When I took my PC round to Dans’ to abuse his Broadband internet a few weeks ago after downloading the nearly 780mb of M$ updates, I downloaded a few games in my steam library. One of those was Kerbal Space Program (KSP.) I bought this a long time ago when it was still in beta for about £14.99 or maybe even less I’m not sure a little hazy on the exact number. But it was a good deal. KSP is a game that I feel I can enjoy the slow burn. I will occasionally do a mission once every few days or I might log in just to build some wacky space vechule just because I want to build something. Many people play KSP and recreate some of the iconic Rockets of the last 50 years and some of there efforts are amazing. Not my thing my rockets are a little more Heath Robinson in there outlook, or properly Kerballed!
I’m presently in the opening stages of the career mode i’ve got a few fly-by missions of the Mun and have my first Minmus flyby mission. So the Mun and Minmus are both moons of Kerbal (the kerbal equivalent of Earth.) The Mun can be flown to with just a star to steer by. Okay not quite you aim at the horizon and as soon as the moon appears you apply thrust until your orbit and the Mun intercept. Very easy. Minmus is Kerbals’ second moon it is slighty more tricky but not much, its a little further away, so you need a bigger rocket and you have to use navigation aids to make the rendezvous. But KSP is a game you can play casually or you can and will find yourself decending into the depths of gaming and then scientific wikis to grasp terms like Delta V, hoeffman transfer’s you will end up downloading mods some to make it slightly easier like Mechjeb or Kerbal Engineer so you know exactly how much Delta V you have, to downloading mods to make the game harder for example realistic solar system. Which makes the planets bigger so have more gravity and things are a little further away! Its a game that even though you can play the career mode it dosen’t really force you down one path. It just slowly drip feeds you tech and what and how you use those unlocks is up to you. You balance your Tech/Money and Reputation maybe even trading between these three currencys to help you progress. If you don’t fancy these constraints or you want to test some crazy idea before you actually try it for real, you can go ahead and play in the sandbox. For example designing a Single Stage to Orbit rocket/plane hybrid is fun and difficult. Now if you want it to take a payload into orbit add another factor of difficulty. Now that your plane is nearly out of fuel and has completly different handling characteristics can you get the thing to land back on the runway.
I feel that this game supplys some Old School gameplay, it allows you to go out there and make mistakes, do stupid and amazing things all at the same time. It dosen’t hand hold you, or restrict you to only be able to do one thing in a limited area there are no rails in this game. There is no pre-defined road to follow. It’s a game that gets your brain juices flowing, are you going to hurl unmanned space probes at distant planets, could you do a multi stage, multi planet grand tour of the solar system. Are you going to recreate the International Space Station (ISS) or as it will be called the Kerbal Space Station (KSS.) Are you going to show NASA how they should run there mission to Mars/Duna making sure not to leave Mark Watney/Bill Kerman behind. oh and who dosnt enjoy crashing impactors at high velocity into planets/moons all in the name of Science. KSP would be in my top ten best games of all time.
KSP is available directly from their website or via Steam.
See you on the other side…