Logo of Starbound
|Release date(s)||Windows, OS X, Linux
Starbound is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Chucklefish Games. Starbound takes place in a two-dimensional, procedurally generated universe which the player is able to explore in order to obtain new weapons, armor, and items, and to visit towns and villages inhabited by various intelligent lifeforms. Starbound was released out of early access in July 2016 for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux, and is in development for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita.
Starbound begins with the player inside a spacecraft after the destruction of Earth, home of the Terrene Protectorate, an intergalactic peacekeeping organization, while just having graduated from its ranks. With nothing to guide it, the shuttle shoots into space without direction, becoming lost in a sea of stars. The space shuttle orbits a habitable planet and an adventure begins that takes the player hurtling across the universe. Starbound contains both quests and story driven missions, buried inside its vast sandbox universe. The space shuttle acts as the player's vehicle while exploring the galaxy, containing a teleport pad the player can use to teleport down to the planets the shuttle is visiting, a ship locker for storing items, a fuel panel for refueling the ship and a cockpit for piloting the ship. The interior of the ship is also fully customizable, with any blocks able to be placed in the ship.
Many gameplay elements, such as items (i.e. guns, armour, and clothing), enemies, and planets, use procedural generation in order to provide a massive variety of content. The game features story-based missions, quests, free world exploration, enemies to fight, and the ability to interact with and terraform the environment. Player class is defined by items that the player is wearing. There is also a variety of space weaponry based on that of many sci-fi films.
The player has the option to choose an alternative path to earn their place in the galaxy, including the ability to farm and sell crops, build buildings, and charge rent to traveling NPCs or pirating spaceships and planets among other features in the game.
Starbound was announced by Tiyuri in February 2012, with a tiered, Kickstarter-style, pre-order opening via the Humble Store on April 13, 2013. Tier options included a copy of the game, an invite to the beta, and a download of the game's soundtrack, as well as game-related "rewards", such as naming an in-game non-player character, designing a hat or weapon, and having a statue of oneself designed to be placed in the game. Within 24 hours of the pre-order opening, over 10,000 people backed the game, contributing over $230,000 to fund the game's development. By May 2013, the Starbound pre-order had reached all three of its stretch goals by raising over $1,000,000. The game entered an early access beta on Steam on December 4, 2013, receiving over $2,000,000 in pre-orders prior to its launch. Starbound is written in C++ and uses a custom game engine. The soundtrack was composed by American composer Curtis Schweitzer.
Starbound received critical acclaim upon its release. IGN praised Starbound's crafting, exploration, and combat mechanics, comparing it to Terraria. Christopher Livingston of PC Gamer disagreed about the combat mechanics, calling them "lacking", but stated that Starbound was a charming space sandbox that would keep players entertained for hours. Nathan Grayson of Kotaku also disagreed with IGN about the game's combat, calling it "basic", but praised its exploration elements, calling the universe "strange and unpredictable" enough that players would never quite grow tired of it.
By December 2016, Starbound had sold over 2.5 million copies.
|Indie Game Magazine's Most Anticipated Game of 2013||Won|
|No. 1 Indie of The Year 2013||Won|
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