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 (52,124 reviews) - 89% of the 52,124 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

769 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 (52,124 reviews)
Recently Posted
Twowestex/Westeh!
( 44.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
It was a long journey, but the developers made it!
They finnally made the game fell more completed, now to get back and play in it's full glory!

My early access impressions: While i played the early access version of it, it was sorta good nothing too briliant. The time where Terraria dominated, of course it was on development, but I allways didn't like playing like non completed games, I mean I have this weird vibe with the early access thing as a whole. I mean the combat was meh and the sounds were okay, music is fantastic (and it will be), performance was stabled all the time, BUT except I lagged at some locations like towns and temples (i think it's because of the lighting effects), with friends it was more enjoyable than playing alone. I also liked how you can go to see your friends planet and explore. The content was bare bones at the time, I mean it was less, what do you except? The main complaint I had was when you launch the game, it took forever for it to launch, it's not like you're average go and play. Don't get me on this, I mean I didn't enjoyed to much when it was like in early access. So that's why I waited a bit for the full release.

Conclusion: When it was like in early access I gave it a solid 6.7/10

Full release: Man oh man, is good soo good, most of the complaints I've had is gone (except the load times when launching. P.S. I think it's a little more faster than before). I can tell that this game got what it finally deserved, and I respect that. I won't type to much about it let me just go on to the conclusion.

Conclusion: For the full release of Starbound I give it a 8.9/10

Thank you for reading this!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheFriendlyCommunist~~☭
( 23.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
Lots of biased reviews from conservative people who liked the first version and cannot handle change.

First time I played, was a few months back. Framerate was ♥♥♥♥ and my overall experience was bad because of it, but the game was cool.


The 1.0 update now rolled out, my framerate is much better(don't feel FPS drops anymore) and I found a friend to play with(which makes the game 10x more fun)

Multiplayer is the same as Terrarias' I'd say, just not worth it.
Better to play with friends.

But it's fun to play solo either way, game is very fun.

At least for me(because I enjoy 2D games, exploration, space, various planets, races, et cetera. Very good. 10/10).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kwisatz Haderach
( 87.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
Game is finally out... but it seems to be rushed and incomplete.

version 1.0 is extremely poorly optimized. Game drops to 15 fps and fluctuates wildly depending on your environment. An RX480 is just as good as a laptop GPU.

Crafting wise, it seems to have a lot of ornamental things, but actual useful items... not that many. In some 12-15 hours you can upgrade everything you need, leaving you only to follow the main quest.

NPC sidequests are rather stupid, take note/resources to some other NPC nearby (if you're lucky) or go to some area in the world and get some NPC back to town. Not sure why they thought ♥♥♥♥♥♥ MMO type quests will be fun.

Given how long it took for the developers to actually release the game, justifying it as "we don't want to rush it, we want the game to be great, we don't want to offer a half baked experience", I can't help but think that chuckle when the game starts is a sort of " you idiots paid us 3 years ago for this game, bet you feel smart now".

Very disappointed by what the game delivered vs what it promised (to be honest, I might have gone past the content if the game wasn't performing so awful).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
amalie.eidissen
( 5.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
I love this game. But me and my friend is having trpubles with it. Whoever joins the other ones game is lagging so bad even though we both have good internet. The one hosting is not having problems at all.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ShrektasticSPAGHETTI #TeamHeavy
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
This is a great game overall taking the simplistic building from terraria and then throwing in a combat style simmilar to Edge of Space.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Fallen Star
( 29.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
I played this game since beta and its ok but i'm not reccomending beacause 1.0 data swiped me i got to durasteel 5 minute before the update >:(
Helpful? Yes No Funny
VELTOR
( 14.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
10/10 One of the best indie games i have ever played buy it its so good :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MAFACA
( 10.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
This game is like a no mans sky in 2D! Amazing features and exploration, nice story line to keep you entertained, you can catch monster a la poekmon style, Build, fight, farm, mine and discover new Planets! Give it a try!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sixx
( 466.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
Good game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Banana
( 138.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
it used to be better but i guess other people will enjoy this version more,

you used to be free to do pretty much anything, right now you're forced to complete the campaign to advance

still a very cool game, just stop removing things we loved.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past day
191 of 256 people (75%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Recommended
115.3 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
91 of 127 people (72%) found this review helpful
12 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".
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
106 of 160 people (66%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1,645.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
I'll be honest here, if you've never heard of starbound before, and you like the idea of a sci-fi sandbox survival-ish game, then you'll probably enjoy starbound. I however am giving this a thumbs down, for reasons I shall go into.

Long ago, in the early access days of starbound, players glimpsed what was a relatively complete game that was clearly a framework for something greater. Something complex. Hidden behind it's grid-based construction/mining engine was a surprisingly complex universe, complete with six unique races all of which had their own history, adversities, asthetic style and personality. For once it seemed like the character's species was actually going to matter, with even the descriptions of food items hinting that different species would have to eat different food, which is a very cool idea in a survival game. This type of complexity was, for me, what set starbound apart from other games in the genre, it wasn't just a sandbox, it was it's own world with conflicting cultures and people.

The earliest sign was that racial bonuses (abilities unique to what species your character was) was planned to be in the next update. These bonuses were later changed to be tied to the race's armoursets, where wearing the full set (head, torso, leggings) of a race's armour would confer it's bonus. This was apparently done for the sake of balance, and keeping each of the races equal. Sure, I thought, but to this day racial bonuses are still not part of the game.

Starbound's development has been slow. Very, very slow. I was ok with this, as it was the developer's first game, and after dabbling in game dev myself I am aware that it can be a very difficult thing to do. Things were fine at first, a slow creep of new assets and features, adding more content to the world's random-gen system, etc. Everything you'd expect from an early access title.

However, somewhere during development, something changed.

Everyone was hype for the next big update (as updates were incredibly rare) and it'd hit, sure there was all this cool new stuff they'd shown off in screenshots, but they would always come with a number of game-breaking bugs that would severely impact gameplay, and would sometimes take months to be fixed. But the most bizarre part to me was that CF would often just cut assets entirely from the game. Items, furniture, gone. no explanation given. Just gone, and for a game about exploration, collection and building, this seemed like a very odd move.

The last few updates leading up to 1.0 were the worst offenders at this. The previous diversity and characterisation of the game's six races were severely stripped away, racial weapons, and ship AI were removed for seemingly no reason, which is very strange considering the racial AI often featured in the game's devblog. This, along with the removal/altercation of several other features (the game's UI being one of them) pushed things over the line for me. I had hope, I had patience, but I look upon the finished product that is the 1.0 build currently on sale here and can't help but feel utterly disappointed.

In summary, what first appeared to be a surprisingly complex twist on the survival sandbox genre was dumbed down to rush it for release. Also, the game costs $5 less now. It's nice I paid extra to experience this disappointment.

There are actually a number of other issues I could go into as to why I'm giving this a thumbs down, from kickstarter spending to the developer's reaction to criticism, but this review is already long enough.
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41 of 61 people (67%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
The early access was brilliant, better than this stable version.

Currently the game (1.0 release) has scaling issues and is quite imbalanced, underpowered towards the beginning and overpowered towards the end, with a middle game that barely exists as you try to power through planets to get to the next set of upgrades. It used to be a fun type of grind, but with the general need for more items (volume, as well as different type) to upgrade things it becomes gradually more frustrating. Although the pace for upgrading your MM and Tech feels a bit better.
The change to equipping items feels terrible, initially I thought I'd get used to it like a person normally would, but it feels too unnatural. You need to equip many items in general: melee weapon, ranged weapon, torches, rope, trash blocks, flashlight, health kits. That's mainly for exploring, even then more items can be added. And for some reason many items that you think would be single-handed are actually two-handed. Great! Even more switching to do!

The need for food to restore your hunger significantly adds to the monotony. Go out into that vast universe - and become a farmer! It does get better, but takes away from the experience nonetheless.

The array of items and scenery is great; planets are much more interesting. Playing with friends has never been easier also!

It's got a lot of potential, it always had. They're holding it back with trivial design and incessant chores.
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23 of 30 people (77%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
72.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
Starbound holds a special place in my heart. I've had the game since 0.1, and on multiple steam accounts. The game has always had the best oppurtunities to become one of the greatest games around, but it never QUITE made it.

All of that changed with the recent 1.0 update, marking the full release of the game.

You know have a fully pledged story, with interesting and deep characters, insane ammounts of lore and backstory and over 8+ bosses.
Talking about bosses, they range from everything between a spider made of flesh, to a penguin in a futuristic war machine. Every boss is very unique, and their attacks never cease to suprise me.

There are 6 classes to choose from; A robot, A fish, A plant, A collection of gas, An ape and of course human. This sounds very bazare, but as soon as you create your character, you can already read a simple recap of the races backstory.

Starbound is a sandbox gme, and it is a prime example of what a sandbox game should be. You can choose to never mine a single peice of ore, never craft a single peice of armor and wether you want to live on your ship, or on one of the unique procedurally generated worlds. There is thousands and thousands of different blocks and furniture, which comes in great use with the colony system.

The colony system consists of you creating a house, and putting a colony deed inside. The colony deeds cost 750 pixels (the ingame currency). You can choose who will live in the house by either decorating it with old chandeliers and bookshelves, or weapons and armor. You can get everything from a merchant to a guard, and they all come together with the procedural quest system.

Quests (That arent outpost or story related) are always procedually generated, yet they're still all very unique and fun to do. The people who will give them to you are either random NPC's or inhabitants of your colony.

If you so happen to complete a lot of quests for a specific NPC, will he request to join you on your adventure, as a companion. It is only possible to have to companions with you at all times, but it can range verything from a penguin to one of the many races of starbound. The sandbox aspect comes in very real here aswell, as you can either get companions by making colonies, ore buying your way to illegal penguin mecenaries.

If you get enough companions on your ship (You can have as many as you want, just only two with you) your ship will get bigger, leaving you with more room.

There is an infinite universe to explore with many weird and funny biomes, and deep and interesting dungeons.

The weapons of Starbound; The weapons come in many shapes and forms, some silly and some deadly. They, like so much else in this game, have prodcedurally generated stats and looks, which means you will find something cool about almost every weapon you find.

Verdict:
If you want a game with litterally endless things to do and create, and many unique enemies and weapons, you're at the right place. Starbound is huge, and for the gamer that likes to read, there is huge amounts of lore to dive in to. There are plenty of easter eggs and references scattered around the massive diverse planets, just waiting for you to find them.

9/10
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19 of 23 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
23.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
So I see a lot of bad reviews since the new 1.0 patch. I get people are upset that things got wiped and things have changed. People must also remember that these games go through massive changes to make the game more polished and run/ work better. With that being said here is my review as a new player so far.

I love everything this game has offered since the splash screen. My friend and I have completely lost all sense of time and direction while playing this(both of us came from terraria). Amazing soundtrack, gameplay, art style(yes I know it's old school but it's still pretty), crafting system(huge and tons of variation), weapons, clothing/armor. I could go on about all the great things we have seen in just the few hours we have played. I highly recommend this for anyone who is a fan of Terraria. I fought a penguin flying an UFO. Soooo yea play it and I promise you won't be let down if you are new to the title. A lot of the older players from early access(or w/e it's called) don't like some of the changes but coming in new you won't know those changes and it won't matter purely because the game is fresh to you. Do yourself a favor and try it.
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20 of 25 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
129.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
I really want to like this game. But it just gets worse and worse the farther you get.

Ok, so I tried it again now that its 1.0. The game still has tons of annoyances and really dumb game balance problems. Inventory and crafting menus cover your character. Enemies that do contact damage in statue form. I have 2 of the magic gems or whatever. Already the progression armor is too weak to deal with the insane alpha damage enemies do on contact. Orange slimes have different stats depending on the planet you are on. Yes, you read that right.. the devs couldn't even take an idea from final fantasy one and make it so slimes change color as they get stronger. But good news, they added a pokemon thing where you can capture monsters, so even though some monsters are pretty OP, its ok because you can make them work for you.. NOT! I caught a flying turnip, and then had it attack another flying turnip from the same planet. My turnip died from contact damage in one hit. Enemy turnip was unscathed. I got a quest from some guy on a planet. I am never ever going back to the guy's planet because it costs fuel and he is just going to give me some lame obsolite weapon. Combat calculations -still- heavily favor high alpha damage and knockback over sustained dps. Combat is so stupid actually that I got a poison bow on the very first planet and its still better than almost every weapon I have found because poison seems to bypass the stupid armor calculations in this game. Also movement speed slows when you charge your bow? Why? Maybe to make the controls seem even worse than they actually are. And get this: you have to water your crops now. I know what you are thinking. rain will water them for you. SORT OF! When its raining you have to walk around your farm to make sure the game registers rain hitting the ground. If you fly away to some other planet and dink around for an hour its really a crap shoot if your crops will be grown or not. Usually not.

I like that my ship has crew members. I have a bunch of plant ladies on my ship and it really makes me feel like quite a space pimp.
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19 of 24 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
31.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
I have this game from long ago, I have been waiting for 1.0 so that I can follow a formal story... and is amazing, I love exploring, building, growing a farm, searching for better weapons, cooking, doing quests... I have played Terraria, Junk Jack and Starbound, I love the 3 of them, each one is different. I could say starbound has lot of depth, love it!

I always play with someone, I use the Linux versio and she the windows one, both work fine.

10/10
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56 of 94 people (60%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
125 of 228 people (55%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
36.3 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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