Kerbal Space Program: Rockets all over the world

This interstellar sim cares not for new rocket scientists. There’s no attempt to ease rookies in, and you’ll struggle to get off the ground, never mind reach orbit and neighbouring planets. In fact, the whole concept will scare the space pants off most. But tame Kerbal’s uncompromising ways and you’re rewarded with an excellent adventure among the stars.

Even in its current Early access guise it’s a rich experience. The trial-and-error stylings in career mode will see you make the type of decisions that would fluster the hardiest of NaSa employees. You micromanage everything as you build rockets and planes. It’s easy enough to work out how to slap super-fast thrusters to a cockpit and head to the heavens, but place a parachute in the wrong part of the chain and you’ll turn your vessel into a Catherine wheel of death.
“It may not be wInnIng a crown at any beauty pageants, but the game makes up for It wIth IncredIble depth”
Rocket Men
Career mode objectives are simple: reach further into the darkness, research planets, and return with info to improve your next mission. Your Sim City-like base management can generate better technology through R&D, though it takes time and patience. For those looking for more immediate space exploration, Kerbal currently has a sandbox mode where all the parts are unlocked and you can build your ultimate spacecraft, and it feels much like playing with an intergalactic Lego set. Just see what we managed to do in our very own Gamesmaster space race.

It may not be winning a crown at any beauty pageants, but Kerbal makes up for this with its superb physics and incredible depth. You’ll spend hours experimenting with your ships, just to see how far they’ll go. Yes, it’s unforgiving for newcomers, but it’s worth staying the course. We’re already looking forward to launch (launch!) day.

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