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 (51,943 reviews) - 89% of the 51,943 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 22, 2016

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July 22

Starbound 1.0 is available now!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O6PUh3reG0
Hey everyone!

As you may have noticed, Starbound is out!
It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here!

"Starbound won't launch! What do I do?"
If you find that you can't launch Starbound after the update, please try deleting your Starbound directory and reinstalling.

Thanks everyone!

<3

Change log

656 comments Read more

July 8

Starbound 1.0 is Leaving Orbit on 22 July 2016!



In case you missed it, Starbound is coming out of Early Access on 22 July, 2016.

After ~5 years, the game we set out to make finally exists, and to say that it all feels a bit surreal would be a massive understatement!

While Starbound will be finished in two weeks, this isn’t the end. We will continue to update and support Starbound for as long as we can. We’ve got loads of cool ideas we couldn’t fit into 1.0 but hope to put into future updates.

Thanks again for all your support over the years! You’ve stuck with us, and it means so much.

Look out for more info over the next couple of weeks!

<3

Chucklefish

(original post)

907 comments Read more

Reviews

“Starbound is one of the most impressive never-ending games I've ever played.”
9/10 – Polygon

“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

“I find it difficult to picture the person who wouldn’t enjoy Starbound. Parts, sure, but the whole is this sincere, incredibly ambitious sandbox that’s as full of charm, and space-faring pirate penguins, as it is stuff to build and places to explore.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

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 10.7 or later
    • Processor: 64 bit Intel CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Os X 10.7 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 (51,943 reviews)
Recently Posted
jayxan
( 38.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
after however many years it took for this game to finally release its out. It has a good initial first impression but after about an hour it falls flat. Its way better than when they first released it but I still cant shake the feeling that I was duped into paying for this.

Its like it initially tried to be terraria and fell flat so they added some other things. So basically its a well polished turd now. I dont recommend spending money on this game still.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Meowkie
( 29.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
What happened to the optimization? I was playing the beta builds fine a few patches ago, got bored and said I'd come back at release. Here we are now and I've got so much frame lag I could barely finish the tutorial. I get on my ship and it's lagging so bad I didn't bother trying to beam to planet since I barely had 5 frames per second.

I can't even change settings to make this better. I turned the resolution all the way down and zoomed in all the way... That's all I can do.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Epic Container
( 322.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
I've been holding off on reviewing this game for a while now.

I liked this game so much in the beta, that I went and bought Terraria as well.

I think this game is far superior to Terraria, and if you had a good time in Terraria, I think you will love this game. Now that they have left early access, I highly recommend this game. Starbound has come a long way, and I highly recommend this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Iridium Ore
( 568.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
The tutorial level in of itself was enough to convice me to recommend this.
Skipping it is not worth it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Feels Good Man
( 45.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Contrary to popular belief, I find I enjoy Starbound more than Terraria. To me, it's a more cohesive experience. Although, I really don't like to directly compare them. These are two wildly different games, anyone who has played them both can easily tell you that.

I love the changes brought on since beta 0.7, the last version I played before release. Combat is very improved from the previous weapon choices of gun, sword, slightly bigger sword, and explosive; the most effective of them all. Vehicles are pretty fun to ride around the planetside. The story is actually a story instead of a large string of loosely related quests, now. Monster generation is more streamlined to allow for uniquely named and designed enemies of all kinds for every playthrough. You can have an NPC crew on your ship so you and your pet aren't the only passengers. Settlements are pretty great from what I've experienced, although I haven't done much.

Overall: I'm just happy it's out of beta, and I look forward to the future of the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Adam Calzone Chronicles
( 181.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Chucklefish? More like ChuckleF*ckYou

This is the wost the game has ever been in 3+ years of functional builds, and this is its release.

Just buy Terraria instead, it's 10,000 times better, replayable and enjoyable.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vox
( 81.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Starbound is often compared to Terraria, and for obvious reasons. But I don't feel like just saying "Worse then Terraria" or "Terraria in space" can really do the game any justice. As of right now, 1.0 is really tearing the community apart, so mabye wait a tad bit till purchasing if buying with intent of playing on dedicated servers. Definetely a solid sandbox game that has withstood months in development.


11/10 terraria in space
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KING MILES
( 15.8 hrs on record )
Pre-Release Review
Posted: July 23
This is a very good game and i would most certainly recomend it after playing the game for many hours in early acess i would buy it if i were you!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Takuun the Gremlin
( 244.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
There was a time I enjoyed this game, I followed it in early development and I backed/Preordered the game as soon as I was able.

When it first came out there was little to do but the sense of exploration was awe inspiring and the game clearly had so much potentional. This was a time when I could actually run the game.

Now when I play I get reminded of how badly optimized the game has become through patch after patch. The outpost is beyond laggy, I can barely even move there. Now that they added the tech machine there and removed it from the ship I dread going there even more.

The first boss, The first bleeding boss I crash on every. single. time he starts firing all four lasers. He is the only boss I crash on. I dread to see the challenge rooms Everyone is going on about.

Pros
+It's still decently fun to explore with friends.
+The character spriteworks are all beautiful and well done.
+Customization is rather wonderful
+Mod support

Cons
-Poorly optimized. [Word is that even big heavy gaming rigs run areas at 10-15 FPS]
-The hub area is a headache to move around.
-Buggy Mess.
-Really all my problems seem to be around the hub or poor optimization/bugfixes.

I can't reccomend this game myself but if it looks like your style of game go for it, just be warned.
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Goofy
( 31.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
I bought the game before 1.0 (because steam sales), and didn't play much, but I managed to complete the story (stable build, pre-1.0) within about 13 hours, then I sopped playing.
I also didn't even peek into the un-stable build, so I wasn't spoiled about any updates.
When 1.0 came out, I started playing a lot and kind of played until 6 AM.
All I'm saying with this is that 1.0 is really fun compared to pre-1,0.

Also, I like this game, so it gets a thumbs up.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past day
123 of 175 people (70%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
114.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
If you're some filthy casual like me looking for some virtual exploration, then this is one of the better titles you're gonna find out there. the visuals are nice and getting your hands on every furniture, building block, crafting material, stylish/strange costume and piece of sweet loot could entertain collectors for a long time, and for builders, even longer.

Pros:
  • cool art style
  • endless universe of randomized planets
  • a whole bunch of structures to find
  • great OST
  • Steam intergrated multiplayer
  • Steam Workshop
  • seven playable in-game races, alongside four or so others for you to find
  • story is decent, but light enough to make it not seem like the game is over when the story ends

Cons (at the time of me typing this):
  • bad framerate on older computers, as well as lag spikes, due to 1.0 being a bit a little really rushed
  • community is being torn apart due to 1.0, so it's completely toxic right now
  • story is decent, sure, but it meets quite the abrupt end. Don't know what I was expecting from a sandbox game, though.

Would I get it right now? Not really...

If you already have it, then go ahead and play all you wish, but for newer buyers, wait for the game and its community to marinate for a bit to sort out their feelings and for the game to be optimized a bit. Until then, follow the game, but keep your distance. Unless you just don't care, in which case go ahead.
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46 of 70 people (66%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
381.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
I've clocked 380+ hours in game. I've played vanilla and modded versions. I've played through every mission the developers put in the game, and all of the missions from Frackin' Universe. And yet I keep coming back. I keep putting time into this. I have spent hours and hours amassing materials and creating multi-tier gardens with glowing glass walls, so I could plant and harvest day and night. I've fought cultists and abominations, post-apocalyptic survivalists and primatives, and every other thing inbetween. I've committed village massacres and protected stoic swamp-dwelling frogmen. I've sailed seas of acid and alien juice, and drifted to the bottom of oceans of liquid nitrogen.

And I'll do it all over again, in 1.0. Just to see what's new. And to start my dream of settling planets and creating thriving civilizations on them.

The haunting piano score calls to me. If you want to know where I am, I'm in-game, "Protecting the Universe".
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82 of 143 people (57%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
110.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
This game had so much promise when I started backing it, and it still has so much promise.

Sadly, despite five years in development limbo, it does not deliver.

Cast your minds back, three or so years if I recall correctly. I was an innocent young lad going about my day to day business, when my friend sends me a message telling me about this new game in development. It's called "Starbound", and it looks like Terraria in space, but with so much more to it - an endless, infinite universe. I'm entranced, and I buy the crap out of it. Playing through early versions, I can tell it's rough but has promise, so much promise.

I check back every now and again, seeing how things develop. Things are looking good. I play a few hours here and there, but there always seems to be something missing. Something missing which, I assume, will eventually be added in.

Fast forward to today, and there's still something missing. I still can't quite put my finger on it. Haven't played very much of the new version, since my characters were all wiped (after being promised this wouldn't happen, but hey, these things happen).

Anyway, good things first. Starbound is a game with a fantastic atmosphere. I love the art style, the music is grand and the snarky comments on every single item in the game really pull me in to this living, breathing universe.

Sadly, everything else pulls me right out. The controls are floaty, so I fall to my death over and over again. The combat is absolutely awful (and others have already elaborated on that far better than I could). The UI is a joke, and contributes to maybe half of my (many many many) deaths as I frantically try to swap to a sword and end up limply patting my enemy with a stick of corn. I've experienced recurring lag with enemies, even though I'm playing singleplayer (I'm taken to believe this is a fairly common issue).

The universe is massive, yet so shallow that it could probably bring a tear to Todd Howard's eye (take that, Bethesda). There's no reason to stay on any planet for longer than necessary, essentially making every planet an identical "fetch what you need and move forward" half hour outing (simultaneously removing the feeling of slow-paced wonder that comes from exploration). Dungeons aren't very interesting, in my opinion. Railroaded linear quests absolutely destroy any sort of natural progression which is usually fairly necessary in an open sandbox game.

That's not to say I haven't enjoyed Starbound. There are moments of absolute brilliance tucked away in the game. Exploring new planets can be awesome if you tune out the fact that it's only cosmetically any different from the last one - the massive amount of varying art assets are a high point, and I give immense credit to the game's artists. The same goes for building a base (though in earlier versions I always used admin commands to give myself an unlimited amount of construction materials). I like the ability to make homes for settlers, and build a large town.

All in all, Starbound had so much promise. Promise that seems to have been more or less wasted in favour of working on small additions and not really working on the major 'feel' of the game, if that makes sense (I mean, spaceship pets? Really? Why?). I still have hope for the future of the game (especially with mods), but at the moment it just feels empty. I love the game, and loathe the game. I've gone on for quite a while now, so I should probably end here - Starbound is a brilliant concept badly realised. I wish the devs luck on improving it, but it seems like it's too far gone by now.



One small caveat: Starbound isn't as similar to Terraria as many are saying. For one thing, Terraria is consistently quite good.

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104 of 188 people (55%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
94.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
I started playing this beautiful game in 2013. I was amazed by the worlds I could visit and the depth of the exploration that could be done so early in, what was at the time, an alpha release.

I stuck with the game after endless character wipes and bugs and resets. I saw the changes to the open universe exploration go from random worlds of different difficulty, to a thin-veil of 'quadrants' of difficulty to the current 'star colour = difficulty of all planets'.

I played through the unskippable 'quests' that seemed in place for no other reason than to force players to go through a simple maze I am sure someone felt very proud to have spent 6 months making. With a penguin boss, ha ha.

And now, 3 years later...its finally out of development. So where are we?

Pro:
+Wonderful soundtrack. Seriously, goosebumps at some of the music*
+Beautiful planets to explore**
+if you are creative, you can build nearly anything***

Cons:
*They will loop a lot.
**Beautiful planets to ignore
***Easier to build in Terraria, and you will not abandon the planet
-Linear. You are forced into a linear path that you cannot deviate from. Why, in a building sandbox game, is their a linear quest path you cannot avoid?!? I have found (well, last patch anyway) mods that I could use to skip this...but why isn't this an option from the get-go?
-Repetative. Go to any planet, what will you want to find? Wonderful scenery, Strange creatures, Stunning aliens! What do you actually find? The same 2 dungeons generated on a desert world, a green world, or a rock world. Guarded by the same AI that will drop slightly different guns and swords. And some color swapped monsters that have poor hit detection and all drop the same 2 types of item, regardless of what planet they are from or what type of alien they are.
-Detatched: In terraria, you have your world. If you go left, you find a desert (or a swamp, or the castle...w/e its your world) but you KNOW its there. Starbound, you jump from planet to planet, and with each jump...you have less interest in where you have been or where you are going. Your ship (see linear quests) can be expanded and built on, but it feels like a camper van. Only good for getting from A to B and holding the stuff you find (that looks great the first time you see it...but why am I looting this again?)
-Pointless items: I admit I collected all the pokemon, gathered many a hat in team fortress, and generally try for all the achievements. But really, why should I want to travel to a half dozen different Giant flower biomes to get a Bee costume? Also, they added a cat to my ship. Why?


tl;dr

Who should buy this game: If you love terraria and want to play in space. Wait for a sale, but get it.

Who should not get this game: Anyone else. Go play Terraria or Stardew Valley. They are just better.


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119 of 219 people (54%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
110.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
WOW seryously WOW!!
I have no words!
I've played this game 2 years ago and it was nice, unpolished but good.
I've played this game before the full release and DAMN! that was a blast! had so much fun...
I've played the full realise and the only thing that pops in my mind is WOW!!!!!
They seryously accomplished the impossible.... they ruined it...

They made it slower, with less tutorial, with worse inventory management, with worse "tool upgrading" sistem, with worse teleportation sistem (it's true that is not normal to be able to beam to the ship from underground, but going back to the surface once you reach the core of a planet especially if you're starting from scratch (and of course you are since they deleted all the saves for compatibility reasons ^^) is excruciating. Wanna know a fun thing? Well before the release they removed this annoing time waster, where are we now? back in the alpha of course! -.-

Well i'm being a little too emotional here so let me write down what's changed and why it's worse now...

For starters let's talk about the real beginning, the tutorial:
Yeha there is a tutorial, it may seem cooler since is more "story oriented" (like it matters in this kind of games but meh no complaints here) but after you get on your first planet... well that's it! You're on a planet now well.... do something.
the game doesn't help guiding you trough the various crafting stations (now more complex than ever).
And the FIRST quest you'll get is to get core fragments... really? a person that doesn't know how this game works and thinks "hey a quest so that's what i need to do!" (especially after being throwed on a planet with ZERO explanations)
will have 3 reactions 1) going crazy trying to find em on the surface. 2) going crazy since they grasped the fact that they're located near the center of the planet where hard monsters and really slow mining blocks (for theyr current tools) are situated. 3) being a good player reaching the bottom of the planet with basic tools (keep in mind that i'm talking about beginners that don't know the game here) to then find out that they are unable to beam back to the ship...

Now let's compare it with the game before the release: No intro (meh who cares but it is a minus anyway) you start on the ship, beam to the planet and: iIt tells you what to craft step by step for the first equipments (and even the later ones)
through quests, teaching you how to farm, mine make armors and weapons, ecc...
and most of those thing are made trough ONE workbench and only later you'll have your ship and house full of crafting stations but you already have a lot of training on how you should move thx to the tutorials, explanations and experience with the first benches.
You know with how many benches you start now? FIVE!!!! and all need each other to make stuff... (example: need a bow? make workbench (A) for building it... wait! you need string for the bow, so make workbench (B) nice now you have your bow... oh? need a bed too? simple^^ use work bench (C) and make the materials with (A) and (B)
As i said over and over this is only the beginning for beginners without tutorials... since i had difficulty with this new sistem and i've played this game for almost 3 years...
Oh just a little thing that of course is another annoiance to slow the game even more for no reason (since not even in alpha there was this detail) crafting now takes time... yeha now you want some torches? wait, want a workbench? wait even more...

Let's change topic, inventory management... well where to begin...i'll just compare it with the pre-release point by point:
1) Pre: item in hotbar not in inventory so your hotbar was a slot for 10 more items
1) New: Not anymore now all the equipped is in your bag too, reason of this decision? God only knows...
2) Pre: Item management was splitted in 3 tabs, the game would automatically put a new picked up item in the tab choosed by default from the game BUT you could move everything everywhere with no restrictions so you could leave it be or make inventory your little "zen garden" so that every time you opened your bag you had everything where YOU wanted it to be.
2) New: Now your bag is splitted in 5 tabs, every single item is locked in his tab of default, the only thing you can do is move the stuff in that tab around but you can't put it in other tabs, and just let me say this... THE FOOD TAB!
every single piece of meat or potato or a lot of other suff to eat DO NOT stack together.... why? no seryously why? From the beginning food always stacked and in my opinion when the food was just healing stuff was the best, now we are back to the starvation meter? i think than more of a release this game has jumped back to the "minus pre-alpha" status...
3) New: less slot in the hotbar and it's less intuitive than before...

Ok enough switch of topic, the upgrading tools sistem:
Well this isn't too bad is just... meh.
Before the game guided you trough the upgrades, always trough various quests, for example: liquid gathering? (like water, fuel, ecc...) The game would make a quest and will tell you, "hey enough with this sistem let's move to another one... oh right the fuel, bring that stuff for upgrades back to me so that i can teach you to gather liquids and then tell you what and where to find em)
Here is more like: hey man nice tool you have there, what? you've found all those upgrading parts already? wow man go crazy use them for whatever you want!... ... ... ... ... ... WHAT? you used all of your materials on high cost stuff and now you can't leave the sistem? well screw you now you know what to prioritize now go back to the planets (under leveled or already explored) you know and bring me more upgrade stuff.. ... .... If you can find it! muahahaha
Erm... yeha something like that but well it's kinda intuitive anyway but not giving you a path to follow is a low blow in my opinion, "Liquids" "Paintings" "Wiring" should be quest related rewards like before to evade confusion but as i said i don't think is such a bad change but for sure it isn't better...

Last topic, Battles: Now the only difference between "New" and "Pre" are the combos, hit more than once and you make 3 different swings with your weapon.... useless
If you try to not trigger the combo you'll do way more dmg with single hits since the second hit in the combo does half the damge of the 1* and 3* attack.

Well that's it for me, i was so hyped about the full release of this game and now.... what a disappointment, is like they threw away all the good stuff from the pre-release and took back all the ♥♥♥♥♥♥ stuff from the early beta + they added some extra trash just because...
The saddest thing is that they changed everything that was in the beta and gave me and (i think) a lot more players a giant suckerpunch under the belt and right on the jewels with no warning what so-ever i don't think that most of this stuff was suggested by the community so... well i don't know i just have this feeling of bitterness.

I hope that this long rant helped someone on his choice ^^
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
When i saw the ads for mass effect 1 back in teh day. THIS is what I had imagined. I can't believe it exists. it is so amazing.

basically. the game feels like an mmo mixed with a dungeon crawler farm sim and social app all mixed in one. and if you play on survival mode (which everyone should) its hard as heck and everything you do feels rewarding.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
75.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
This game is profoundly souless and dull. If you held a mirror up to it it would not have a reflection. It does not trigger automatic doors at the supermarket. Dogs feel sad and fall eerily quite when they make eye contact.

Case in point.

Every species you can play is identical. The only difference between them is their character cosmetics, their ship cosmetics, their useless cosmetic pet and their armours. Only their armours are actually identical except for cosmetics :/

The items you find and craft through the game are almost all largely identical to prior tiers only slightly better numbers, there are very very very few very very very rare items that are in anyway unique in their actual function.

Oh yeah and it still has serious bugs and performance issues at release despite a custom engine and years in development hell.

This is a game made by boring people for boring people and yet is likely to bore even those people, and maybe occasionally make them angry and sad.
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116 of 216 people (54%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
272.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
Five years spent making this game. I've only been following it for two, but the number is still amazing to me. 5 years spent developing a game, with updates taking maybe once or twice a year. That would indicate the developers putting a lot of thought and love into the game, right?

Wrong. Wrong, wrong, WRONG. Absolutely wrong.

Starbound 1.0 has been in development for most of 2016, and I was exicited for it at the beginning of the year. The past two updates were amazing and left me wanting a full game. And now, it's here. The full game.

The beta builds before this were better in every regard except story. Every single regard. Better sprites, better gameplay, better action bars, better inventory, better online capabilities, better progression through the game, everything. Every single thing was better in the betas. And they weren't even complete. That's how much Chucklefish ruined this game with 1.0 dropping.

The first of many issues is the development team. They're somewhat incompetent. They definitely had the best intentions for this game, but so many of the development choices they made while making 1.0 were garbage. Absolute trash. They should have been focusing on making the game better, but it feels like they just broke the game more in trying to do that.

There were a few complaints here and there that female breasts were too prominent on any outfit, but now they're basically invisible. You can't tell a male character from a female character.

It feels like they wanted to streamline the stories, but in doing so they completey rewrote what story already existed in the game, instead of taking the separate stories for the 7 races and making them go down one linear path.

They wanted to make the hotbar more efficient (Though it already had what I consider to be one of the best hotbars in a game) so they split it into five sets of two slots, and if an item is two-handed, it takes up two slots. Previously, the game had a hotbar that had 5 slots on either side of a pair of buttons that corresponded to your mouse buttons.

They made the inventory, which originally had three tabs of storage, have four tabs of storage. But now, items are locked to a specific inventory tab, so while it seems you have more space, you actually have much less space.

Now for the biggest issue I have with the game: It won't launch anymore. I've reinstalled it three times now, and nothing. Every time, the Chucklefish logo loads, and then it crashes and closes. I can do nothing about this. What was previously one of my favorite games has been rendered unplayable by an "update" that was supposed to make the game better. I only know what I know from my friends who have been able to get the damn thing to work, and a few hours put into Unstable.

I noticed something interesting when I navigated down to the store page to write this review. The game's been marked down since its early access days, from 20$ to 14$. This puzzles me, as I would have expected the price to go up. (Though I'm glad it didn't.) This leads me to an interesting conclusion:

The developers literally stopped giving a ♥♥♥♥ about this game. They realised that their 1.0 release was garbage, so they brought the price down so that people wouldn't complain about it being overpriced. If that's true, Why, Chucklefish? Why force out something you know isn't worth the money when you can spend more time and make something that people would like and find to be worth the price?

Even with that in mind, I can't recommend this game. Back in early access, I would absolutely have left a shining review of how great this game was and how much potential it had, but now I can't. To tell you this game is worth the 14$ price of admission would be a lie. I really do hate to say this, as it is one of my favorite games, but it's the truth. The developers ruined this game. I would uninstall it and forget about it, except for the fact that I've become a moderator on an RP server that I'm incredibly fond of, and I can't stand to abandon that server and the friends I've made there. Chucklefish, thank you for giving me the chance to meet people like this, but screw you for ruining your game.
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85 of 157 people (54%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
35.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
Before I continue writing this review, I'm going to clarify something. I actually like Starbound. It's an interesting game and, despite what people may claim, it isn't just a Terraria clone. Similar, yes. Clone, far from it. To be honest, if someone's just looking to kill a bit of time, I WOULD recommend this game. However, in terms of a game you can really put hours into, I wouldn't, hence the 'no' recommendation. They really need to add an option for half-way, but that's going off topic.

Starbound has, at it's core, a brilliant concept, and a lot of that concept shows itself in an impressive way. Terraria might be an amazing game - I've sunk over 300 hours into it - but the idea behind Starbound is, in my opinion, even better. When it comes to realising that concept, it's been done to an impressive standard. Being able to set up whole towns (not just a bundle of houses for a few specific NPCs), travelling to different worlds, an unusual mix of sci-fi and medieval content, various races to play, penguin engineers (okay, not a major point, but I just love how they look like the Prinnies from the Disgaea series :D) and more.

The thing is, I don't feel - and this is just my opinion, clearly - that it feels... polished, for lack of a better word... enough to really rival Terraria in terms of a game you can truly sit and play, as opposed to playing now and again. I'm not saying that Terraria is any better than Starbound as a whole - just that it's a game you can get better absorbed in. And as a point before I go on, I'm not writing this review to compare Terraria and Starbound. But that being said, since Terraria is arguably one of the best of it's type, I will end up comparing them at times.

It's hard to really define what it is that puts me off, but I'll give a few general ideas. Starting on the least important point - the graphics style. I'm not saying it's bad graphically, but it just doesn't appeal to me. It's too... rough, I suppose. I'd personally prefer a slightly simpler art style that's more refined. Personal taste though. *Shrugs* Think of it like carving a statue - I'd prefer one with less detail but smoother lines, than a detailed one that looks like someone's just gone nuts with a saw :)

Secondly, the 'matter manipulator', the means for mining and the like. It's an interesting idea, but it's just awkward. You shoot it at an area of blocks, some of which take longer than others to mine, and sometimes targeting far more than you want to. Same with placing - you end up placing more than you intend to. It's a real pain in the backside. Though this can, thankfully, be changed through modding (there is a mod on workshop at the moment that lets you change the size of affected area. Bless the modder who did that) it really should be something the game itself allows.
EDIT : Turns out there is a way, it just wasn't anywhere in tutorial either pre-patch or post-patch. Really should have been. Thanks to The Lost Sentinel for tip :) Still think matter manipulator is just awkward to use compared to the tools you find in Terraria though...

Possibly the largest put-off for me, though, is the way in which the game runs. Okay, I'll admit, my laptop is fairly... rubbish, to put it mildly. But it doesn't have any problem running most games - ones with much higher processing requirements run fine. It isn't a hardware issue, in short. But it just feels more clunky than other games. For those of you who can make sense of what I'm about to say, it's like it's slower without actually being slower. Go figure.

Staying on the topic of issues, but taking a slight detour, I first played Starbound a long whilst before it was 'released'. Probably a year or so ago. What I've mentioned so far were issues that bothered me even then. Since I last played though, the game's been through two patches : the combat update (I think it was called, but whatever) and the full release update. I'm not wholly sure which changes I'm about to mention come from which patch, but it doesn't really matter. For the purposes of this review, I'm just going to combine the changes and refer to them as the patch, singular. Less confusing that way :)

So... for one thing, this new storyline. Under most circumstances, I believe games need a strong story to them to be really great. I'm a writer, so stories are important to me. This though... honestly, I think Starbound was better off without it. For one thing, it's the sort of game where you don't really want a story that much - you just want to play the game. Before the patch, yes, you had to advance a storyline to get certain things, but it wasn't half as strict as the new one. Your actions are very much forced now, as opposed to having a bit more freedom with the old one. Sandbox games really shouldn't be so restrictive. And as a slightly minor point, this new storyline is... I'd say bizarre, but that'd be stretching the truth. Let's just say I really, really don't like it. It offends my inner writer at how bad it is. The occasional humour (I will admit I like the slightly sarcastic and/or weird nature of SAILs new dialogue) doesn't make it up for me. At all.

Second, the new system where you can equip an item in each hand (two-handed items notwithstanding). It's an interesting idea - but I don't feel it suits the genre at all. This isn't Skyrim. The old system where you had singular items was honestly much better in my opinion. I admit that the system has potential, but it doesn't seem to fit into the game too well. And I'll make the next point as a continuation of this one, since they mine similar territory - the ability to scroll through the quickbars with the mouse wheel. Helpful, of course - but they really shouldn't have included the matter manipulator as part of that bar. It kind of gets in the way, especially since it sits right in the middle of the two halves of the toolbar.

My third point - and I'm going to make this the final point, because this review's long enough as it is - is somewhat more... unsure. It's possible I'm imagining it, but I swear there used to be more crafting options available (e.g. copper-based armour). I like the way the crafting menus are spread out now - less packed and headache-inducing - but there seems to have been a reduction in options. As I've said, I could be wrong. Been many months since I last played. But there just seems to be stuff missing.

I could go on, but I won't. I think I've made my point, really. So I'll finish with a simply summary. Starbound has an absolutely huge amount of potential, far more than Terraria ever did. But there are too many things that just don't feel polished enough, or don't really seem to work with the game type. I don't deny that this game is fun, as game's go, and it's a definite recommendation for anyone looking for the occasional fun. But it's also not something I'd advise if you're looking for a game you can really sink your teeth in to.

As a final point of clarification, this is just my opinion. I'm sure there are plenty of people who disagree with most, or all, of the above points. Since I wrote the review, this should be common sense to realise, but hey, who said the whole world had common sense?

I'd hope no-one, or he'd need to spend time in an asylum for being hopelessly optimistic.
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25 of 43 people (58%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
37.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
Definitely not in the same league as Terraria. I played this game for at least 30 hours a couple years ago. It was a much better experience before 1.0. Taking out craftable pickaxes made this game excruciatingly slow. Maybe I just got a bad seed, but I want the last 3 hours of my life back. Perhaps I'll come back in a couple years after some more mods have been developed.
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