A game, that really shouldn’t be called a game.  It should be called something more like, set up the solar system and figure out the most creative ways to destroy it.  Okay, that name is too long and Universe Sandbox does fit it perfectly.

For those that don’t know the game is a giant gravity simulator that happens to not only be extremely informative about how things work in space, but ends up being really fun.   The math behind the game (for the purists) is based on Newton’s law of universal gravitation using either a basic n-body (particle-particle) algorithm or Runge-Kutta 4 integration which is much more accurate, but runs a bit slower.  What does that all mean?   If you shoot a rouge star into our solar system, things are going to get interesting!

While my review will do the game no justice, I will start by saying that it’s worth it’s price tag.   There are a lot of features in the game that can satisfy anyone that is interested in the heavens beyond Earth.   If you can think of a cool situation in space, you can create it within the game.  If you have a hard time understanding how big something is in space because, this game will help you put it all into perspective.

Other than having an impressive amount of information behind it, there are also really impressive graphics as well.   Space looks very authentic, and you can customize everything to your liking.   Want a star twice the size of the sun, easily done.  Want a moon the size of Mars around Jupiter, a click here a click there, done.

That’s is what makes the game so enjoyable, you have control over everything.  If you don’t understand how something works, the game links you to an extensive help section that will help you understand what is going on, and how something works.   The game also has many tutorials to help you get a better feel for how the program works.

Saturn has A LOT of moons!

Also, the educational side of the game helps a lot as well.   If you don’t know, I am a teacher by trade.   And I have already turned on all the astronomy teachers in my school district to this game.   It’s easier to visualize how big things in space really are, which I know everyone short of an astrophysicist has a hard time with.

I highly recommend this game for just about everyone.   I mean it’s a lot of fun, and you can answer a lot of those what if questions you came with with when you were a kid.   What if Neptune crossed close to Saturn? What would Earth look like with rings?   How did Jupiter capture a comet and make it into one of it’s moons?  And many many many more questions you might have.

Score:  Buy It!