Developed and published by Chucklefish (the publisher behind Stardew Valley), Starbound strikes me as the most beautiful pixel-aesthetic game I have ever seen. The soundtrack is beautiful (I bought it on limited edition Vinyl, though I listen to it more on Spotify), the customization is vast (the mod support from the community is incredible), and there is just so much to do and explore that I can get lost in a game for hours at a time.
Before I try to get you to play this game, I want to make sure you know upfront that at the time of this writing, I have no connections, contacts, or affiliation with Chucklefish or anyone involved in Starbound. This is not an ad, I am not being paid to promote this game, I simply want to share it with you in the hopes that you find the joy that I do when I am playing it.
Go where you want, do what you want. Build what you want.
Terrene Protectorate, an intergalactic peace organization known across the vastness of space. You are a cadet here, just getting ready for your graduation day. At the ceremony, you await your name to be announced when a gigantic creature attacks the planet and destroys countless landmasses across the globe. The day in ruins, just like the city in which you inhabit, you manage to escape with the Matter Manipulator tool, having been shot off into space with no real guidance, aside from the trusty AI built into your ship. This is your journey. Complete missions, side quests, bounties, and explore the universe. Go where you want, do what you want. Build what you want.
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 universe…
- Choose from one of 7 playable races (or more, if you mod it. A LOT more) 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
Let’s touch base on gameplay. Basically, Starbound is like a 2D side-scrolling Minecraft in space with a procedural generated universe at the forefront. You can customize your character with endless combinations of styles and armor, skills and abilities, weapons and tools. There are mechs, there are mods to turn you into a Jedi, you can build a fortress of solitude on any planet or moon of your choosing, or build a space station and have an entire crew of bounty hunters operate it for you. You can helm the Firefly ship while dressed as Malcolm Reynolds and order Jayne Cobb around, or turn your ship into a castle. Or just build a castle. If you can think it, you can make it, or install it from a mod (which is super easy to do).
It has been a while since Starbound received a major update, but after some time, Chucklefish has rededicated its time to enhance the player experience with a variety of new additions.
For the 1.4 update we’ve been creating new micro-dungeons specifically for Bounty Hunting quests, with new furniture objects too! #indiedevhour
The rain is starting to flood this abandoned office block, but at least the little owl upstairs is dry & ready to do some photocopying! pic.twitter.com/XzLm6v2TrN
— Starbound (@StarboundGame) May 1, 2019
PlayStarbound.com is your place for all things Starbound, respectively. In a recent blog posts, the devs shared a little of what you can expect in the update, that is currently in an unstable, but playable beta version.
In Starbound 1.4 you’ll become a bounty hunter, taking on new quests to track down wanted criminal gangs, rise up through the Peacekeeper ranks and ultimately restore law and order in the universe! Additionally there’s lots of other content including new dungeons, monster variants, new items, furniture pieces and more to discover.
- New procedurally-generated quests that see the player travel to worlds and into space, hunting down criminal gangs
- New Peacekeeper stations for bounty hunters – work your way through promotions and restore law in the universe
- Take the fight to criminal gangs at their hideouts, including a climatic final mission & boss fight!
- New Peacekeeper and gang related events that happen whilst you’re hunting bounties
- New dungeon and micro-dungeons
- New elemental monster variants
- New items
- New furniture objects
- Minor bug fixes
Even though the primary game has not added its upcoming v1.4 update, there are countless quests, dungeons, base facilities, space stations, and biomes to explore. Whatever it is you wanna do, chances are, you will be able to do it in Starbound.
Currently, as it stands, Starbound is only available on PC, for $14.99 USD. Chucklefish has stated they plan to port the game over to consoles, with rumors surrounding Xbox first. Although, we cant help but feel like this would be a perfect title to add to the Nintendo Switch Library.
Starbound is a game for all players, whether you are among the casual, the hardcore hobbyist, or somewhere in between. Starbound offers players an abundance in choices. Land on a planet, kill the inhabitants, or gather PokeBall-like contraptions, and capture creatures across the various galaxies to add to your Collector-esque type display a la Guardians of the Galaxy (seriously, you can do that if you want). Gather molten lava from the core of the planet, and build yourself a fiery mote around your fortress. Install a mod that allows you to power up like a Saiyan and fire Kamehameha waves at enemies. Or, browse the mod store and install one of the incredible community-made weapons to take on Starbound’s most heinous villains.
In Starbound, the possibilities are endless. All you have to do is try it yourself, and let the journey begin.