Starbound is an action-adventure video game released on the 22nd of July 2016 by Chucklefish Games, the same company which published Stardew Valley, and just like that game, this one is two-dimensional, focusing on the content instead of on impressive graphics.
The Starbound project began in 2012 when the developers wanted to create a game that continued the legacy of Terraria in space with a procedurally generated galaxy and in your explorations you can receive new weapons, armor or other items.
You start inside a spacecraft after the Earth was destroyed and as a part of an intergalactic peacekeeping organization you have to start seeking a new home. The adventure begins when you find a habitable planet and you have land there, find materials and fix your ship after which you can go exploring again.
Starbound allows you to discover many worlds, improve your ship and build other vehicles as well, raise villages and much more, making it a game that can in theory be played forever. The developers called it an “extraterrestrial sandbox adventure game” and since you are set into a procedurally generated world this is quite a huge setting.
You use the shuttle as your main vehicle and you have a teleport pad there to go on the planets as well as a locker for your items, a fuel panel and the pilot’s cockpit. Each part of the ship can be customized and thus you can alter it to suit your needs better.
The planets can be terraformed and the farming elements are present here as well, so you can plant things, build different buildings, rent your home to different NPCs that wander on your planets and do many more things.
There are quests you can complete on the planets you travel to and there are also missions through which you get accustomed to the gear you are wearing. The missions are actually a pre made setting that is similar to a dungeon you must fight your way through and in the end you reach a boss that you must find.
When it comes to the races you can choose from seven of them, each having its own history and culture. They are quite diverse and are based on various life forms such as birds, apes, plants, fish, cows or robots.
The soundtrack is quite wonderful, being composed by Curtis Schweitzer and it suits the atmosphere of the game really well. To experience the game in its full scope it is probably a better idea to try it out with some friends because this will improve your opinion about Starbound.
Now for the problems… even if the Starbound project began in 2012 the current version of the game is really badly optimized and many players complained about fps drops. The sidequests given by the NPCs you encounter aren’t too interesting and the crafting system could use a better interface since you waste a lot of time simply looking at the progress. To add to that the game is really vague about what you need to do in order to craft different things and you are left guessing most of the time.
In fact the entire game has an interface that can be called clunky so we must wonder what the developers were thinking when they considered the game ready to be released. A new player will have a lot of difficulties getting used to the game since there isn’t much of a tutorial around and the first few hours are making it really hard to get into the Starbound because they simply throw too many confusing elements at the player.
To conclude, Starbound has many things that appear attractive and with some much needed updates it will probably become a great experience but in its current form the game simply has too many bugs and problems. We would only recommend this to someone who was obsessed by Terraria, otherwise we give this game a 6 out of 10.