Kerbal Space Program

Good
  • Endless possibilities split into three distinct and varied game modes that ensures a wealth of content challenge
Bad
  • Some elements don't feel quite right and can cause frustration as you learn the game
8.5

Kerbal Space Program has you leading your own space program in a realistic single player sandbox environment that offers a wealth of space themed challenges to overcome. Whether you are a fan of the sandbox genre or have a keen interest in space travel you’ll find an enjoyable adventure as you lead the space program of the humanoid like green aliens referred to as Kerbals. With realistic physics underpinning everything within Kerbal Space Program it’s highly likely the game will also serve as a deep learning experience.

kerbal-space-program-gameplay-launch

Originally launched back in 2011 the game has continued to develop itself with an eventual Steam release in 2013 and subsequent console releases to expand the game availability and content. As noted above the core of your adventure is leading the space program of the Kerbals who are almost too willing to reach space. With a never ending supply of volunteers to send into space and associated resources you’ll find a game that is all about trial and error while you discover increasingly advanced mechanics. With success and time you’ll leave your starting planet to explore the solar system while constructing bases and stations in the stars.

This content is delivered through three distinct game modes with sandbox, science and career modes offering varied gameplay. Sandbox is the mode of ultimate freedom where you have access to everything in the game and can establish your own objectives that serves as a good place to experiment from time to time or for experienced players to push the game beyond the limits of the over modes.

kerbal-space-program-gameplay-orbit

Meanwhile in science mode you’ll be completing experiment orientated tasks that unlock extra pieces of technology and generally advanced the collective knowledge of the Kerbal society. Serving as a somewhat extended tutorial this mode has a steady drip feed of space parts based on mastery of the previous ones without overwhelming players. Lastly is the career mode where players take control of the space program of the Kerbals which includes funding, construction, upgrades and achievements along the way that provides a constant sense of progression.

Regardless of mode though the core gameplay revolves around constructing various rockets, ships and other spacefaring vessels. Once happy with your creation from the array of part pieces you’ll move it to the launch pad (or runway) and see how it operates in the mostly realistic physics engine. It’s highly likely you won’t succeed the first time you launch given the abundance of parts and individual statistics of each that need to be considered. With failure coming in many forms such as crashing back down to the planet surface, running out of fuel or a complete structure failure. These parts includes the likes of pods, fuel tanks, engines, command, structural, payload, aerodynamics. ground, thermal, electrical, communication, science, cargo and utility that need to be mixed and matched together appropriately.

kerbal-space-program-gameplay-planet

While spaceship design is pivotal to success in Kerbal Space Program your job is not done after launch though with players still having some limited control of your spaceship through the Stability Assist System that allows you to orientate your craft. Once you’ve got a reasonable foundation of experience you’ll go from simply achieving an orbit to visiting other planets and a range of other challenging contracts. In time this even extends to performing space walks with Kerbals themselves to create a fully fledged space experience.

Summary:

  • Take control of your own space program on behalf of the Kerbals as you explore three distinct game modes with their own challenges.
  • Create a number of spacecraft from a wide array of potential parts that allow for all sorts of combinations.
  • Launch a successful orbit, visit planets and even perform space walks with a consistent growth in abilities.
  • Command your own group of green aliens known as Kerbals.
  • Originally developed in 2011 with a 2013 release and expansion to console platforms since.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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