Exploring the galaxy one pixel at a time
“Starbound? What’s that?”
Starbound is an action-adventure game with an emphasis on sandbox and exploration, and was developed by a company by the name of Chucklefish. The game received a lot of praise through the amount of replay value, and how players can do whatever they want as soon as they’re able to reach a certain point early on in the game. What that is, however, is something that’ll have to be talked about.
After choosing from one of eight races, the game begins with you graduating and becoming a fully-fledged Procterate, someone who spreads peace throughout the entire galaxy. Though as you’re about to receive your main tool, things suddenly take a turn for the worse as a tentacle beast emerges and begins destroying everything on sight. Taking the tool in hand, you successfully managed to escape onto your ship, but sustained heavy damage midway, and you wake up somewhere in the galaxy, ready to explore the unknown…
As previously mentioned, this is primarily an action-adventure game, yet it has an emphasis on sandbox and exploration. People would say the closest resemblance would be Terraria but more Sci-Fi, which is a fair comparison. Your main tool is the Matter Manipulator, a device able to mess with the matter inside an object and make it small enough to fit inside your pocket. Another element that this game puts an emphasis on is crafting. Early on, you can craft a few items, such as Torches or a Campfire. But once you craft yourself an Inventor’s Table, that’s when things start to get interesting. With it, you can make other stations like a Furnace to smelt ores you find underground, or perhaps a Forage Table so you work with either hunting or gardening, to name a few things you can do. You can craft armor and weapons with the Anvil so you’ll be able to have a better chance at surviving the galaxy.
One thing I love about this game are the Codex. The Codex is basically just lore that you can find in various books and files, which are usually found in boxes or chests of any kind. They give you an in-depth description of how the various races live their lives and what happened throughout history. Speaking of which, there are eight races to choose from, each with their own background and are based on some form of real world equivalent. Of course you have the humans, who are based on a futuristic society, but then you have the Apex, monkey people who are based on George Orwell’s “1984,” the Hylotl are fish people that are based on Eastern culture (Both Feudal and Modern), the Novakids are humanoid plasma beings who are based on the Wild West, just to name a few of the races. While they don’t play any differently, all of the Codex you find throughout your adventure will be able to help you show just what kind of life each race lives by.
The best party, however, is that the game can be modded. People can make new content like new weapons, armor, races, or gameplay changes. One of the most popular mods being Frackin Universe. The modding community is able to do so much on an otherwise great game, making it even better.
In the end, Starbound remains to be one of my favorite games that I have ever owned. You can buy the game on Steam for $15, and you can even play it with friends for more fun. Starbound is a fun adventure that is highly recommended to at least try out.