Starbound

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Starbound Game Poster Image
Sandbox adventure is fun, gratifying, but has odd controls.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Game lets you choose how to play, whether you want to try to save universe, colonize planets for your own gain. So it's not positive or negative.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Just as you can choose how you want to play, you can also create, randomize character traits, such as race (human, various kinds of aliens), gender, look, and the like. You don't learn anything about protagonist -- they're a clean slate.

Ease of Play

Slightly confusing controls get easier after a few play attempts with game. Three difficulty levels included.

Violence

While not graphic, character can shoot a Matter Manipulator at an object -- such as a pile of dirt, stones -- or swing a sword at an alien tentacle. Pixelated visuals limit impact of violence.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Starbound soundtrack is available for purchase.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Starbound is a downloadable sandbox adventure game. There's mild violence in the game but nothing too graphic, plus the visuals are purposely pixelated for a retro effect. Controls can be a bit confusing at first, but it only takes a few play sessions to fully understand them. Plus, there are three difficulty levels to provide a challenge for players.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3, 6, and 8 year old Written byAaron B. April 10, 2018

An absolute blast if you have at least two computers

I play this with my 8- and 6-year-old sons. We have a great time. The controls took some time for the kids to master, but now, they are pretty good. This is a s... Continue reading
Adult Written byHARry PLAYZZ August 21, 2018

STATR BOUND IS A ORETTY AKLIRGHT GAMES!

I LIKE THSI GAME BECAYSE OF HIW FUN IT IS TO PLAY BECAUSE IT IS LIKE MINE CRAFT bECAUSE OF HOW YOU GET THINGS AND DO THEINGS IN TEH GAME LIKE MINECRAFY BECAUSE... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMcjayinventor January 14, 2018

'Mazing game

Very great game, With multiple ways to go. You could complete the story to gain the best gear, or you could stay at a lower level and do things such as colonize... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 8, 2018

Love this game

I LOVE this game! I spend hours mining and exploring, and when you fix your spaceship in the game, you can explore 100s of planets and build bases and colonize... Continue reading

What's it about?

In STARBOUND, you play as a sole survivor of a destroyed planet, who escapes into space and then beams down onto an alien world. While the beginning is more or less the same for all players (although you do choose your race, gender, physical appearance, and more), it doesn't take long before your decisions shape this open-ended sandbox world. All you've got is a Matter Manipulator and a beat-up sword, and you're off to unlock the mysteries of this world. Can you find resources to repair your damaged ship? Will you fight back against the forces that destroyed your home world? Or will you colonize uncharted planets, collect odd creatures, battle in dungeons, and craft as many new items as you can? It's entirely up to you. Starbound also includes an optional cooperative multiplayer component (drop-in and drop-out co-op play), plus the game can be "modded" (modified), where you're given the tools to add new quests, races, dungeons, and more.

Is it any good?

This open-world sandbox-style game is highly enjoyable and replayable. It's also a unique experience, as Starbound is part adventure, part 2D platformer, and part sandbox game with countless building, crafting, and collecting elements. You can build huge structures, have tenants move in and pay you, and meet characters (or even alien creatures) who may want to join in your quests. You can follow the story or go about your business to explore underwater kingdoms or enormous castles. Starbound offers a ton of variety yet somehow doesn't seem overwhelming to the player. There are also three difficulty levels to play at your own pace. While the retro graphics might not be for everyone, and the controls take some getting used to, it's hard to deny the appeal of this indie game. But be sure to carve some time out of your schedule as there's so much to see, craft, build, collect, and fight in this charming adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about creativity. What sparks your imagination? How do you like to act upon your ideas? Is there a particular media in which you like to express yourself, or do you prefer using whatever is at hand?

  • Talk about the appeal of "sandbox"-style games, such as Minecraft and Terraria. Is it because it's more about construction than destruction? Or the fact that it's open-ended and no two games are the same? Are these games more addictive than structured games?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love creativity

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