Starbound: A Sci-fi Take On The Terraria Genre

Starbound is a sandbox adventure game developed by Chucklefish, released in July 2016 after a period of early access. It is renowned for its expansive universe, rich customization, and open-ended gameplay. Here’s a detailed exploration of what makes Starbound a standout indie game:

Plot and Setting

Starbound is set in a procedurally generated universe with an infinite number of planets to explore. The game begins with the player’s character, a member of the Terrene Protectorate, escaping the destruction of Earth. Stranded in space with a damaged ship, the player must explore various planets to gather resources, repair their ship, and eventually unravel the mystery behind the cataclysm that destroyed their home planet.

Gameplay Mechanics

Starbound offers a mix of exploration, combat, crafting, and building, providing a rich sandbox experience. Key gameplay elements include:

  • Exploration: Players can travel between planets and star systems, each with unique biomes, weather conditions, flora, fauna, and dungeons. Exploration is rewarded with resources, ancient artifacts, and lore about the universe.
  • Crafting and Building: Players can gather materials to craft tools, weapons, armor, and various items. The building system allows for the construction of bases, farms, and intricate structures, providing a creative outlet for players.
  • Combat: The game features a variety of enemies, from wild creatures to hostile aliens. Players can engage in combat using a wide range of weapons, including melee, ranged, and special sci-fi armaments. Combat is action-oriented, requiring players to dodge and strike with precision.
  • Quests and Story: While Starbound is largely sandbox-oriented, it also includes a main story questline that guides players through the universe’s lore and leads them to various important locations and battles. NPCs provide side quests that offer rewards and further exploration opportunities.
  • Farming and Colonization: Players can grow crops, raise livestock, and build colonies. Colonists provide rent and other benefits, adding an economic layer to the game.
  • Customization: Character creation is highly customizable, with several races to choose from, each with its unique lore, aesthetics, and abilities. Players can also customize their ships and upgrade them as they progress.

Visuals and Audio

Starbound features charming pixel art graphics that create a vibrant and diverse universe. Each planet and biome has its distinct visual style, contributing to the sense of discovery and adventure. The game’s soundtrack, composed by Curtis Schweitzer, is atmospheric and varied, enhancing the immersion with its soothing melodies and epic scores.

Narrative and Themes

The narrative of Starbound revolves around themes of exploration, survival, and discovery. The destruction of Earth sets the stage for a journey across the stars, where players encounter different civilizations, uncover ancient secrets, and piece together the history and lore of the universe. The game balances its main storyline with open-ended exploration, allowing players to create their own stories.

Have you played Starbound? What’s your favourite Part of Starbound? We’d love to hear from you. 

Other things you might want to know:

Is Starbound based on Terraria?

It is evident that Starbound takes the basis of Terraria and puts a Sci-fi spin on it.

Is Starbound fun single player?

Starbound is a great game with other players and maybe be lacking in single player.

How long does it take to beat Starbound?

Can take anywhere from 20 hours to 100+ hours.

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