In Starbound, you take on the role of a character who’s just fled from their home planet, only to crash-land on another. From there you’ll embark on a quest to survive, discover, explore and fight your way across an infinite universe!
User reviews: Very Positive (36,429 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 4, 2013

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We were at a point in Starbound's development where it was already pretty fun, so we decided to release the game in beta through early access to ensure the community has a chance to help us shape the game.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“It's difficult for us to give a solid release date-- we're not so good at those, we've learned. Starbound still has a ways to go, but we'll keep you posted via our website!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The full version of Starbound will contain a plot and sidequests, more dungeons, more bosses and lore, among other features.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Starbound is already extremely playable and contains a vast amount of content in its current state! There are two beta branches currently in use-- [STABLE] and [NIGHTLY].

The stable branch receives less frequent updates, as we're currently working on one big update that will complete the first few tiers of player progression.

The [NIGHTLY] branch is updated automatically every night, and is for players who want to track progress or simply can't wait to check out shiny new features. :D Play at your own risk, though, as these builds are not tested and bugs/crashes are likely.

Find out more about how to opt into the nightly builds here: http://playstarbound.com/support/#unstable

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price will likely change after Early Access!”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We post daily progress updates on our blog, and we're always hanging around IRC.”
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Recommended By Curators

"If Terraria was Minecraft in 2D, this is Minecraft in 2D in Space. It's great."
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Recent updates View all (16)

November 24

[DAILY BLOG] Weekly Update Round-Up! 24/11/2014

Sorry this is late! I was dealing with Englandflu on Friday. Englandflu is no joke.

ːpizzasliceː

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
Evening folks! I imagine most of you have seen Supernorn’s post from last week about the sweeping additions to our crops and food recipes. Working off the robust documentation that was put together by Rosiedeux, I spent a couple of days last week mapping out precisely what buffs each cooked item would bestow. A daunting task, considering there is about 200 of them at present. I’ve ultimately settled on a system largely governed by the ingredients that make up each item.

In our new structure, our ingredients have a “weight” assigned to them, based on their value. Crops that take a considerable length of time to grow are almost guaranteed to have strong buffs associated with them, while fast-growing crops and ingredients you purchase will typically have weak ones.

As an example, potatoes are one of the first slow-growing crops the players will get their hands on. When used as an ingredient in a recipe, the resulting food item is almost guaranteed to provide a 20 point buff to maximum health. Typically the highest end ingredients will provide either a single strong buff, or a pair of moderate buffs.

In recipes that have you combine multiple ingredients together with the same buffs, their effects in turn will combine, either increasing their immediate effectiveness (rate of healing, energy regeneration, etc), or extending the buff duration. This means that the more high-end ingredients that are involved in a given recipe, the more substantial the buffs will be. Attentive players who get to know the effects of certain ingredients may even be able to assess the precise buffs a recipe will have, before they’ve even made it.

It’s worth mentioning also that most food buffs are able to stack with buffs provided by stims or capsules found in the environment. For instance, a bon bon will imbue the player with a 25% running speed buff that lasts 30 seconds, during which time the player could use a green stim to have their overall running speed boosted as high as 75% until the respective buff durations end. If you need to get out of trouble quickly, this could prove a valuable escape option.



These changes to our cooking system also necessitate a change to our cooking table interface, albeit a relatively small one. The categories of main, side, desserts, and drinks were not especially helpful to begin with, and in a new system where players want to know at the very least what type of buffs they can expect, it made more sense to provide categories that reflected that. We’re still leaving the discovery of precise effects to the players, but the categories now cover health restoration, maximum health boosters, energy regeneration, maximum energy boosters, mobility buffs, and the mysterious “other” category. Please excuse the placeholder graphics that I haphazardly put in there. We’ll hopefully get one of our artists onto creating nicer icons soon.

So with that whole structure all planned out, I’ve spent most of my time today making all the food items actually functional, providing their intended buffs, and available to prepare at the cooking table. I’m about halfway through all the recipes at this point and hope to get the rest finished tomorrow. The next step after that will be going through and structuring the progression of recipes. The intent is that players will start with only a couple of basic recipes, but as they discover new ingredients and cook, more recipes will be unlocked. The most potent recipes will likely be off limits until you’ve either worked your way up through cooking experience, or until you’ve earned them by completing specific quests.

I’m going to leave you tonight with a glimpse of some of the cool stuff Tiyuri’s been working on. These bad boys are going to tie into one of our quests. How, exactly? Who can say? ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQvCkUME8rE

---

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
Oh dear lord, I don’t think I’ve made an update since…

<checks post log>

Sep 8th???

Oh, ummm… <looks around nervously> I uh, I think we’ve done some things since then, yeah, let’s check git…

<git log –since=”sep 8″ | egrep ‘^commit’ | wc>

1482 2964 71136

1482 is a lot of commits, okay, I’m sure I can find one thing to talk about at least, it needs to be super duper important too. What to post, what to post..

I’VE GOT IT

I give you the beachball:



And the paper plane:



In all seriousness we have all been working crazy hard trying to get the next stable update out, and have been making really really good progress. It’s just that some of us <cough> forget to do an update for a while. Since I posted last I’ve finished the new status system, the new liquid system, and I’ve done terrain gen stuff, lua bindings stuff, networking stuff, tech stuff, bugfixing stuff… lots and lots of stuff.

Back to work!

---

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
While Kyren has been laying some groundwork to allow proper terrain generation for Ocean planets, I spent the week implementing a new monster type to live in them: large, aggressive fish! I’ve spent a lot of time in the pool testing and even though they’re simple, they’re a lot of fun to fight and should make Ocean exploration satisfying and dangerous.


See you guys on Friday!

21 comments Read more

November 17

[DAILY BLOG] Weekly Update Round-Up 17/11/2014

Just linking to Armagon's post above, because it's quite long and Steam announcements have character limits!

---

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
Hey everyone!

Today I’ve been working on a new sub-biome that you’ll encounter: A swamp environment.

I’m currently working on some biome specific plant life and fauna, including some huge swamp trees! There’s still a lot of assets to create for the biome, but I’m pleased with how it’s looking. I’ve added the pine tree from the garden biome for size comparison:



The rest of the team has been working on finishing up Tier 1, balance testing, fixing bugs etc.

In addition to this, a lot of work has been going into crops and cooking recipes! No doubt you’ll be hearing some more about these soon.

Until next time, have a good evening!

---

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
Hey there! Have we met before? Today I’ve been working on adding detail to the first mission you’ll find in the game. Kyren has added a mission tab to the AI window so you can access them from your ship. If you’re in a party when you are deployed, your friends will go with you so you can play through together! After all, spacefaring is an experience best shared with good company.



This will be in the Nightly soon enough, if you’d like to take a sneak peek! What could be lurking down there in the dark anyway?



Have fun!

---

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
Hello everyone!

What a week this has been! lots of progress has been made, but I’m only going to focus on a few things for this update. As mentioned by Armagon in his earlier post, the food system is currently undergoing a huge rework. Everyone should say hello to Rosiedeux, who’s been working diligently on reworking Crops, Recipes, Craftable foods and more!

Now you’ll encounter more crops on the starting planet, meaning you’ll be able to collect ingredients and create food much earlier in the game. This greatly expands into the later tiers, allowing you to craft more complex foods by combining multiple ingredients.





A big change to the game is that alongside bandages, you can heal by eating food! Certain foods will heal you more than others, and higher tier foods will give multiple status effects, such as jump and run boosts!

To prevent buff spamming, the “well-fed” status effect will appear when you eat a food item, temporarily restricting you from eating more until it wears off. As an example, Fish & Chips will increase your max health by 20 points (until the ‘Well-Fed’ status wears off), while restoring 3.5 health points for a period of 60 seconds. Keep in mind that these will continue to be tweaked as they are added to the game, and will vary massively depending on the complexity of the food item.



Rosiedeux has mapped out which biomes and tiers you’ll find specific crops and ingredients in, including their buffs and durations. I won’t spoil anything by revealing all the details, but we now have around 200 recipes and 35 crops. Armagon is now going through the process of adding these to the game, while myself and Rosiedeux work on spriting the new ingredients. We’re also planning for you to be able to purchase more complex and rarer ingredients from the Infinity Express store at the Outpost. Crop Seeds will also potentially be available at the Terramart.



In Other News:

There’s been a lot of work going into the quests and missions system. The team has been working very hard on it, and you’ll hear about that shortly, but I will share this little thing:

I spent some time today tweaking and prettying up the parallax layers for the desert biomes. I’ve felt that some of the backdrop art could look much better, and I spent some time replacing a particularly ugly one with a new backdrop piece. I’ll be doing several variations of these to spice things up a bit!

44 comments Read more
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Reviews

“Starbound is one of the most impressive never-ending games I've ever played.”
9 – Polygon

“Starbound's delivering on its core promises even in its early access incarnation.”
Eurogamer

“This might be a bare-bones version of the game to come, but boy, check out those bones. The game's minutiae will be mapped out across various wikis for years to come, and many mechanics will be added and refined, but even now, Starbound is an enticing journey of discovery that reminds you just how exciting it can be to stare at a sky full of stars.”
Gamespot

About This Game

In Starbound, you take on the role of a character who’s just fled from their home planet, only to crash-land on another. From there you’ll embark on a quest to survive, discover, explore and fight your way across an infinite universe.



You’ll encounter procedurally generated creatures and weapons, discover populated villages and abandoned temples. Explore planets dotted with dungeons, eyeball trees and treasure. Make use of over a hundred materials and over one thousand in-game objects to build a sprawling modern metropolis or a sleepy secluded cabin in the woods, and do all of it alone or with friends!

Starbound lets you live out your own story of space exploration, discovery and adventure. Settle down and farm the land, hop from planet to planet claiming resources, or make regular visits to populated settlements, taking on jobs and earning a living. NPCs are scattered about the worlds, offering quests and challenges for those looking for a little extra excitement in their lives.


Key Features:
  • 7 playable races
  • A procedurally generated universe with unlimited procedurally generated planets
  • All content available in online drop in/drop out co-op
  • Generated dungeons full of unique enemies
  • Randomly generated monsters
  • Thousands of items
  • A deep crafting system
  • PVP gameplay
  • Own and decorate your own Starship
  • Develop your own home planet
  • Menacing boss battles
  • Procedurally generated guns and melee weapons
  • Farming, hunting and survival mechanics
  • Built from the ground up to support modding
  • Ongoing free updates
  • Multi-platform multiplayer

What will you find?

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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Os X 10.7 or later
    • Processor: 64 bit Intel CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Os X 10.7 or later
    • Processor: 64 bit Intel CPU
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
415 of 540 people (77%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Early Access Review
Feb, 2012 Starbound officially announced. Slated release is "summer 2012" *No beta is planned.
/ http://www.indiegamemag.com/tiyuri-unveils-his-upcoming-game-starbound/
/ *http://web.archive.org/web/20120302120922/http://playstarbound.com/faq

----------

Jan, 2013 - CF fails to meet its estimated 2012 release date for Starbound.
/ http://www.curse.com/news/starbound/44701-starbound-development-q-a-2-with-tiy-rho

Feb, 2013 - Ship upgrades are talked about by the developers and progress on them is shown. Tier3 is complete on one race.
/ http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?threads/irc-new-starbound-ship.15020/

Apr, 2013 - Pre-Orders for Starbound open. They put up a faq, along with pre-order bonus goals. These are: Starter pets, Fossils, Novakid race.
/ http://playstarbound.com/starbound-preorder/

Apr, 2013 - At this point beta is not the release slated for 2013. It was "when it is ready". Release was 2013, period.
/ http://web.archive.org/web/20130420182848/http://playstarbound.com/faq/

Apr, 2013 - All pre-order stretch goals are achieved. CF comments on surprise of raising one million in the first month alone.
/ http://playstarbound.com/thank-you/

Sep, 2013 - CF attends a Euro-gaming i49 convention, flying the team over for the span of roughly two weeks. Starbound world premier is given by Yogscast.
/ http://insomniagamingfestival.com/2013/07/16/i49/insomnia-49-to-host-world-exclusive-public-demonstration-of-starbound/

Oct, 2013 - CF edits the faq to remove questionable statements regarding release from it. Release time is changed to reflect the new "beta" in 2013 goal.
/ http://playstarbound.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/sbchronicleoctober.html
/ http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?threads/why-is-tiy-changing-things-we-were-promised-also-why-our-money-is-sort-of-evaporating.24843/
/ http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?threads/beta-release-discussion-december-4th-all-beta-discussion-goes-here-other-threads-deleted.25665/
*The second and last are noteworthy as being from Tiy himself.

Oct, 2013 - CF uses the first phrasing of "thick and fast" to describe phase one of beta. (Content that follows koala versions is mostly art assets.)
/ http://playstarbound.com/how-the-beta-is-going-to-work/

Dec, 2013 - CF releases the beta. Several quick patches are implemented but it is generally regarded as smooth release aside from forum and OS issues.
/ http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/12/04/life-is-beta-starbound-out-today/

Dec, 2013 - CF abandons the 100 planet level system for a 10. Same content, minus Armor Penetration. One of the largest mechanics changes to date.
/ http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?threads/12-10-13-patch-notes.47320/

----------

Jan, 2014 - CF fails to meet the 2013 full release estimate for Starbound. This is not the first time such a date is not met.
/ http://web.archive.org/web/20130420182848/http://playstarbound.com/faq/

Jan 2014 - At the end of the month the developers release the next patch. Furious Koala. Stutter issue "fixed", but still reported by many.
/ http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?threads/changelog-for-v-furious-koala.66574/

Feb, 2014 - CF decides to remove universe sectors compressing all the same content into one single sector. (Not implemented yet.)
/ http://playstarbound.com/23rd-february/

Feb, 2014 - At time of writing, last koala version. Is focused on preventing wipes ever again. Updates after this patch, can be pushed as soon as completed.
/ http://playstarbound.com/v-enraged-koala-patch-notes/

Feb, 2014 - Hotfixs for enraged become problematic resulting in five releases back to back.
/ http://playstarbound.com/issues-surrounding-hotfix-2-for-enraged-koala/

Feb, 2014 - Unstable branch is introduced promising even faster updates for those willing to risk the issues involved. Mostly art asset updates follow.
/ http://playstarbound.com/nother-update-new-unstable-branch-on-steam/

Feb, 2014 - Mods are promised to be added frequently and the office to help speed productivity. Skyrail and Asteroid belts are added, then no others to my knowledge.
/ http://www.joystiq.com/2014/02/21/new-office-means-faster-content-updates-says-starbound-creator/

Feb, 2014 - CF lays out a document promising features. Begins laying foundation for work on another selfpublished game at the same, and office work.
/ http://playstarbound.com/the-future-of-chucklefish-and-starbound/

Feb, 2014 - "beta updates should happen a lot more frequently - think several times a week instead of once every one or two weeks", and more office work.
/ http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.841508-Starbound-Dev-We-Want-to-Protect-Indies-From-Predatory-Publishers

Mar, 2014 - Weather is expanded in small art & coding updates in unstable branch during the month. Currently only affects events near the player.
/ http://playstarbound.com/unstable-update-march-19-2014/

Apr, 2014 - Work on the office continues. Ship upgrades mentioned last year, continue to be talked about.
/ http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?threads/ship-upgrades-and-some-new-shots-of-the-office.76554/

Apr, First week of - Ship upgrades still MIA, other big mechanic changes still not completed. Work focus shifts to monster parts. Koala remains unchanged.
/ http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?threads/a-quick-monday-update.76983/


I would like to take this space to give an apology for the rudimentary nature of this. Many answers given by Chucklefish have been phrased in a less then forthright way and across dozens of sources including ones that can't be linked such as TwitchTV. Furthering the problem is that things have simply been deleted or lost beyond the means of even the wayback to find. Just be aware everything I have stated is backed up by easily confirmed facts. Simply follow the links and view for yourself.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
209 of 276 people (76%) found this review helpful
98.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
Potential of the highest caliber. Updates less frequently than my grandma's facebook computer hardware. If they ever decide to update to what they promised I will redo this review.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
223 of 297 people (75%) found this review helpful
64.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
This game and company is the perfect example of why we should all stop tossing our money away on the early access explosion.

Seriously. Remember the days when we all purchased games that were released buggy, broken, and incomplete? Most of us complained. Some of us played the games anyways. Very few of us were not disappointed by the garbage we purchased.

This game cured me of purchasing early access promises forever.

While the game is playable and fun for a while, you really do get the feeling its over ambitious and will never be what you hoped for. I got my money out of it, but the disappointing updates tarnished that mild entertainment.

Its a fanboy title, and don't let their message boards suck you in.

Buy something complete and be warned very few developers of this stuff will give you quality titles like Terraria, SPAZ, and Dungeons of Dredmor.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
175 of 231 people (76%) found this review helpful
173.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Early Access Review
To quickly sum this game up, it advertised itself as the spiritual successor to Terraria, but they failed miserably. No updates in almost a year (Nightlies do not count, they are virtually unplayable), almost any form of criticism on their forums are banned, and the devs have decided to fund a new game while this game is still in the works. AVOID
Was this review helpful? Yes No
131 of 176 people (74%) found this review helpful
26.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Early Access Review
Don't buy this yet. At this point it's way to underdeveloped. Sure it's fun but don't expect terraria or minecraft level of quality. This is one game I can say I regret buying.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
101 of 131 people (77%) found this review helpful
136.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
Early Access Review
I want to like this game. I played a good chunk of it and it was fun. I want to like this game so much. I am incredibly upset that I have to recommend against buying it. I don't want to dislike it, and I suppose I don't; What I dislike is the idea that the game is dead in the water and looks like its going to be that way for... Well... Forever.

I got this game before it even came to steam. I bought the four pack straight from Chucklefish's main site. Played around in it, did all there was to do- I even have some hilarious screenshots of bugs that were fixed very early on. It was fun but eventually doing the same basic things over and over got very boring. The progression was basically broken past tier 2 (and there are 10 tiers) and if you wanted to make a nice base you had to luck out and find the right building materials on some planet. Which is fine, it was an alpha, I accepted it.

Fast forward to now. Almost nothing has changed. There is a little bit of tweaking here, some touch-ups there, but nowhere NEAR the amount of progress you'd expect from this amount of time. So I went back to their website and a wave of dread washed over me as I saw what I knew was the death knell of this game:

Several of the key developers advertising their personal pet project.

I heavily suspect they are using Starbound as a financial springboard for these projects. There is literally no other reason to do them besides ignorance. A studio as small as chucklefish can't AFFORD side projects like that, because all they do is take away from their primary project. Either they know this, and we're all being swindled so they can fund their pet projects (which, by the way, will likely be DOA, if not DNF, as most one-man projects turn out to be) or they do not realize this and they need to get their act together and put their personal projects on hold until Starbound is ready for release.

I am upset that I have to give this game a no-go. I wanted it to turn out good so much. The concept is here but the staff keeps side-tracking and delaying so they can work on petty dead-end distractions.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
71 of 94 people (76%) found this review helpful
64.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
Early Access Review
Starbound starts off feeling like it's going to be a great experience when you finish your tutorials and beam down to a planet to explore/build/fight Pokemon. An hour in and you're feeling pretty good about your decision to buy the game, you're feeling like this is a solid experience. A couple hours later, you've explored and seen quite a bit. Maybe you've built yourself a shantytown or a castle. However, you have noticed that the game can sometimes be very plain.

Eventually, the idea that the game is rather plain becomes so persuasive that you feel you need to say so or recommend a great idea for new content on the forums. There is only a short time now before you realize why Starbound has so many negative reviews. Enter Chucklefish, the developers of Starbound, some of them came from an optimistic place like Terraria and even more of these devs came from parts unknown. At first we wanted to give Chucklefish our money for Starbound, we even practically threw it at them and told them to shutup and take it. They were more than happy to take our money from us, as any company would probably be.

Days went by, months went by, we're very close to a year now, less than a month at the time of this review. There have been no updates to the game. Oh but wait, there are "nightly builds" which tout daily updates to the game, what you get when you opt into beta nightly builds is a mess that crashes so often that it should be a new meme. There are also Devblogs that advertise things that have already been in the game since it was added to Steam as something new they're adding to nightly builds. That's right, they're pretending old content is new content.

I wanted Starbound to succeed, I pre-ordered it and couldn't wait for all the rewards with pre-order. We were promised a new class and fossils you could dig up, we still don't have the pre-order rewards after all this time. If you go to the official website you may see a different tale, but I assure you that's only because they delete any bit of criticism from the site, no matter how honest it is. The developers of Starbound also have a hallowed history of flaming and insulting customers they disagreed with. Couple all of this with what they're doing now (advertising old things in the game as new) and you're left feeling that Chucklefish is just a gang of con artists.

I'm sorry my review is like this, but it's the truth. You would do well to stay away from this game until the developers in Chucklefish can be mature enough to deliver what they promised with no drama. If they don't deliver what they promised in this game, I will be buying nothing from them in the future. I might even do that anyways to make an example that it's not okay to do the things they did to your customers.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
89 of 124 people (72%) found this review helpful
84.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Early Access Review
Better than terraria in concept, but rarely updated,; tired of waiting for chucklefish to make this a finished deal, not recommended unless you like early access games that never get finished, ever.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
67 of 92 people (73%) found this review helpful
160.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Early Access Review
So many things wrong with this and I don't even mean the actual game.

- No actual updates to a game that is effectively in alpha and should see changes to its core frequently considering in how rough of a state even the engine is
- The so-called "Nightlies", unstable versions of the most current code made available every evening, are either viewed as updates or not, depending on what is more convenient for the person that is talking to the community
- Developers stated multiple times that anything currently in is just a placeholder when it was first released as an early acces game, yet none of the promised features have even been talked about again since then
- Merely having the launcher (which serves no actual purpose) open counts as "playing" the game, thus resulting in plenty of inflated game times (I have not even spent half of the time Steam says I've spent on this game actually ingame and at least half of the actual time spent was me testing simple item modifications)
- Moderators on the official forums, Reddit and Steam have engage multiple times in censoring of criticism, both regarding the behavior of developers and community managers towards the community as well as the current state of the game and the direction it is heading (if it even is going anywhere at this point)
- Quite a lot of money was spent on trying to relocate everyone to a new office in London, which would be a good thing if it was even remotely required to have all your employees in the same location for a completely digital product. This move came with a multitude of problems, as not only was important equipment stuck on a ship(!) in the middle of the ocean for quite some time, but also the only seemingly competent coder on the team was stuck in visa limbo for an extended period

These are just some of the problems surrounding the game, not even the game itself.
Now the actual game... the only positive thing is that it is relatively bug-free in its current state. Mostly there's nothing that could have any bugs, as in, there is no content. If you are looking at this and thinking it will be Terraria in space, you're mistaken. There are currently three bosses, which are all heavily tiered and either impossible to beat if you don't have the appropriate gear and total pushovers if you do. Beating one rewards you with an item required to unlock the next tier of space, which you are forced to go to if you want to get anything new. And yes, it includes mining up tons of ores for every single tier.
The "space" aspect, as in moving from planet to planet, discourages building permanent structures on planets, since you will be moving from one planet to another constantly. Since there is nothing on lower-tier planets that you can't also find on higher-tier ones, there's no reason to go back to them either. Even less so when you consider that you also don't need any of the previous resources for later items and blocks.
Moving from tier to tier also plays out exactly the same every single time. You arrive at a new planet, beam down and probably get almost oneshot by the first enemy you encounter, as whatever armor you have from the last tier will provide effectively no damage reduction from your new foes. These enemies meanwhile take barely any damage from your old weapons. Thus you hole up and dig down, hoping to find enough of this tier's new ores to make new weapons and armor, at which point you will be god again. You kill the new boss, get the item required to move to the next tier, then return to my first sentence.
This progression is supposedly going to be split up into three paths, which are essentially the usual tank/melee, ranged and mage archetypes, as seen in Terraria. However, this is not in the game yet and was last mentioned a couple months ago.
In fact the current development focus seems to be entirely on two things: terrain generation, which is the only thing that has been brought up multiple times in recent news posts, and decorative and vanity items. Both things that most definitely should be on the backburner at this point, as there is an already functional terrain generation, but barely any actual interesting content, be it progression-related items that would offer some choice instead of a forced path, well designed enemies and especially competent enemy AI, or a quest system that is more than just a glorified tutorial.

The only thing Starbound currently has over its content-heavy predecessor Terraria is modability. Materials, blocks, weapons, enemies, biomes, effectively everything you see can be changed by you with minimal artistic effort and a basic understanding of LUA. However, this is also where it ends. A lot of core structures that would be interesting to mess with are hardcoded, like an enemy's body composition, world interactions, status effect hooks and, mind-boggingly enough, inventory access. This reflects in just what kind of mods are currently classified as containing new "mechanics": Minecraft-style tech mods, which deal with a basic power system and ore-processing machinery, as well as some defensive mechanisms. One of the few mods that managed to create something unique with some mind-bending codework, considering the limitations, added "Bioshock Infinite"-style skyrails within the first month of the game's initial opening to the public - which were added as "official content" and the only new content in one of the few updates following that mod's release. Take that however you will.

All in all Starbound is at best a promising proof-of-concept, if trying to copy a Metroidvania with building can be called that. It has potential which I firmly believe Chucklefish is not capable of realizing, considering they have failed to even manage a community without banning voices that were offering valid criticism. Avoid at all costs.
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61 of 83 people (73%) found this review helpful
40.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Early Access Review
I bought this game when it was originally released on Steam. I gave it some time, and understood that being Early Access it would feel incomplete. I'm no programmer, never done anything of this sort, but after 11 months I was expecting a lot more content and polish. I might recommend this game eventually, but based on the progress they've been making that may not be until next decade.
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35 of 44 people (80%) found this review helpful
354.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
Early Access Review
I wrote a positive review for this game a long time ago, but things have changed (or rather, have not) and I feel it necessary to clear up some of the confusion the Steam userbase is suffering. Yes, you people could go read the official forums more often (or ever) but you're not going to.

Starbound is a 2D sidescrolling exploration game where everything is kind of randomly generated. It's like Terraria except it isn't chained down to the linear world types and just about every aspect is in an evolved state in comparison. First off, let's get this out of the way... Terraria is not the sequel to Starbound and only one person, Tiy, ever worked on Terraria. It is not made by the same people and should not be compared to it in anyway except visually and by the fact that both games are 2D exploration games.

That said, the game has digging for items like ore and treasure, building with blocks that can be placed in the foreground or background, combat with many different types of weapons and armor and you can explore different worlds. The different worlds are not just copy and paste like how in Terraria you may load two world saves but they are essentially the same thing with the same biomes. In Starbound, two planets (which you travel to through your ship that also acts as a safe house) are rarely the same aesthetically. The trees are different, the ground, the ore, all of that. Even the mobs are generated procedurally.

The combat involves using both hands. You can take up both of your hands using a two handed weapon or put a shield in one and even a gun in the other. The possibilities are very broad.

Building is also very enjoyable because it has a ton of depth to it. There are a lot of different styles and you can put blocks in the foreground to create walls, floors and ceilings. Or, you can put them in the backdrop to make blocks you don't collide with. This allows us to make a wide array of new things with insane levels of detail for a 2D game. You can even go as far as to make houses in the background to give life to your towns.

The game is also very moddable. It CAN be easy to make just about anything.


Now.... With the positive out of the way, we must talk about the negative. This game has been indev for a very long time. Yes, the devs release unstable builds frequently but those are buggy and cause a lot of online problems. A stable update has not been seen in this game since March of 2014 as far as I'm aware. That is completely insane to me. The state of the stable game borders disastrous. The online state of the game is unplayable. I have superadministrated two servers, one of which I was hosting myself and had access to the technical aspects. On both servers, CPU usage and memory usage spiked every time anyone did anything. Moving blocks, releasing sand, moving water, dropping items all saw the memory and processor usage go through the roof. I could watch the graphs peak. If I rebooted the server (flushing out all the memory caches and giving the server back its breath), someone would come on, find a cave and release sand from the ceiling. As it fell in such large quantities, the server would then grind to a halt and we'd see a 2,000 ms to 13,000 ms spike in latency because players have to wait on the server to process everything that is happening before it can register player activity, which creates a lag spike in the form of latency issues.

A server with these specs: Dedicated Hardware Dual Intel(R) Quad Core Xeon @ 3.00GHz 64gb Ram. 1gbs Upstream

Should not have problems hosting 5 people digging blocks for a half minute after a fresh reboot.

It has been discussed on the forums that there has been a long lasting memory leak as well as the game poorly optimizing how blocks and various other game mechanics are processed. The game does not handle memory usage well and that has been admitted by the devs repeatedly. The stable build people use to host the game is like this.

Not only is the online performance of the game terrible, but the actual framerate performance of the game can also dip when near a lot of objects or NPCs. Entities filling areas like a military camp on a planet can see framerates drop 15-30 frames within proximity. Even high end system users have reported this issue.

It needs to also be stated how the game handles accounts. It doesn't. In Minecraft, a user has to have a global account with Mojang to log into the game. In Starbound, there is no account system. Players just make a character and use it to log into any server. This is bad because it means that if you get banned, you can just make another character or change your IP address then log back in. Because you can make infinite numbers of characters, it also creates an issue where players can type out insanely long and convoluted character names making it impossible to be banned. As a host, I saw nightmares come to life where hackers would log in and cause absolute destruction, but all I could do was watch because the game would not allow me to ban people since administrator tools WERE NEVER RELEASED.... and the third party programs did not allow me to ban users with the ban command if their names exceeded a certain number of characters. And, again, since they can just make new characters, it didn't really matter if I could type their names.

Online is a hackers playground. Now, the fact there is no account system is bad enough, but modding is CLIENT SIDED! That means people can make mods and hacks then log into a server and use them. As long as they did not use any custom visuals, they can do pretty much anything. I saw a person bring a hand gun onto one of my servers that fired giant meteors at rapid speed and each one had an instant death effect. Everyone was killed instantly and the server stopped functioning because it created intense lag that could not be processed. We never got rid of him because his name was 'A"S: }{SD}{ AD:A"SD: lIlIlIlIlIlIl the THIRD' or some such nonsense. This is the state of online in Starbound. No tools to deal with these problems without having to rely on dodgy third party modder software and that can only do so much.

The exploration can also be a tad dull. While the game is procedurally generated, that actually only means that things look different. Nothing actually is different. One planet may be a desert and one may be a volcano planet, but they're essentially the same thing with a different coat of paint. You will find trees and plants on the surface, rocks and dirt, but that's usually about it. The NPCs have no AI and do not do anything other than run or fight. You can't claim land and colonize worlds unless you're roleplaying. Nothing is official. We were told pre-release we'd be able to officially colonize worlds, build towns and manage them and the people who live there. However, this is not the case. You can manually build on planets but you cannot claim the planet in your name and you cannot protect the land. Since you can build and store items in your ship, there is no real reason to go back to planets you've already visited.

You will find yourself getting items you need from one planet, going to your ship, visiting the next planet, doing it again over and over and over. The progression in the game is awful. You mine ore to make armor and weapons. Then, you make a boss summoning item. You kill that boss, get a chip that extends your ship's travel to higher tier worlds, repeat X times. That's literally all there is to it. The progression is limited to that, you learn new recipes like that and by building new work benches.

Now, it also needs to be said the devs have clarified that eventually, they are going to update the progression in the game as well as a few other aspects, but the development time with this game has lead to countless arguments on the official forums as to what the hell the devs are doing. I wish there was a 'Maybe' option, because if I were you guys, I'd wait. 5/10.
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52 of 73 people (71%) found this review helpful
97.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Early Access Review
Great game, but its been like a year without a real update.
>:s
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58 of 88 people (66%) found this review helpful
63.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Early Access Review
Got the game about a year ago, beat it in a few days.

What did I notice?

Past tier 3 or so (there's 10 tiers) the gameplay is extremely gimmicky- go to this planet, get this ore, get this armor, beat this boss, move to a new planet, get this ore, etc. I really wanted the game to be good, it was not that great.

They claim to be working on improving the game, but it has been released FOR TWO ♥♥♥♥ING YEARS (Yeah, it was released in 2013, it's ridiculous).

They censor anyone who points out that they're doing a god-awful job of providing what they were paid to in a timely fashion. Due to the unprofessionalism and laziness of the devs, I would not recommend this game to my worst enemy.

P.S. devs stop being ♥♥♥♥ please
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32 of 43 people (74%) found this review helpful
315.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
Early Access Review
As of now, I cannot recommend this game.
[Do not be deceived by my 300+ hour playtime; the launcher is broken, and doubles playtime.]

The game itself is quite fun and pleasing. The artwork is stunning, the music is amazing (especially the experimental tracks that haven't been added to the game...), and the story is engaging. There is a theoretically infinite number of procedurally-generated planets. There are six (soon to be seven) races to choose from, each with unique customization options.

There are, however, very few things to be excited about with this game. The current progression system (as of Rampaging Koala, the latest stable patch from April) is basic, and starts with you leaving your spaceship with your futuristic matter manipulator in hand... which you almost immediately replace with a stone (pick)axe, which is somehow better. The so-called "sandbox" is based around tiers. Although there is an infinite ammount of planets, most of them end up looking very similar and don't feel unique. There aren't nearly enough options for rooms and buildings to be generated in dungeons and villages, and so one prison is pretty much the same as every other prison. There is simply not reason, other than progression, to go to other planets. Much less build a house.

While hours of fun can be found in the game, it simply isn't captivating. The game is very linear which means one playthrough is much the same as others; there is no chance, no choice, and no chaos. The tiers can only be described as tedious, really only succeeding in limiting enjoyment of the game. The pixel system, bossfight resource costs, and constant grind ammount to nothing more than fake difficulty.

The races, as mentioned earlier, were a great idea on behalf of the devs. The excitement caused by this is crushed by the lack of any racial traits; aside from minor storyline differences (only at the beginning of the game), there is no distinction between races aside from physique. This is simply because Chucklefish doesn't want any race to be "better" than another: they have no faith that they would be able to balance the abilities. They instead plan to add racial traits as armor bonuses, as to allow everyone to access them (and essentially end up with seven sets of armor in the end, no matter the species).

This game had beautiful potential. Sadly, it has gone unrecognized as of yet.

The game is still in early access, which makes some of this excusable. However, Chucklefish has not revealed plans to address many of these criticisms; and while there are (very, very broken) nightly updates that can be opted into, (they only exist as a way for the devs to say "Hey! We're actually doing something!") the stable version of the game has not been updated since April (since time of posting, on November 17, 2014).

The game does, however, have some amazing mods. They of course don't make up for the lack of content, but they do try to help the game reach it's potential.
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45 of 67 people (67%) found this review helpful
13.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Early Access Review
I know it's an early-access game, but a bit more content would have been great before it was out for purchase. The last time I played it, there were a lot of placeholders for the item descriptions. Combat and mining are a bit wonky and they don't really compare to that of Terraria. Graphics are okay, but don't really do much for me. Never made it off the first planet and couldn't be bothered to collect all the materials to make the first boss. Also, the fact that you have to make a boss is a bit ridiculous. I can understand finding an item or completing some action to summon a boss, but finding all the materials to craft it is tedious. And if you don't beat it, you're stuck finding all the materials again. I'd avoid this game for now, until there are more updates and improvements.
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41 of 62 people (66%) found this review helpful
39.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Early Access Review
I'll be short and quick here: Massive potential with zero execution.

An interesting concept with amazing potential. A nice, yet quick-to-get-used-to soundtrack (I particularly like "Atlas") at least accompanies an otherwise empty-feeling game. Pretty much no promises were delivered over the course of this game's span.

In summary: The description for every shield in the game was "A description needs to be set for this item." or something of that ilk. Came back a year later and it still is.

To be blunt: The dev's are shi.t. Would recommend Terraria, not just because of a 500-hour playtime bias vs <40 hours here, but because Terraria boasts one vital detail: Its a complete f.ucking game.
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31 of 46 people (67%) found this review helpful
93.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
Early Access Review
Broken promises in terms of updates and basically any forward movement with the game in general. Hype and excitement met with complete disappointment.
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35 of 54 people (65%) found this review helpful
312.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Early Access Review
Not recomended in its current state. Do not buy.

This is not a good example of early access games.

May be worth a purchase when/if it ever nears completion, maybe.

I wouldn't recommend supporting Chucklefish or any of there "published" games until they can prove they can deliver a complete product with all listed feature. They even claim to have enough funding for development to continue for 9 years, so they are not starving indie developers. Money didn't seem to help them with this game, it may have made things worse. They became a "publisher"... so I don't think "Indie" really applies to them anymore. There are plenty of other reviews that state many of the serious problems with the game, associated communities, and the developers themselves. I won't rehash them.

Only there hype came "thick and fast, at break-neck speed."

Also, got to love the launcher bug! So many hours I didn't play!

Remember, kids, until further notice: "If you see the fish, don't buy that dish!"
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27 of 40 people (68%) found this review helpful
55.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
would not recommend and heres why. first the game play is slow moving, the upgrades are fast and leave you wondering what else there is to do and there is exactly that nothing to do. there is no greater goal in mind. build a city alright now what?
the bosses from what i remember were dissapointing all of them are weak against blocks, block yourself in and shoot them rebuild blocks when nessicary.
weapons dont make you feel special at all guns have a few shots before your enegry is depleted and cant shoot, melee is fun but weapon selection is minscule.
techs are the best thing about this game they make for interesting possibilties but run on energy, so having fun and shooting things is a bad idea.
if your looking for a fast paced game like terraria that makes you feel awesome with variety and hard bosses, special events, and things to do look elsewhere.
id look for a refund on this game but i know it wont happen.
3/10 stars
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22 of 31 people (71%) found this review helpful
72.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
Early Access Review
After almost half a year of absolutely ZERO meaningful content updates this game is now one of the few games I wish I could get my money back on. Whenever Chucklefish is done whiping it's ♥♥♥ with all the dollar bills it made off people ordering this maybe they'll actually finish the game they started.
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