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 (36,982 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."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (20)

December 15

The winter update trailer is here!

In my recent post, I mentioned that we’d soon be uploading a trailer highlighting some of the biggest changes we’ve made to Starbound since the last stable build. Without further rambling, here it is!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Sz2zr3pZEo

As Finn noted yesterday on Twitter, we’re trying to push these updates to the unstable branch next week and, depending on how that goes, pushing them to the stable branch in January.

Katzeus at Starbound has done an awesome job summarizing most of the changes here.

Thanks again for your continued support and patience. :) Enjoy the trailer!

ːSBpenguinː

126 comments Read more

December 12

[DAILY BLOG] Weekly Update Round-Up 12/12/2014

Hello hello!

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
What a week it’s been. I found myself tasked with examining and improving overall game balance. For a game packed with randomized elements that has undergone some pretty significant changes in the combat system, this proved a bit of a long-winded process that involved a lot of convoluted spreadsheets. These changes involved addressing the way damage from weapons and monsters scales up across the tiers, along with health scaling on enemies. It seems to be shaping up pretty nicely so far.

One of the biggest changes to hit has been the implementation of a new energy system. The team has been aware for a good while that the guns were in need of attention. The biggest problem was that players didn’t really have a lot of options beyond burning through all their energy while shooting, and then would be left waiting an obnoxiously long time before their bar refilled enough to be of any use. With balance being a key focus at this time, it seemed a good opportunity to address it.

The biggest change is how your bar regenerates energy. Rather than a slow and constant regeneration like the one you’ve likely experienced in our stable build, the regeneration will now only kick in if you haven’t used your energy for a few seconds. To compensate, the regeneration is much faster than it was before, restoring your full energy in just a few seconds. No matter how big your energy pool gets, it will take precisely the same length of time to refill, effectively giving you both more shots and even more energy per second.

This new system doesn’t come without risks however. If you use your energy without allowing it to time to refill, completely emptying it, your bar will lock during its regeneration cycle, restricting you from using energy in any way shape or form until it has completely refilled. This means you will not be able to fire your guns, nor use energy-based techs.



The general consensus among the team so far is that new system feels much better than the old one. It opens up opportunities for strategic play and encourages players to be mindful of their reserves. In the wake of this change, my next task is to rebalance energy levels across armors. That’ll be fun!

In any case, that’s it from me. Have a nice weekend folks!

---

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
Recently, we made a change to how the nightly manages its current working directory (to make managing servers more sane, to make launching the command line utilities less mysterious, and generally have less spooky action at a distance, and to potentially support multiple profiles in the future), but unfortunately, that change broke the launcher. I’ve worked for a few hours and found that there seems to be no good answer to our problems without reverting the changes we made, and we can’t really justify reverting those changes.

As mentioned, the root issue is now that we’ve made changes the launcher has the wrong working directory. In order to fix that, I had to move the launcher to the proper location (or do a change to the working directory for the starbound executable, which is what the change was originally intended to prevent.)

Eventually, we decided to move the launcher to the same directory as the executable, but now it’s screwing up because Steam wants it to be in the same location as the current stable.

We can’t change launch paths by branch, it’s set per depot, not per build. We’re sending in a support request to Valve on the matter. It might be as simple as “just add another launch option that’s valid on the other builds, but invalid on the stable, and it will try them all.” And I’m hoping it’s that simple. But it’s not something that I want to test out right now without knowing for certain.

So what does this mean to you?

The nightly on Windows and OSX (OSX was broken as well by the same change, even though it doesn’t use the launcher), you will need to launch the executable directly, rather than through Steam, until further notice.

Executable launching instruction can be found using this elegant and finely crafted link.

---

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
Evening! So in preparation for the next stable update, we’ve been arranging things so that quests and missions all work together as part of a functioning progression. For my part, I’ve been rebalancing the several missions in the game so that they are as challenging as they need to be for when you reach them.



What is the context of this dismal cavern? You’ll have to find out for yourself!

It’s all coming together! If you haven’t already seen, we’re gathering lots of quickfire feedback for the current nightly build to see how people are finding it. Hit us up if you’d like to chip in!

40 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
389 of 507 people (77%) 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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121 of 190 people (64%) found this review helpful
63.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
Early Access Review
It WAS fun for the time being, I use to non stop play it. But the updates just stoped comming, I bought this game thinking "Oh, Im gonna do everything! Then it wont get boring because new stuff with come out!"
(A year later)
*Boots up TF2*
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100 of 158 people (63%) found this review helpful
87.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
Early Access Review
So much has been promised with this game, but so much hasn't been delivered- various dates for release stages have been pushed back (often repeatedly), much hyped content (ship upgrades, etc) has never been implemented.
It's easy to get pretty much high-end gear and have a huge fortress of your own built *full* of scavenged/crafted furniture/chests/etc without much game time- the number of hours I've spent on this game is including several times where patches broke save files, so I had to start again, and a lot of time leaving the game running while I go and do other things.
As of currently, there hasn't been a proper content update in quite a while (not counting the "night" updates, which are sort of unstable unofficial patches/updates. So it's beginning to seem like this game will never be truely completed, and therefore never follow up on all it's promise, which makes me sad as it started off seeming awesome.
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81 of 128 people (63%) found this review helpful
54.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
Early Access Review
Prime example of why paying for Early Access games is generally not a good idea.

Broken promises and terrible customer relations hang over this game like the grim spectre of death. You can have some fun with it, but you're far better paying for a finished game and just waiting untill they (hopefully, eventually) get this finished.
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77 of 122 people (63%) found this review helpful
71.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 2
Early Access Review
Extremely let down by this one. Good concept and the bones of what could be a great game are in place, BUT this game can be considered a "not worth it" at this point after ten solid months with NO UPDATES TO THE STABLE BUILD. Wait for a stable update and spare yourself the grief of waiting for development at glacial speed if you actually want to own the game to play the game.

There are some nice things about the game but for now the bad things just outweigh them too much. Check back after a stable update.

<Even now after the pretty movie hypestravaganza>

Proof will be in the pudding.

Very, very disappointed with the decisions of the dev team to not engage the steam community and address their concerns after being more than willing to take thier money. This game has been handled badly in the early access program. I do not care if you agree or disagree, I'm simply pointing out facts of what has happened during early access to prospective buyers. This should not be a model for other developers to follow.
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40 of 58 people (69%) found this review helpful
130.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 3
Early Access Review
This game had tons of promise when it was first released on Steam way back when. Unfortunately the developers of this game have failed to come through on the promises of all the planned features on the store page. Do not buy this game untill the official release, if that day ever comes. I'm to the point that I do not believe that day will ever come and that is why I'm writing this review almost a year after buying and playing the game. I've been waiting for a playable game for a long time since buying this and the developers are failing miserably. There could be so much to love with this game, but it all seems like a fantasy at this point and nothing more.
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75 of 121 people (62%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
Early Access Review
Amazing concept.
Terraria with space travel.
But the game feels like it'll be in early access forever- I rarely use the steam workshop, and it appears thats the only thing making this game content rich. When the developers "complete" this game, and take it off early access I'll give it another chance but it's just so bland, you're better off playing terraria some more.

It's pretty well polished, but I'm just not interested in playing this game any further until it's been completed- after a few hours it's done holding my attention and I just wish this game wasn't such a dead end.
I totally understand imaginitive gamers spending days and weeks in this game, but the reality is I just don't have the time or patience to dedicate to this game enough to let my imagination take the reigns. It needs more substance.
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80 of 132 people (61%) found this review helpful
33.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 2
Early Access Review
Starbound just... isn't as good as Terraria. it's kind of that simple. and the direction it's going, I'm not sure it ever will be as good as Terraria (let alone BETTER). Starbound is more grindy, the progress is more forced - you can't just run around and explore and do what you want - and you can't expand the one thing you want to expand: your ship.

I kind of feel like: someday, Terraria will add spaceships and galaxies... and then no one will ever think about Starbound ever again.
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72 of 118 people (61%) found this review helpful
41.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 2
Early Access Review
Surprised someone can get away with selling a game that is this incomplete. After coming back to this game after several months (almost a year now) I see little to no change in gameplay or features. No idea how user rating is "very positive" when all of the most up-voted reviews are negative. This game is as dead as its late game gameplay. Would not recommend.
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37 of 56 people (66%) found this review helpful
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 3
Early Access Review
This game is nothing but a bunch of broken promises. Like many others who have posted a review, Starbound offers a great concept, with a pitiful execution.

There's not much to do in this game other than landing on some planets and collecting resources. The only redeeming quality this game has is the music.

If you're looking for a great exploration/survival game, do yourself a favor and look into Terarria. It has a ridiculous amount of content and you'll undoubtedly get more hours than what you've paid for.

Starbound is absolutely dead in terms of devlopment. Chucklefish hasn't made any significant improvements to the game since I've made the purchase a little over a year ago.



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41 of 64 people (64%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
Early Access Review
Bought this game a long time ago. Still waiting for the full release/ better optimization.. Waste of money for me.(For right now)
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36 of 55 people (65%) found this review helpful
73.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 3
Early Access Review
Some promising developments, but there has been no progress since last december. The Same 10 quests. A few more environments. Maybe a few bug fixes? A few mods developed by the community are interesting. I doubt any major relases are forthcoming at this time.
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67 of 111 people (60%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
Early Access Review
Not even remotely worth your money right now. Just wait. For the love of god, just wait.
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60 of 99 people (61%) found this review helpful
75.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 2
Early Access Review
As much as I love the concept of the game, in its current state it isnt worth it.. really slow patches (havent seen one new stable version since i first purchased the game earlier this year), planets having all the same lvls leaves next to no reason to explore.. shame really with a bit more love from the devs this could easily be my fav game ever as i love the gameplay and 2d pixel style.
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97 of 166 people (58%) 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. It's as if the devs have shifted their attention elsewhere. The devs also decided to move their office to a new location right afer releasing the initial state of the game, which drastically halted any true means of progress. They talk about updates on their site often, but they barely ever impliment them. When they do, none of them are game changing.

This is the kind of thing that makes me want to steer clear of early access more and more. When this happens to a different game in the same nature, my friend likes to label it as being "starbounded".
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32 of 49 people (65%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 4
Early Access Review
I've bought well over 100 games on Steam, some of them early access, but Starbound is the only one I really wish I could get a refund for. Just a total disappointment. Looks fun and expansive for the first hour or two, then the realisation starts to set in that the game is astoundingly empty. Terraria kept me entertained for over 250 hours. Starbound bored me after 3. Waiting months upon months for updates that were supposed to come 'thick and fast' is fun too. And don't forget the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ developers who do everything they can to remove criticism, blame the playerbase for their own failings, and generally s*** on the people who gave them money for their unfinished game with the ludicrous expectation that they would ever finish it.

Ruined my faith in early access entirely. Don't buy.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 30
Early Access Review
Starbound....The game that never was. Promised so many features, and new ideas on the heels of the huge success of Terraria, however it was all a guise. No update in over a year. Mant ideas that had the community excited about the game have been shelved. Buyer beware, an incomplete gamer most likely to never been complete. The forum itself is plagued by mods who delete anything negative that would steer potential buyers aware. Just play Terraria if you want something like this, or wait for Terraria 2, which is likely to be a full gae before this gets the next update. RIP wallet, Gaben why???
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62 of 104 people (60%) found this review helpful
90.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
Early Access Review
While I did enjoy playing this game, I would not recommend buying this game, yet. There just isn't enough in it. It boasts a neverending universe, but has the same repetitiousness throughout. It's fun and enjoyable for the first time, as you make your way through the resource ranks, defeating bosses and making your way into the next sector, but when you reach the end, that's just it. Nothing more to be done. You can always build something nice, but most of the block variety is uncraftable, and must be hunted out and collected. The bosses are challenging, but can easily be nerfed with just a few well placed blocks. This game boasts potential, but it's been too little too long since its last update, and its grand promises are becoming little more than empty words.
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27 of 41 people (66%) found this review helpful
20.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 2
Early Access Review
Don't buy it. Its in development limbo with no real chance of it getting done in any real timeframe. Just go play Terraria instead. Even without mods, you'll get a far more interesting and promising experience than with Starbound.

Save your money. Fund something worth it.

Edit: Broken nightly builds that are buggy all to hell do not constitute "updates" in the way that a stable build would. 8 months since the last stable reflects very poorly on their ability to progress with development.
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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Early Access Review
Early access fail.
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