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Starbound Logo.png
Logo of Starbound
Developer(s) Chucklefish Games
Publisher(s) Chucklefish Games
Distributor(s) Steam
Director(s) Finn Brice
Producer(s) Rosie Ball
Designer(s) Stephen Alexander
Programmer(s) Catherine West
Michael Reilly
Alex Lawson
Artist(s) George Wyman
Doris Carrascosa
Writer(s) Nina White
Composer(s) Curtis Schweitzer
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One
Release date(s) Windows, OS X, Linux
  • WW: July 22, 2016
PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One
  • WW: TBA
Genre(s) Action-adventure[1]
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

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.[2] 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.


A player character navigates a dimly-lit cave.
A player character and two non-playable characters rest inside a timber house.
Exploration and settlement gameplay in Starbound. Players can navigate, explore and mine procedurally-generated terrain (left) to gather resources and create settlements, including constructing houses and leasing rooms to NPC tenants and villagers (right).

Many gameplay elements, such as items (i.e. guns, armour, and clothing), enemies,[3] 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.[4]

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,[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] By May 2013, the Starbound pre-order had reached all three of its stretch goals by raising over $1,000,000.[8] 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.[9] Starbound is written in C++ and uses a custom game engine.[10] The soundtrack was composed by American composer Curtis Schweitzer.[11]

The game was released out of its early access beta for PCs on July 22, 2016.[12] The game will also be ported for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Xbox One at a later time.[13][14][15]


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 81/100[18]
Review scores
Publication Score
IGN 9.1/10[16]
PC Gamer (UK) 94/100[17]
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Starbound received critical acclaim upon its release. IGN praised Starbound's crafting, exploration, and combat mechanics, comparing it to Terraria.[16] 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.[17] 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.[19]

By December 2016, Starbound had sold over 2.5 million copies.[20]


Award Result
Indie Game Magazine's Most Anticipated Game of 2013 Won[21][22]
No. 1 Indie of The Year 2013 Won[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Starbound". GameSpot. Retrieved April 12, 2016. 
  2. ^ "About | Starbound". Chucklefish Studios. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Twitter / Tiyuri: "So, Fridays will be "tweet ..."". July 13, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ Nathan Meunier (May 24, 2012). "Preview: Starbound". Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ Priestman, Chris (February 17, 2012). "Tiyuri Unveils His Upcoming Game 'Starbound'". Indie Game Magazine. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ Rossignol, Jim (April 13, 2013). "Starbound Pre-Orders Prove Somewhat Popular". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ Sykes, Tom (April 13, 2013). "Starbound pre-orders bring in over $230,000, game seems 'bound' for success - News - PC Gamer". PC Gamer. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Starbound Pre-Order". Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  9. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (December 4, 2013). "Starbound beta lands on PC, Mac and Linux today". EuroGamer. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  10. ^ "FAQ - Starbound". Chucklefish. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ Reilly, Michael (June 16, 2012). "Music in Starbound.". Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Starbound is Leaving Orbit on 22 July". Retrieved July 8, 2016. 
  13. ^ Raze, Ashton (August 20, 2013). "Starbound: Extraterrestrial Sandbox Adventure Coming to PS4". Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  14. ^ McWhertor, Michael (August 20, 2013). "Fez, Starbound and Velocity 2X coming to PS Vita". Polygon. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  15. ^ Morris, Tatiana (August 4, 2015). "ARK: Survival Evolved, Starbound and more headed to Xbox One, Windows 10". GameZone. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  16. ^ a b Plagge, Kallie (March 24, 2016). "Starbound Review". IGN. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Livingston, Christopher. "Starbound Review". PC Gamer. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Starbound for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  19. ^ Grayson, Nathan. "Starbound: The Kotaku Review". Kotaku. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  20. ^ Wawro, Alex (January 23, 2017). "Chucklefish's Starbound surpasses 2.5 million copies sold". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 23, 2017. 
  21. ^ Gnade, Mike (2013). "The Best Indie Games of 2012 Chosen by You in Issue 30". The Indie Game Magazine. (30): 14. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  22. ^ Mike, Gnade (February 4, 2013). "IGM Readers Choice: The Best Indie Games of the Year 2012". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Indie of The Year 2013 feature". Indie DB. December 27, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 

External links[edit]