a friend.

Verdict

Starbound is far from perfect but that doesn't stop it being a super enjoyable space sandbox game with plenty to do. It's well worth the price of admission.

Lone Ranger Reviews.

El K.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
164 of 263 people (62%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
294.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
First, I recommend checking out Tystarchius' review here, since my thoughts are basically a continuation and elaboration:
http://steamcommunity.com/id/tystarchius/recommended/211820

Like him, I wish there was a third "neutral" option: I can't recommend the game in its current state, but that doesn't make it necessarily a *bad* game. I want to be able to come back to this review in a year and just replace the whole thing with "edit: nvm". As it stands, however, there are simply too many flawed design decisions and silly/stupid mechanical mistakes to enjoy it.

There are numerous small missteps, so I'm going to just go for the big ones here:


* The gameplay loop is broken.

Quick definition: Gameplay loops describe the core set of repetitive actions that make a game fun, and are composed of multiple disparate elements. For example, in Doom, you're not JUST shooting monsters; you're also searching for secrets, which lead to treasure, which enhances your ability to shoot more monsters. Stardew Valley has a half-dozen systems that interweave - farming, fighting, socializing - that all positively influence and enhance one another; any given activity provides benefits to other activities, meaning time is never wasted and you're always making progress.

In Starbound, this loop is broken, as all of the various systems are disconnected. You can complete the game without ever creating a single settlement, planting a single seed, or taking a single randomly-generated mission to gain a crew member. For some reason, Chucklefish thought this was a *selling point* instead of a massive design failure. Being able to skip entire elements, systems and game mechanics is not good game design! Not only that, but these extra systems are completely superfluous, as they are *less efficient* than the core element of planet exploration. You can just run around collecting the resources, which is usually a much faster method than farming or questing.

The point of a gameplay loop is to give the players a break and let them focus on other activities before returning to the main progression. This keeps the game fresh longer and prevents burnout/fatigue, which is incredibly important in long-running games like this. Terraria's gameplay loop balanced this well: exploring (fighting, looting, digging) would lead naturally to the other elements, like farming (critically important buffs from potions) and building (new NPCs at a steady rate need housing), without forcing you to dump more time than strictly necessary if you didn't want to get fancy.

* The survival mechanics aren't fun.

First, hunger. This mechanic has never been fun for me, and its implementation in Starbound is no different. "Use a consumable item every X minutes/hours" is just an annoyance. Fortunately, food is generally abundant (defeating the whole purpose of the mechanic...), but more importantly, more complex and rare foods give you a ton of bonuses, which is pretty fun.

However, the Environmental Protection Pack as a gate to planetary exploration is incredibly lazy. It's just an armor slot that unlocks a few more biomes at a time, which are all coincidentally around specific stars. There's nothing interesting about it, just "oh, I can go to a jungle planet now, which was apparently radioactive before". This is likely to make each new biome feel exciting and fresh, but instead it just makes them feel uninteresting. This is exacerbated by the fact most mini-biome and "dungeons" (including villages) can appear in *any* biome, leading to Floran villages perched between volcanoes, Avian villages set in frozen wastelands, and beautiful flower gardens springing up on eternally dark horror-planets.

Speaking of randomization:

* The procedural generation is lackluster.

This is a doozy. I will grant that the planet terrain generation has improved *significantly* over the years since the first playable alpha, but it's still not as robust or interesting as Terraria's. Granted, Terraria has a few years' head start on Starbound, but it still needs a lot more work to be competitive.

My main gripe is that all of the "dungeon" spawns are literally identical, down to creature spawns, aesthetic decorations, and even treasure loot tables. (I once found two underground abandoned Glitch dungeons with an EPP mod in the exact same "random" corner box.) This means that if you've seen one Hylotl town or Apex resistance base, you've literally seen all of them. There's no mystery or excitement; it's just "oh, these guys again". This is pretty much inexcusable, given the game prides itself on randomization and the nature of these changes are trivial. The game generates entire planets! Why are all the dungeons wholly static?! If you need some suggestions, Spelunky released an interactive tutorial that explains how their rooms are put together! Why is this a problem for Starbound?!

* Progression and solar systems are goofy.

As mentioned above, the EPP is a silly, lazy content gate to different solar systems. I should be able to see icy planets toward the outer edge of a system while those toward the center are hot, and find a mixture of biomes and challenges across them for me to discover if I can or can't handle on my own. Just a handwavey "yeah you're good bro" to the next color of star is boring.

This also means the planets all feel samey, with some different art assets but the same gameplay. There's no difference between mining on a volcanic planet or a frozen planet, other than getting down from the surface initially. The progression of armor tiers is just basic stat increases, with a very uninspired range/damage/defense decision in endgame. It's the same process to collect ores from every planet with no differences in threat or difficulty once you've reached the appropriate gear tier. It's almost a microcosm of the game itself: dig past the shallow surface and underneath it's the same, over and over again, until you win or get bored.

This is where the survival elements could tie in with the colony system, had you any reason to build one. Except colonists don't care if they're on a lava planet or tropical paradise; their quests don't change, they don't ask for structural protections from the elements or anything, they just stand around like every other NPC villager and do little cute things until they're either attacked or have a quest for you. No "build a weather machine" or "help us set up a farm, but the soil sucks because it's a toxic planet", just "Billy got lost" or "there's a bunch of cultists out by that random lawn chair, can you go investigate?"


This review has rambled on long enough, so I'm going to end it here. I critique because I care; I *want* Starbound to succeed and get better, and the only way to do that is to complain - at length - about the numerous problems in hopes someone notices and starts to fix it. Mods will help in the future, but right now there aren't any to address the deep and jarring issues with the base systems themselves. Maybe in a year, it'll be finally finished, but right now...

tl;dr pls make game better tia
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69 of 102 people (68%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
69.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
It's nice that you added a decent story, but all the quests now just feel like filler, including the sidequests.

I want to love this game, but I really can't anymore.

I remember when campfires were used as heat, and there was actually a point in moving to other planets other than just making a b-line to the nearest fiery star or frozen star, just to click on some objects to complete the quest, and then defeat a dungeon and then move onto the next star.

This game used to be great. There was actually a reason to go to some random ♥♥♥ planet in the middle of no where, but now there's literally no point other than to make a colony, which I don't even see how it's useful in anyway.

If you like a very short main story, this is a great game for you. If you like a game with a good long story that actual feels like an achievement doing stuff, don't get this game, or maybe you should have back a few updates ago.

I have to say, it's a fun game, and it's a change from Minecraft or Terraria, or any other sandbox games, but until the devs fix the problems many others have stated, it's not worth buying.

In the current state that this game is in, I do not recommend it, but if Chucklefish were to ever fix these problems, definitely get this game.




Please Chucklefish, fix this game. It has so much potential to be an amazing game, but you've just wasted it.

5.5/10
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86 of 133 people (65%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
217.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
100% Recommend this game. You'll see as of the official 1.0 release, the majority of reviews are negative. I respectfully disagree with them. Did the devs make some shortsighted decisions while pushing the official release? They sure did. Are there things that used to be in the game that have been removed? Well yeah, you bet. Are there new mechanics that seem tedious and hold back the player, simple for the sake of holding back the player? Pretty much.

But guess what? This game is still. Not. Finished.

The 1.0 release isn't "The End" of Starbound, these devs have been with us since day one, the game has always been fun and has always been changing. Sometimes things get nerfed into oblivion, sometimes things are game-breakingly strong. It's a delicate task to balance something with so much content! AND THEY AREN'T DONE!

I have faith that this game will only continue to improve, at WORST this is a rough patch and in no way do the devs deserve the amount of flak they have received these past few days. If you're a little worried about purchasing this game right now, then hold off until it's on sale or until the majority of recent reviews are positive - it's your call. But don't let all the nay-sayers scare you away, this game is phenomenal and provides many MANY hours of fun.

I'm sure I'll get a lot of hate for this review but this is just the way I see it. I love Starbound through thick and thin, and I am deeply saddened that so many people turn their backs on it after being loyal for so long. The devs work hard and deserve praise, everyone makes mistakes. Now let's be positive and provide feedback, and see some changes for the better!

Thank you for your time.
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