Universe Sandbox 2 Early Access Reivew
Universe Sandbox 2
Create and destroy on a scale you never before imagined
It’s not often that you see a program that has huge educational benefits as well as being irresistibly fun. Universe Sandbox 2 is a space simulation created by Dan Dixon and his team at Giant Army. Universe Sandbox 2 is as it promises, a sandbox. You can make it whatever you want it to be.
Based in Seattle, Washington
Now Available on Steam Early Access
PC, Mac, & Linux/SteamOS
Discovering the Solar System:
This is the inner Solar System as seen in Universe Sandbox 2. You can adjust the speed of time and let the planets slowly rotate in orbit around the sun. Or speed up time, rotate the axis of the Earth and observe the changing climate. The team at Giant Army has replicated the Universe in stunning detail. You can replicate the Solar System, load up its pre-set or create a new Solar system yourself. Individual planets can be manipulated – create a cold wintry tundra out of the Northern Hemisphere while the Antarctic melts away. The music in Universe Sandbox 2 is fantastic. Calm relaxing pianos accompany you while play.
I felt it was time to try out the “destroy” part of Universe Sandbox 2. I loaded up the Solar System pre-set and started playing around with added moons which I knew would eventually crash into each other and then into the earth. It was extremely satisfying:
Why are the moons glowing? There used to be about 8 but they crashed into each other. The impact caused the rock to super heat turning the surface to lava. But over the years, the lava will solidify and the moons will be back to normal – except for the vast scarring and new landscape. Finally, the last few moons crashed into each other and hurtled into the Earth – chaos.
Earth was beautiful while it lasted. The seas started to dry up and for the moment, Earth was left a barren wasteland. You can edit almost everything. Change the gravity of a planet, increase it’s mass, see the effects of global warming, terraform, built planets out of hydrogen or iron and much more. One of the coolest things I worked out you could do is create a nebula by colliding two stars together.
Universe Sandbox 2 isn’t really a game, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. When creating or destroying solar systems, there’s almost an unlimited amount of options. If you feel the Solar System is too calm as it is now, then shake things up by smashing Jupiter into Earth. I personally loved the music and enjoyed seeing the Solar System in high detail. What’s the difference between Universe Sandbox 2 and Universe Sandbox? It’s a complete rewrite of the original by a team that now includes an astrophysicist, a climate scientist, and a dedicated physics programmer, this sequel opens doors to greater power and exploration. Universe Sandbox 2 is currently available for Early Access on Steam and UniverseSandbox.com.
- Climate simulation
- Advanced collision simulation
- Stellar evolution and supernovae
- Material System – build planets out of Hydrogen, Iron, Rock, & Water
- Light-warping black holes
- Dark matter
- Procedural surfaces and planets