Exploring the Stars: Starbound

If you like games that involve mining and crafting stuff, Starbound is definitely a game that you should check out. For starters, there are a total of 7 races in the game, each with their own design theme and styles. You can choose from the traditional Humans, the bird-man Avian, the ape-looking Apex, the man-eating plant Floran, the fish-like Hylotl, the medieval Terminator-looking Glitch and the fiery gas-like Novakids, which are a relatively new addition to the game.

Each of the races in Starbound has their own unique set of armours and weapons that can be crafted. For example, the Florans have a tribal look to their equipment when compared to say, the Humans, who look more like their traditional Sci-Fi counterparts.

These armours are not racially exclusive though and can be shared with other players to be equipped as either armour or for purely cosmetic purposes. Yes, you can ask a friendly cannibalistic Floran to pass you their tribal-looking armour, provided they don’t eat your face off.

SB_Races

6 different races – Human, Avian, Apex, Floran, Hylotl and Glitch

Image Credit: Starbound Wiki

The races that you will be playing as each have their own backstories and reasons as to why they fled their home planet. For example, the Humans were fleeing from giant tentacles that were attacking their planet. You start off with a damaged ship, which you’ll need to repair with these shiny ores called Core Fragments, which can be only found deep within the planet crust. The ship’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) will guide you through the basics of the game, so you do not have to worry about reading through boring game manuals to find out how to play the game.

SB_Ships

Your ship design is determined by the race you choose

Image Credit: Starbound Official Website

With its latest updates, players can now take on new missions and quests to explore dangerous dungeons and fight big bosses. New techs (abilities) and decorations are also being added into the game. Techs are all useful in their own ways, such as the Double Jump that allows you to reach those pesky ledges that have been mocking you before. So it does not matter whether you are a beta player, there are still new things for you to try out and loot.

To progress further in the game, players will have to take on bosses or clear dungeons. If you find them too difficult to handle, have no fear. The type of gears and techs your character equip with will determine his/her strengths, so you do not have to worry about grinding for experience points since there is no leveling system in this game. Death penalty is also not an issue if you are playing on casual difficulty. Still can’t convince you? Well, why not ask a group of friends to assist you then. The tasks will be a lot simpler, but the only issue is how you will be splitting the loots with them.

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Penguins are cute in Starbound… only when they are not in UFO trying to shoot you

Image Credit: Starbound Wiki

Exploring planets and embarking on your own missions are what make Starbound fun to play.

Want to build your own temple from bits and pieces that you scavenged from that Avian Temple? Sure.

Want to build an underwater hotel? There are ocean planets for that.

Want to embark on a suicide mission to the most dangerous part of the galaxy with your friends? You can do that too.

If one chooses to pursue more creative efforts, players can embark on building homage to popular series, such as Star Trek’s fabled USS Enterprise, or their own unique creations. A companion of mine lives in a home, not unlike those that you see in Skyrim. Another stays in a home filled with flesh and bones. Players should have no trouble finding their preferred style of play since the possibilities are limitless.

While Starbound is still in development, it is already playable in its current state on Windows, Mac and Linux. For players who do not like to play their games on desktop computer, do not worry since there will be a possibility that the game will be released on PS4, Xbox One and other platforms. As promised by the developers, the full version of the game will contain more sidequests to complete, dungeons to explore, bosses to defeat and many other features. So grab your copy now on Steam for SGD$15 (the price is likely to change once the game development is completed). You will have to excuse me for now; I will be off with my friends to mine for more minerals and ores to build our dream space fortress.

Space_Fortress

Fancy living in space? Now you can!

Image Credit: Starbound Community

RJ

All images are taken from Starbound. Starbound content and materials are trademarks and copyrights of Chucklefish.

Disclaimer: The above images and trademarks are the sole and exclusive properties of their respective owners and are reproduced herein for the purpose of fair criticism and review.

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Kill Switch, Yay or Nay?

If you have prior experience of losing your Smartphone like I do, you will know what a pain it is to worry about the possibility of sensitive information stored in your phone being leaked. It is after all the sole device that contains all of my deepest darkest and maybe even dodgy secrets. So to have it lost … Is to me, one of the most painful experiences anyone might have to go through.

I may be spared that excruciating pain of worrying about where my personal information may end up at soon because, come July this year if I were to live in sunny California. Laws ensuring that all Smartphones sold programmed with an active kill switch will kick in.

Yes, you are now able to kill your phone.

Smartphone

Just like out of a comic, you press the magical RED annihilation button and POOF! The Smartphone that has been declared lost is now rendered completely useless. Making it almost impossible (only because hackers gonna hack) for the blackmailer or anyone to obtain any information from it, much less even try to use it.

For the absent minded worriers like myself, whose phone was actually in her back pocket but killed her Smartphone anyway just because, I couldn’t find it even though it is literally just there. Rejoice! The kill switch is reversible. For now, there it is still unclear on how the reversal will work, I figure that it would most probably be via cloud or a similar system.

For now, Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store have existing applications that mimics this function, with apps like ‘Find my Phone’ and ‘Android Device Manager’. These apps may not function in exactly the same manner as a kill switch, but they do prevent unauthorized usage of your phone and are able to give the location of your lost Smartphone.

It is definitely a YAY over a nay with kill switches for me. I personally can’t wait for the law to make kill switches mandatory on all Smartphones to be implemented in Singapore. With this law being enforced, I am assured that my dodgy little dark secrets remain private and one huge less worry for me if my Smartphone decides to go for a walk without me.

So, what are your views? Do share with me your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

G.K