Create and destroy on a scale you’ve never imagined!
User reviews: Very Positive (1,699 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 29, 2011

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Recommended By Curators

""Don't just be thinking this is some sciencey crap, no. You can play pool in space, kick pluto while it's down, throw a teapot.. AT AUSTRALIA!""
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Recent updates View all (1)

August 27

Universe Sandbox ², the long awaited sequel, is now available for purchase

Get instant access to the Universe Sandbox ² Alpha on Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux and pre-order the finished game.

Available for purchase at

While you buy though our website (via the Humble Bundle people), you'll redeem your copy on Steam and the game will appear in your Steam library.

Universe Sandbox ² is in alpha and very much unfinished, but it already blows away the original version with improved physics, climate simulations, material properties, terraforming, and awesome collisions.

We welcome you to join us on this journey as we continue to add and improve the sequel over the next year.

21 comments Read more


“This is where Universe Sandbox succeeds brilliantly: players experience godly power to create or destroy, while almost unavoidably learning something about the physical properties of our universe.”
87/100 – PC Gamer

“Using the vast range of variables and tools at your disposal you can create some enormously convoluted displays of physics, bending cosmic laws to your will...”
80% – bit-gamer

About This Game

Create and destroy on a scale you've never imagined with the ultimate space simulator.

Harness the power to create black holes, collide galaxies, and manipulate gravity with just a few clicks. Inspired by the software astronomers use to unlock the mysteries of our universe, never before has astronomy been so interactive or so much fun.

Spawn a massive moon to tear apart Saturn’s rings or launch a rogue star to rip the planets from their orbits around our sun. After unleashing catastrophic destruction, create your own solar system and share it with friends.

Key Features

  • Interactive, real-time, n-body gravity simulator
  • Change any property of any object at any time
  • Real physics, real data, real units, real science
  • Compare the objects in any simulation with chart mode
  • Supports anaglyphic 3D glasses and 3D DLP televisions
  • Built in tutorials and step-by-step activities
  • Includes 70+ simulations both real and fantastical
  • Extensive editing and creation tools make it easy to build your own simulations

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP Service Pack 3
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB
    • Video Card: DirectX 9 level graphics card
Helpful customer reviews
90 of 97 people (93%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Universe Sandbox isn't a game per se; there are no bosses, aims or levels, merely an accurate model of astronomical bodies for you to fiddle with. It's really more of a toy – the virtual equivalent of a configurable orrery, except hugely more complex than any mechanical system.That complexity is one of the key attractions that Universe Sandbox possesses. Using the vast range of variables and tools at your disposal you can create some enormously convoluted displays of physics, bending cosmic laws to your will out of nothing more than a desire to see pretty patterns form on your screen.There are a series of example experiments to help ease you into the level of curiosity that Universe Sandbox requires – each one acting as a tutorial – but the real fun lies in creating your own simulations. The camera is a little fiddly at times, but my biggest complaint is that the simulator doesn’t come with any sound or music. While I appreciate that’s realistic, given the lack of orchestras in the vacuum of space, it would have been nice to have some ambient music quietly twinkling away in the background.Still, it’s hard to get too dissatisfied with Universe Sandbox when you factor in both the fact that it’s a one-man labour of love and that it’s available at a bargain price. If nothing else it offers something uniquely interesting and fun, which is quick to inspire imagination and creativity, even if it lacks the educational aspect that you might expect.
Posted: July 22
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64 of 66 people (97%) found this review helpful
65.6 hrs on record
This game is awesome. As an astronomy teacher, I use it to illustrate and enrich my students' curriculum. It works better than any graphing calculator, and I recommend it more highly than my course textbook. The simulator is beautiful and can extrapolate to scales beyond all human imagining with surprising accuracy over long periods of time (graphics permitting). Great Workshop potential, also includes a few trading cards and achievements. It also has a wikipedia overlay for more extensive research on any alien material (pun intended). Very informative and entertaining. Any astrowhiz will easily waste hours with this enticing physics sandbox. Highly reccomended for any learned individual with a penchant for the cosmos, or even anyone who likes space and wants to fling asteroids into Earth and give the planet a ring system, or even two suns.
Posted: July 13
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313 of 458 people (68%) found this review helpful
13.4 hrs on record
You can crash teapots into the sun 11/10
Posted: June 3
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78 of 97 people (80%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Be thankful that I'm not God.
Posted: July 21
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74 of 136 people (54%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Universe Sandbox shouldn't be looked at with the expectation of a game. It's exactly what it says it is, a sandbox on a universal scale, but to be used for teaching and experimentation purposes far more than simply to entertain (though perhaps some may find enjoyment over manipulating galaxies). It does an excellent job at what it attempts, but is hard to recommend to anyone but the most avid space lover for its dry and overly open ended nature.

If you're still unclear what US actually is, you can think of it as playing god with stars and planets in a galaxy of your own design. You're given complete free reign over every aspect of your universe and all that's within it, allowing you to create scenarios that could never occur in reality but nonetheless I'm sure many have wondered what would look like (for example: what if the earth was the size of the sun). It's an intriguing idea with nearly limitless options, but I have to take issue with US for doing a poor job catering to anyone but those who already posses a keen understanding of the cosmos and a fascination with what they hold. Aside from a few tutorial sections that show you a few possible things you can do, you're left to create your own fun, which for some (myself included) doesn't go much farther than shooting a dozen planet size footballs into the sun and seeing what comes of it.

I can't recommend Universe Sandbox to many, but it's not because it's bad or too much along the lines of taking an astronomy class. It knows what it is and gives you all the tools you could want to fool around in a galaxy, testing possible outcomes or teaching others about what exists in the vastness of space, but it will only ever appeal to a niche audience of astrophysicists and those that simply have a deep love of space. It's a tool that gives back whatever you put into it, the problem is just knowing how to use it.
Posted: June 21
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362 of 392 people (92%) found this review helpful
16.0 hrs on record
When I say that I'd reccomend this game it's only to a small niche of people. Because I happen to fall in the niche I rather liked Universe Sandbox, though I can see where many people woud not. Universe Sandbox is pretty self explanatory in the title, its a astrophysics sandbox in which you can create and destroy solar systems, galaxys, or even galaxy clusters (if your computer is beefy enough) Many stats and attributes are tracked as you simulate the astral dance of heavenly bodies.

Things like density, spin, velocity, mass, and heat are all tracked and simulated to give you the most realistic expierience possible. Unfortunately, it doesnt get very realistic. My biggest gripe I would suppose is the physics. The game uses Eular math, or if you have a processing power Runge Kata. But eventually stable orbits will do someting completely random, sending a few planets and stars on random vectors straight out if your little "pitri dish". This doesnt bother me too much because it mostly only happens when it comes to simulating galaxies. On the solar system level it does quite well and it has enough options to accomodate nearly any computer's processing power. That is, if you can navigate the menus.

Theres lots of options and statistics for every celestial body and you can edit every fascet. the problem is, this creates a very confusing series of menus, with confusing abbreviations and volcabulary if you're not already familiar with scientific notation and units of measurement. If the menus were a bit more friendly I think it would open up this game to alot more people. The actual simulation field can be a bother to wrangle too. I found it sometimes likes to snap focus to nearly every other celestial body but the one I want to focus on. The "searchbar" at the top ended up being my best friend.

If youre like me, and you can wrangle the menus and put up with the sometimes sketchy simulation, it truely is a universe at your fingertips. This simulator will only take you as far as your imagination (or processor) will take you. Binary systems, rings around Earth -- have you ever wondered what it would look like if the earth had a ring then the moon crashed through it? The possiblities are more or less limitless, given your computer can handle the math. If youre into astronomy, physics or just enjoy space to any degree, this game is worth checking out.

Without an actual objectives or things to accomplish, this game falls short of actually being a game. It would be better described as an app. This one probably isnt right for the masses, but just right for the armchair astronomer in me.
Posted: November 26, 2013
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