Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Kerbal Space Program

Revisiting the Kerbal Space Program

3:00 PM on 05.02.2012 // Sterling Aiayla Lyons

Last year, I got to take a quick look at the in-progress alpha for an interesting little game called Kerbal Space Program. The game was centered around building a rocket ship -- or, more a kind of rocket-propelled contraption -- to help propel some brave Kerbal astronauts into space and orbit.

It was somewhat limited at the time in that it did not have any targets for you to reach and contained only a small supply of building parts by default. Since then, improvements have been made to the game and some new content has been added.

To start, there are a bevy of new stock rocket parts sitting around to mess with, such as fuel tanks, rocket boosters, and control units. This helps allow for a much wider array of designs that can be made before going to mods. Each part has distinct statistics to define it; for instance, fuel-efficient thrusters may have lower thrusting power than previous ones. These parts seem like they are geared more towards use for the final phase of the rockets, the one in which you would put landing gear on.

And landing gear you will need. Newly added is the first target destination from the Kerbal homeworld of Kerbin, the Mun. Getting to the Mun is no small task, though. Considering how the game is based on real-world physics, a lot of math governs realistic-feeling trajectories and orbits, as well as inertia. Getting off of Kerbin and throwing a ship into orbit took me a good deal of time when I last paid the Kerbals a visit. Mun, not so easy.

You can't just shoot right off the planet to reach this destination. You need to plan out trajectories, be very careful of your thrust and speed, and make sure to build a rocket with enough fuel to last the trip, yet also one that isn't so bulky that it will just fall back to Kerbin shortly after getting into orbit. When you do get close to Mun, there's the ever tricky balancing act of controlling your descent, so that the rocket doesn't crash into the surface.

The journey doesn't seem like much on the surface, but it's a long and involved process that will probably make you go through a lot of trial and error -- even after watching a bevy of tutorials on how to get there. Luckily, you're also supplied with quite a few extremely useful tools to help you on your mission to Mun, as well as to keep you from having to get an astrophysics degree just to play the game.

There's the same Stability Augmentation System units that were included in the build I tried out last year, which help control any fluctuation in flight path that would occur from an unbalanced rocket. There's also a wonderfully made space or orbit view mode. Not only does it show Kerbin, Mun, and any rockets you might have launched at the time, it also shows the trajectories each one is currently on. It even adjusts the trajectory in real time based on whatever thrust you might be applying to the rocket, which helps in knowing how much each boost will alter your path so you don't over- or undershoot anything. There are also markers that show up along the Gyrocompass that help you with relative precise orientation of your rocket's path and of nearby objects or planets that can cause a collision.

The game is shaping up well, and ran noticeably better on my computer than the previous build I played. The addition of a target to hit and explore was something I greatly looked forward to, and it was a pleasure to finally get to do. However, there didn't seem to be anything to do on the Mun other than orbit it, land, and take off from it after that.

Oh, and you can roll your command pod around on the surface should you separate that from the rest of the rocket before setting down. There are a few issues with the game positioning rocket parts when you make obscenely big rockets, mainly related to putting things off center compared to the rest of the ship.

You can check Kerbal Space Program out for yourself at the game's website, and pre-purchase it, netting you the current release build and any updates that would come out after that. It's still fun as hell to watch a massive creation suddenly go out of control into a spectacular explosion, but having a goal like the Mun is pretty good too.

Photo Gallery: (10 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Sterling Aiayla Lyons, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Sterling Lyons, better known in some circles as "Aiayla", is an avid videogame player of all genres. From Genesis, to Playstation, to PC, Aiayla does it all. League of Legends, and other PC and M... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Kerbal Space Program

  Aug 27

Kerbal Space Program is landing on Wii U

Landing, crashing, burning up in orbit

  May 05

Review: Kerbal Space Program

Science doesn't screw around

  Jan 29

Kerbal Space Program is teaming up with NASA

This time your challenge is to land on an asteroid. And not explode

  Jul 27

Kerbal Space Program version 0.21 is live

First update to mainly focus on Career Mode

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th October - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Photos and videos are back on quickposts but clipping on some devices. We're going to add a new quickpost editing interface so photos and videos can only be displayed one way (a la twitter) to solve this. Also, a My cBlog link was added to your user menu
Flegma avatarFlegma
Machine-washed my Wii Fit meter yesterday by accident. Took the battery out and let it dry for the night. Luckily the meter still worked - but it had counted a fair number of steps more that day.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Finally killed Ludwig, now if I could only get passed the 2 hunters on the second floor. that 2 some is rather annoying,and her holy blade kills in only a few hits. wish mine was that strong.
Casus Gaming avatarCasus Gaming
After reading a blog post about DMC4 I decided to watch all the cutscenes on Youtube. Tried the games years ago and couldn't get into them, but man that shit was stylish. Likeable protagonists, intense drama... still think DmC reboot wasn't that bad tho.
lewness avatarlewness
me on 1st ff14 raid (void ark): ooh so many people and lights, so many lights, lights, fuck I can't see, what is happening, i don't understand, is it tuesday already, get on the platform fuuuuck, wow void helm
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Just a reminder that you have until the 30th to get your Bloggers Wanted post, "Thankful it's over" in. I'm either going to tell you how I ruined my best online gaming experience or rip Twilight Princess a new one. Maybe both.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Huh. I just found out the developers of Hatred (remember that controversy?) region-locked their game to prevent it from being accessed by Australians. Destructive Creations are more censor-happy than Nintendo, it seems. Where's the outrage?
Oh yeah, I have an account on this site.
Parismio avatarParismio
Ever wanted to get that item behind that safe in the beginning of Fallout 4?:
Shinta avatarShinta
Got Resident Evil 4 Wii for $5. Uh ... this might be my favorite version. I'm just getting headshots nonstop. Did I miss any other Wii games that are frequently overlooked? Like, really obscure Wii games that no one talks about? I'm interested.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Poeple due not aprecciate teh hrdships of bein a squid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Guys, check out your blogs! Just be sure to bring tissues. I wish I had. [img][/img]
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Anyone see the new Captain America trailer? It's pretty dope!
Shinta avatarShinta You're welcome.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Update: played through Hyper Dimension Neptunia Rebirth, reminded why I don't like the series, and requested a refund on it and its sequel. Not sure if they'll refund the sequel, but if they honor at least the first, I'll use that money to get Undertale.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I hope the new Star Wars movie answers the biggest question I have about the franchise; do Midi-Chlorians poop?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Wow, I feel really stupid. You had to give the Zora King the bottle with the letter in it. Like actually equip the... Wow. Oh, modern gaming conveniences, how I take you for granted.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Srry abot tye lak of coments latly. As a squid now it haas bcom hrrd 2 tipe. Im a sqiid now.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Backing Indivisible can be done with more than just money. Strapped for cash? then spread the word! post about it on Facebook, Instagram, tweet or simply tell your friends. Head to
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Even with the help of an old hunter I can only knock ludwig to his holy blade phase -_- I will kill the jerk, even if it takes me all night.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -