A while back I talked about three space related games that are on the rise, but there is a fourth that is well worth mention to say the least. Space Engineers by Keen Software is a space simulator that offers mining, flying, shooting, and building in a multiplayer or single player sandbox. The game has often been simplified as Minecraft in space, which is partially true but not really fair. Minecraft in its vanilla form doesn’t offer much in the way of creativity—you can build structures but you can’t build vehicles, and there are basically no physics. Space Engineers was presented as a game that was proud of its physics, and showed them off with some exciting alpha footage.
Since the launch, there have been hundreds of changes to the game that have all been timely and positive. The developers opened the game up for early access and really listened to the feedback. There seems to be a direct correlation between what people want, and what features make it into the game. With new updates coming out every Thursday, there is now a vast range of options and aids that immediately set it apart from vanilla Minecraft creatively. When looking at the game the similarities between the two games are obvious, but the differences are even more so, and they stand out in a positive light. There is more automation built into Space Engineers so less work is required to build creatively, which expedites building. Being able to pilot your creations is also an addictive incentive to build new things.
It’s amazing to see what people have already done with the game, and how each update feeds the fans. Their latest update dealt with making people more comfortable with modding, and I can’t wait to start seeing some more custom blocks. Space Engineers is still in development, but it’s tons of fun to play and is also beautiful to look at. Keen Software has an amazing game on their hands and it is available on Steam right now. If you like Minecraft you owe it to yourself to try this game out.