Space games are coming back. The Kickstarter success of big projects like Star Citizen have reminded everyone that there's still an audience for games set in the big black. New tech like the Oculus Rift gives us new ways to enjoy shooting lasers at other spaceships and the massive hardware leaps we've enjoyed since the glory days of X-Wing and Freespace 2 can support prettier spcace games built by smaller teams.
We've rounded up 14 of the most exciting candidates. Some are looking for funding on Kickstarter or upvotes on Greenlight, others are already out, but are still growing and being updated regularly. If you like space games, these are the ones you should be keeping an eye on right now.
First up, Starmade. 'Minecraft in space’ may be a fairly reductive assessment of StarMade, although it’s not an entirely inaccurate one. This is, after all, a game about building things out of blocks and exploring a procedurally generated sandbox world – or universe in this case. Once you’ve created and customized your own craft, you can explore galaxies populated by randomly generated asteroids, ships and planets, blast space pirates with rockets and lasers and salvage materials from destroyed ships to craft stuff with. It’s been in free-to-access alpha for 18 months and was recently greenlit on Steam, so if you fancy catching a glimpse of a voxel nova for the first time since the early Nineties, this is where you’ll find it.