A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Into the Stars is a downloadable space-simulation game that puts players in command of a spaceship transporting the last remnants of Earth's civilization to the only planet able to support human life. Players must manage and maintain their ship while exploring new areas and learning how to find and utilize resources. There's some ship-to-ship combat, with players defending themselves against alien foes. Combat is methodical and lacking in blood or gore, with defeated foes simply exploding in space. The game has a heavy emphasis on reading, statistics, and critical thinking.
What's it about?
INTO THE STARS is set in the distant future, where the Earth finds itself under attack by a hostile alien race known as the Skorn. Although humanity survived, the attacks continued, ravaging the planet and putting our civilization on the brink of extinction. As a last-ditch effort to survive, humanity develops a fleet of large spaceships called "Arks" to relocate what's left of civilization to a new home, Titus Nova, the only planet discovered to be habitable by humans. So far, none of the previous 12 Arks has managed to reach this new home. Into the Stars puts you in the captain's seat of Ark 13, the last of the Arks. You'll have to travel through the galaxies, face down hostile aliens, scavenge supplies, and maintain order among the people. Can you succeed where everyone else has failed? The fate of the human race is in your hands.
Is it any good?
For anyone who has ever watched a space adventure, there's always a sense of wonder and excitement as you imagine what it would be like to sit in the captain's chair of a massive spaceship, exploring the stars, fighting off alien threats, and making the hard choices that define what it means to be a leader. Into the Stars gives players the chance to live out that fantasy on an epic scale. Rather than simply clicking on a location and instantly popping up there, you'll take the wheel of the Ark 13, maneuvering through space, dodging hostile patrols, and easing into orbit above new planets to gather resources and carry out special missions. It's a gorgeous, peaceful, and even calming view from the outside, one that belies the frantic chaos usually going on in the ship's bridge.
Commanding the last hope of humanity isn't easy. There are constant alerts, alarms, and the like going off, warning of issues that require your immediate attention. Maybe a critical system on the ship is failing. Or it might be an uprising of the citizen populace on the ship. Or it might be a showdown with Skorn patrols preparing to fire on you. Whatever the issue, you need to prioritize your efforts, assigning some crew members to take care of the onboard issues while sending others out on missions to gather resources, make diplomatic relations, and recover materials and equipment to keep the Ark 13 running in top shape. It's a persistent challenge and a bit of a juggling act to keep track of the ship's needs while still progressing toward Titus Nova, but the game does a phenomenal job of keeping that challenge balanced and never tipping over into frustration. Much as in real life, there are difficult decisions to make in the game, and not every event is going to go your way. But, in the end, if you think through the problems put forward, you'll make progress and, most of the time, be left with a real sense of accomplishment.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: Windows
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, reading comprehension
Science: engineering, astronomy, rocks and minerals
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, collecting data, defining problems, logic, strategy, thinking critically
Responsibility & Ethics: learning from consequences, making wise decisions
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Iceberg Interactive
- Release date: March 4, 2016
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: Adventures, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.