Space Engine

Disappointed by No Man’s Sky? Here are 10 cheap alternates

Given the mixed reaction to No Man’s Sky—we love it, others not so much—plus the fact that you have to lay down $60 on it in one go (not to mention the troubles with the PC version), perhaps you’re hesitant to buy in. Or, perhaps you’ve played it and have been disappointed by it. That’s fine. But there’s still probably some part of you looking to salve that itch for free-willed space exploration, to lumber across alien landscapes and discover sights that, in all likeliness, no one else will ever see. Well, that itch doesn’t need to go without a…


Become the god of your own topography

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Mu Cartographer (Windows, Mac) BY TITOUAN MILLET Much like David OReilly’s Mountain (2014), Mu Cartographer is a visual toy about exploring a planet from a distance. Unlike Mountain, however, Mu Cartographer allows you to interact with the landscape itself through a strange machine. In the game, you are a treasure hunter and, by jiggering the knobs at your disposal, you see different layers of the topography. Through experimentation and close attention to detail, you peel back the landscape’s colorful secrets, like pyramids and temples.…

Mu Cartographer

Mu Cartographer imagines beautiful, alien archaeology

As analog technology tends to do, our old tube TV died a long and drawn-out death. In the run-up to its final croak, the knob that controlled the volume also turned it on, and in order to get it to display any picture at all, you had to slowly bring the knob to the point at which it would click on, wrench hard to the left, and then back to the right. Usually it wouldn’t work, and you’d try again. When the picture came into focus, you’d have to adjust other knobs to bring the colors into a reasonable palette and…