Starbound Review

Starbound Review

  • almost 2 years ago by Jason Magee

Highlights

  • Tons to do
  • Tons of quality content
  • Looks amazing
  • Penguin mercenaries

Lowlights

  • Periods of resource gathering between armour tiers can be frustratingly slow (upgrade this, that, that other thing, etc. in order to build parts)
  • Having to keep looking up on the Wiki how to find x or y resource
  • Mining can still get tedious and grindy if done too often

Starbound is an open world 2D platformer with a procedurally generated universe and background story to boot. Starbound was developed by Chucklefish Games after a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2012 and was released this July.

Starbound is controlled by using your keyboard to move and mouse to interact, attack, look around, gather resources, etc.

There’s plenty to do in Starbound. For example, you could follow the story, build a settlement, collect followers and get a big spaceship, explore the universe, sail the seas, build better equipment, find better equipment, build an evil lair in space, farm crops, play with friends to do any of the above. For me, I enjoyed finding and exploring dungeons, building up my armoury and improving my spaceship. Oh, and also collecting crystals which allowed me to hire a penguin mercenary army for my ship.

I’m not usually a fan of open world sandbox style games but Starbound has me thoroughly addicted. The variety of creatures, weapons, armour, worlds, etc. is just incredible. Normally it only takes a short period of time to see everything a procedurally generated game has to offer but Starbound just kept on giving. At one point I was digging down to the centre of a planet to find some ore and came across a civilization of gnomes with tiny buildings. Naturally I destroyed the entire town only to find you could collect the gnomes and use them as a type of grenade to throw at enemies.

Interfaces are always very important in games like this and I found Starbound’s to be satisfactory, it certainly didn’t irritate me as much as Skyrim or Minecraft. As always, storage for items is an issue with this type of game, but even more-so in Starbound due to the amount of useful or cosmetic items you collect. At one point I had about thirty cool hats. Fortunately, storage containers are easy to come by or craft and with a bit of time spent phat loot can be easily managed.

The graphics look great, they’ve done a amazing job with the 2D lighting. During this review I upgraded to an ultrawide monitor and have to say that Starbound looks amazing on it. The the sheer quantity of content is astonishing, Starbound is packed. There’s no voice acting although the audio is generally sound. On the music front, I’m sure I hear a new tune every time I play the game.

I didn’t experience any bugs.

Starbound is like a mix of what No Man’s Sky should hopefully be like and Terraria. It’s fantastic and my favourite game this year so far - highly recommended.