Exclusive Review: Space Engineers Alpha

Space Engineers - Review - EN

Pros: You can build a ship to your own style and fly it, more than that, you can fly it into someone else and destroy it. Epic.

Cons: Controlling the full 360 movement takes some getting used to and some players might find it initially awkward.


We got a chance to look at Space Engineers from Keen Software House, a sandbox game that revolves around engineering... in space. From the title, it might not sound the most fun but believe us this game has legs and is definitely going to be interesting to check out its features in full when it is out of the Alpha testing stage.

Essentially the game lets you play in a Minecraft style construction sandbox where you can build huge space stations, large spaceships or smaller space shuttles. Players will travel around mining asteroids, earning resources, unlocking schematics and potentially trying to stave off any threats that would destroy their hard earned constructions.

Space Engineers screenshots (2)

After watching the 15-minutes tutorial video, we felt up to speed to jump into the game and start building. For our play-through we got the chance to experience the full crafting mode in the Quick Start, there was no need for us to gather resources and we had access to every ship and space station component required. This mode is specifically for those who just want to get to grips with building and see what kind of constructions they can make, with instant building and unlimited resources we got to see just what the file game would be like.

We entered the game on a premade space station, with a convenient gravity generator we are able to run around on its surface without drifting off into space, though with our functional jet pack that gives all is full 360 degree x, y and z axis movement getting around without gravity wasn’t an issue anyway. Well, not that much, it does take a bit of practice we have to admit.

Space Engineers screenshots (3)

Entering the build mode, we thought we try our hand at creating a small spacecraft following the tutorial we were informed that for a spacecraft to function properly it requires a few key items such as a power reactor, gravity generator, landing gears, thrusters and of course the cockpit as well as a hull to put it all in. Creating anything in the game is relatively easy a simple left mouse click to place a block, right click to remove it as well as other functions such as simple rotation, resizing, colouring and quick tool to lay down multiple blocks at once.

Once our ship was built, we were able to take it out for a spin, literally we made ourselves feel sickwe spun around that much. Sitting in the cockpit we made our way towards a nearby NPC spaceship, flying as fast as we can and going kamikaze by crashing into the ship for testing purposes. Sure enough parts of our ship exploded off into space, vital functions were destroyed and we had to repair it to use it again. Looking over the schematics and the fact that players can build a missile launchers for their bases and players have weapons suggests that there will be PvE or PvP conflict in the game. Exciting!

Space Engineers screenshots (5)

Players are also able to build space stations either floating in space or attaching them to one of the larger asteroids that dot this vast open space. With power and gravity generators players will be able to walk around them and use the various terminals and interactive objects that have been built inside. Larger spaceships can be made, which are pretty much space stations that can move, with players able to get aboard and walk around the ship whilst it is in flight.

For an Alpha the game seemed pretty complete and we can’t wait to see what the development of this game will offer up in the future.


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