Starbase Simulator is a free simulation game for Mac by developer ashtorak. This is a comprehensive simulation involving rocket physics. Unlike other titles like The Bibites and EarthRoyale, it offers 3D graphics and even VR support for the Windows version. The game is constantly updated, so there will be more news for Mac and other systems users.
The game's objective is to launch spaceships, specifically the STARSASHI B Super-heavy Aerostar by SpaceX. To do this, you need to prepare thoroughly, including loading and cooling propellants. If it all feels a bit daunting, that's because it is.
Starbase Simulator isn’t light on its science and engineering, so don’t think for a minute that this is an arcade game here. For example, to cool the cryogenic propellants, you need to fill nitrogen into subcoolers. If you go too far, the methane inside freezes.
You also need to control flaps during ascent and descent, load the transports for even distribution when assembling the ship, and much more. According to the creator, it’ll get even more tech-focused in the future. For example, the simulator will feature water tank pressurisation, parallel propellant loading, suborbital tests, as well as bases on the Moon and Mars.
Simple controls to offset the tech
Thankfully for the uninitiated, all these features are controlled by a simple scheme with your keyboard. You use the typical WASD keys for movement, Spacebar to jump, and Left Shift to run. There are some additional keys for the tower's control boards, but generally, it's easy to move around.
The starship is controlled mostly automatically, so all you need to do is to know when to start the engines.
For space and Elon Musk enthusiasts
Starbase Simulator sticks to the “simulator” part of its name, so nothing is sacrificed for the sake of entertainment. Do you want to launch a rocket to get to the starbase? You better get on those correct propellant cooling mixings then. It might be a frustrating experience for those without space engineering knowledge.
The game is also SpaceX-heavy. You use SpaceX locations and can even deploy Starlink satellites. If Musk showing up in your everyday life is tiring, the overwhelming SpaceX presence in this sim might be a turn-off. But it'll be perfect for you if you’re into serious space simulations with a lot of tech going on.