Go on, admit it. Secretly you’ve always wanted to have a cool job as a rocket scientist, if only to impress people at parties. Of course such jobs are relatively difficult to get, especially if you lack some of the basic skills, like an IQ of 845 and a fondness for advanced nuclear physiotranstritration. But fear not, intrepid adventurers, for help is at hand.
Kerbal Space Program is a delicious space rocket simulation game which combines all the open ended fun of Minecraft with a dash of the SIMs and the scientific challenge of Crayon Physics. Yes it’s fun!
The idea is simple, you build your own custom space rocket, and fly it up into the sky and see how far you get. Actually the game has more to it than that, and you can also set your own goals and adventures, but for the freeware version of the game you’re going to be limited to building, launching and orbiting our fair planet, rather than traveling to distant planets and moons (or Muns).
The whole thing could have been done as a dull, dry physics game, but the developers have cleverly wrapped it all up in a lovely quirky universe populated by the Kerbals, who live on Kerbin and who have an urge to travel to space on a budget. It’s cute and it works. If you fall in love with the free version, you can pay a very reasonable $18 to upgrade to the full version with planetary travel etc, and then the stars really are the limit.
It’s easy to get going, but as with all great games, harder to master, so you’ll have hours of fun trying out different configurations and rocket options. If you need any help, check out the excellent Kerbal section on Reddit. And a handy set of tips for Mun shot success. To infinity and beyond, right?