Dev: Chucklefish

Publisher: Chucklefish

Release Date: July 22, 2016


You flee the earth as it’s ripped apart piece by piece on your battered starship with nothing but your Matter Manipulator and your loyal pet, fleeing to space, what could the future possibly hold for you now?

Well the answer to that is incredibly vague because after you fix that ship, the universe itself is your playground.


I have owned this game for quite a while being a part of the initial wave of Early access adopters of it. With its release and final form out for the world to see, I dove back into the absolutely fantastic game known as Starbound.

The general story of this game goes along the lines of this. You are a part of a defense, research, and colonization force for earth. However on your graduation day some force arrives and ravages the earth. You and many others barely manage to escape as earth is destroyed. You see strange readings from a planet, and you go to investigate, and from there your characters story truly begins.

Starting the game is fairly simple, you choose one of 7 races. Humans, Apex, Floran, Avian, Hylotl, Glitch, and Novakid. From there you choose what difficulty you’d like to play on, Casual; no need to eat and there are no death penalties, a good choice for first time players. Survival; You need to eat and you lose 30% of your money and drop all items upon death, a decent spot after you’ve become experienced with the game and want just a little more thrill. Finally Hardcore; this is not for the faint of heart, when this character dies, all progress and everything on them and their world is deleted permanently.


Once you have your character you can choose to skip or play through the opening mission, however if it’s your first time I recommend playing it, it’s pretty interesting and it teaches you the basics of this game. Once away from the opening mission, you must repair your starship by going to a mining facility, once you’ve made your way through there seeing the sights and collected what you need, you speak to a shady man and his penguin group and they repair your ship. Now it’s as simple as fueling your ship and going and exploring systems outside of the one you started it. You’ll find creatures, and small towns and colonies of the other races scattered on these planets, or perhaps even abandoned ruins of said races.



Should you choose you can bookmark planets you like, or even place down a flag that will allow you to warp to it from anywhere in the galaxy so perhaps put one down and build a base around it! If you’re also into building, well if you wanted you can build an entire colony filled with people from every race flocking to live there, and some after a while might even wanna become your crew!

Building isn’t the only thing you’ll be doing in this game either, you’ll also be exploring and fighting many terrible creatures, or even capturing them to have as pets. Combat in this game is fairly simplistic, and is vaguely like Terraria. However there are 1 handed and 2 handed weapons in this game. All 1 handed weapons can be equipped in the right or left side of each of the 6 slots, and upon pressing x, you get a fresh set of 6 slots giving you a large number of options and combinations. However for weapons that are two handed, they take up both the left and right of a slot, however they come with special abilities. This can range from having an ability that teleports the player forward but causes an explosion where they were standing before, or perhaps twirling a spear in a cyclone of death, or in the case of rifles perhaps you’ll have a handy grenade launcher attacked to the bottom. Due to the games random ability assigning, the possibilities are limitless.


I’ve put quite a lot of time into this game both alone and with a friend or two, and I honestly can say that I’ve enjoyed every second I’ve played and rarely did I have a dull moment. Some might say that the sheer amount of things to do in this game can be overwhelming, yet I disagree, not once did I ever feel any pressure to do one thing or another, in fact I often bounced between many projects I started and didn’t finish, only to later comeback and work more on it. Weather I was digging for resources, or building a colossal empire with my bare hands, this game has had me smiling and enjoying myself.

So let’s look at the good and the bad of this game.

The good:

  • Each race in the game is unique, and different, and all their armor and weaponry are very characteristic of the race, they don’t possess any passives so you’re free to choose what race you want and love the look of without feeling like you’ll be at a disadvantage from the start.
  • Each world I’ve visited has been different in some way shape or form, even if the villages or colonies I encounter where the same in look, something about them always made them feel different.
  • The game itself isn’t incredibly difficult yet it poses enough of a challenge especially at certain stages and it’s never been boring.
  • The weaponry of the game is all really fun, and often sometimes even a little silly.
  • Speaking of silly, the sheer amount of cosmetic items throughout the game is fantastic, there are hundreds of items to put over top of your armor to make you look just about any way you want!
  • The game has musical instruments and with workshop support, or some hard work, can play any song you desire, get some friends together and you can even make a band.
  • The game has steam workshop support, and its moding scene is already nuts.


The Bad:

  • At times while playing the game I have run into some minor problems of the game losing FPS, but it was never serious and often just resulted in the game going slow motion rather than jittering.
  • Certain mechanics can at times feel far more fleshed out than others, ones like farming, and the merchant system as well as abilities and upgrades.
  • While I personally have been enjoying the story that was added to the game I feel it’s worth noting that it’s honestly nothing special or anything to write home about.

And The Ugly:

  • Whatever this thing is:


My final thoughts on the game after playing it, are honestly nothing but positive, I plan to play it much more in the future and probably almost more than most games I own currently. I cannot recommend this game enough to you, it’s 14.99USD or your regional equivalent, and I beseech you to go and give this absolutely fantastic game a go, maybe even grab some friends and turn it into one heck of an adventure!

The game is rated T for Teen

One thought on “Starbound

  1. Pingback: July in Review | Gamer's Elegy

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