Starbound: worth it for kids?


TLDR: is Starbound worth it for my 8yo? He plays Terraria; can build, beat bosses, etc.

Starbound supposedly has a poor battle system, and a repetitive quest system – neither will be an issue.

Worth the $20?

What do you think @Rec @BloodMoney @asad3ainjalout @Fadi ? Since all y’all actually own this game …


if he enjoys Terraria then yes he will like starbound, maybe even a bit more if he’s into the whole going into space thing. I’d say its worth

Wa alaykum ussalaam,

tl;dr: I don’t recommend spending $20 on Starbound. Will your kid like it? Probably. But he might not last very long with it.

Long version:

I have put over 184 hrs into Terraria, but only 25 hrs into Starbound.

Terraria has one world with A LOT of depth (pun intended). It also has natural difficulty scaling which is tuned to character progression. In starbound, rather than depth, you get breadth. LOTS of (seemingly) unique worlds, monsters, elements, etc. But, when you peel away the paint, everything is more or less the same.

Starbound does graphics, visual effects, and the whole space theme really well. It is, however, by no means “Terraria in space”. Crafting is made more complex and the game doesn’t prepare you well to face the world you are dropped into. Most monsters react to your presence by charging full speed at your character, giving you little time to react. This all leads to deaths that seem unfair.

When you do look for answers on questions like “what am I supposed to do,” “how do I get stronger,” “what is the point of this,” you are met either with walls of text, or nothing at all.

I stopped playing because I felt frustrated with the experience—maybe because Terraria spoiled me with all the different ways you can make progress: Collect stars at night, dive into the earth and find hearts, mine different ore to make better gear, delve the dungeon or take to the skies for treasure.

Exploring the world was interesting and rewarding. Notsomuch in Starbound.

Based on all that, I think your son might enjoy it initially. Play with some of the neat mechanics, see cool looking monster creations, build the few things that you can in the beginning. But, as he gets punished for doing all those things without being rewarded enough for investing the time to do them, he will likely get frustrated and lose interest.

If you do still want to buy Starbound, I recommend getting it on sale.

Full disclosure:
I jumped onto the starbound train early on and backed their kickstarter campaign. I even bought a copy for my brother so that we can play together. I got as far as the UFO and (basically) Planet 2. After it went 1.0, I gave it another shot. The narrative was they added was nice, but they didn’t do enough to improve core gameplay mechanics and add elements to help make the game feel rewarding to play.

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You can get it for £9.81 here

I mean there is always obtaining it, waiting for a sale and then paying for it. lol. Try before you buy and the like. Either that or dont play more than 2 hrs and then return it on Steam if you dont like it. :stuck_out_tongue:

They allow you to return it now?! lol Gengis would not have been mad with valve if they had that policy years ago :stuck_out_tongue:

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Has the “fatwa” changed with the recent changes? Starbound showed up in my discovery queue today and I thought I’d ask again. Based on the Steam page, it sounds like a single-universe space-themed Terraria with easier combat.

I have 6-8 kids, aged 3.5-9, glued to Terraria. Mostly I give them choices of: build a house, kill monsters, kill zombies, or dig/explore. The younger ones have challenges with combat for sure.

Do it ashes!

Thoughts @Rec?

@ashes987, if your kids won’t care about the repetitive combat and the feeling of sameness in most of the items, monsters, NPCs and world-features, there is enough content to keep them amused.

Also, if you’re coming back to this question after so long, there’s probably enough interest on your side to buy it on sale.

That said, I haven’t fired up Starbound in a long while, so I don’t know if recent iterations have fixed my problems with it. The game has been out for a few years now so if my issues aren’t addressed it’s unlikely that they will be.

(Unless there’s a mod stack out there that deals with it… hmm…)

Edit note: Put my assessment behind a spoiler. It’s basically a summary of my comment from October.

My core issue with it is that they’re trying to inject “RPG” concepts into a “limitless” world and simply failing to deliver on both. The RPG elements lack personality and depth and the appeal of a limitless world goes grey when everything feels same-y. With a lack of investment in characterization the “effort > reward” loop doesn’t feel balanced at all.

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