Universe Sandbox 2 – An Early Access Look to a Universe of Infinite Possibilities

Universe Sandbox 2

        Sandbox games are hard ones to pull off. If there aren’t enough possibilities it is easy to get bored…for example I could never get into the Sim City Builders or Train Builders as there weren’t enough possibilities to keep things interesting. Even within ways to destroy a city…it eventually gets boring. What if you could shape the Universe though and have different ways in which you could create life and have it follow the actual laws of our own Universe? This is what makes Universe Sandbox 2 work. You are a God and there is no limit to the possibilities you can make, and the fact that this is Early Access means more updates and possibilities are to come.

     This game was created by Giant Army who also created the first Universe Sandbox, that I plan on checking out as well after this. It is currently available on Steam and is seeking more people to help bring it into it’s final form.

Destruction

   When I was playing what I ended up creating was a giant black hole in the middle of giant Super Nova. It was fantastic, beautiful destruction and was grateful that my friend introduced me to this game. Over the course of this playthrough i added more black holes and Suns to keep the radiating destruction going on. It was so powerful the beautiful music even stopped playing because it was so strong upon the computer. The black hole below is all that remains now as all the remains of the supernovas were eventually sucked into the supermassive black hole that came out of the destruction.

Super Massive Blackhole

     Later on she was playing and myself and another friend were Trickster Gods to her Earth planet that had life in India and Europe but everywhere else had been destroyed by the asteroids circling it. The planet had also been turned to a 90 Degree angle because of all asteroids that had hit it, knocking it off it’s axis…yet still there was life.

     That was until the other friend and I decided to place 3 moons around the planet which turned the planet red and destroyed Earth completely, as well as 2 of the Moons as the debris from the destroyed moons (from the circling asteroids) annihilated all water and life on Earth. It was awesome!

      This is a game that is well worth buying and gives you the chance to be a benevolent creator creating life all over the universe, or creating epic levels of destruction on a galactic scale. This is a game that if you have any love of astronomy and science is worth checking out. The game is still being worked on, as it is Early Access, but even in it’s current form I’d rate it over most games that are similar Sandboxes. You feel the epicness of being God over a Universe and you learn so much by the things that can be done in the Universe you create.

Final Score: 9 / 10

“Rick and Morty” Season 1 Retrospect – Insane and Dark Sci. Fi. Fun

Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind

    “Rick and Morty” is a show I highly recommend and after I finished Season 1 I started watching Season 2 so there will be more reviews later on in this amazing animated dark comedy sci. fi. The characters have depth and get developed over time and no matter how dark the show goes, it never stops having fun. Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon created a wonderful show and I’ll go into more depth on what I enjoyed about Season 1 and where it fell short.

The Pros: The Comedy – The comedy is hilarious! There are some brilliant satires in episodes (“Lawnmower Dog” satirizing both “Planet of the Apes,” “Inception” and “Friday the 13th.” As well as countless others. The comedy is both random but also has some great setups as well as character cons end up leading to some pretty good payoff later in relationship to other characters and the surrounding environment.

The Universe – The Universe is rich! From alternate dimensions and times, The Council of Ricks, Bird Person, the Meeseeks and the countless aliens and governments Rick comes into conflict with throughout his anti-authority adventures.

The Characters – The characters are wonderful and memorable and the family and their relationships develop over time in relationship to Rick and Morty who are the characters who primarily drive the plot.

Mr. Meeseeks – Mr. Meeseeks are created to solve problems and after they stop existing. Their entire existence is pain and when they try and help Jerry improve his golf game they come to see it as impossible and end up taking hostages and growing desperate in a stark contrast to their initial kind and supportive nature. I really hope we see these guys again.

Jerry – Jerry is an idiot and his arc is really becoming comfortable in the fact he is not smart and becoming comfortable in that as well as his role as a father and the fact that his wife loves him even though they clash a lot and are in a failing marriage. He’s an idiot but he’s sympathetic when he isn’t arrogant.

Beth – Beth is the high achiever and a staunch defender of her dad. She is the one helping Jerry develop into a better person and dealing with her perfectionist nature and learning to let go. She hasn’t gotten there yet but throughout the show we see the strange, extreme circumstances Rick’s or Jerry’s actions bring about bring her closer to that place.

Summer – Summer is Morty’s sister and her arc is dealing with the fact that she was a mistake and learning to accept that life is chaotic, strange and hard and at the end you die. This ends up making her a great Rick companion as Morty learned this over the course of the series too. She also doesn’t have the moral core Morty has either, best shown in “Ricksy Business.”

Rick – Rick is a sociopathic mad scientist whose moral core is Morty, his grandson and travel companion. Rick learns to care about Morty and the family over the course of the season and we see him see those small relationships and appreciate them in the overwhelming abyss that his the rest of reality. He’s also an anti-authority rebel which makes his relationships with alien governments entertaining.

Morty – Morty is like Marty to Rick’s Doc Brown and is the moral core of the show as he helps Rick care about people and life even as Morty goes through that same process of learning himself when his selfishness destroys the reality he starts out in. It is this arc that gives him a bleak view of existence but improves his relationship with Rick and his family. He is pretty mature at the end though he still has his wide eyed idealism that defines the character, even given all he’s been through.

Rick and the 4th Wall – Rick breaks the 4th Wall on multiple occasions and talks directly the audience telling them to watch next week or buy a product. It is hilarious and fits into the fact that Rick is aware of everything and that is why he is crazy and nuts.

The Cons: The Cliffhanger Ending – In “Ricksy Business” Rick freezes time so they can clean the house after the party and that is where it ends with them still cleaning. There isn’t a complete arc for this reason in regards to Rick and Beth in relationship to Rick as they were in conflict with him from the very first episode.

  For a show that is all about subtle arcs and callbacks ending the show on a cliffhanger ended up being the only con. It achieved it’s purpose as it made me watch on to see what happened but it did detract from the overall narrative. It is strong though and easily one of the best animated series currently on television. I laughed through most of it and the only episode that was weak was the one where they had gender stereotypes. The rest were at least 8’s and there were many that were high 9’s. My favorite episodes were “Lawnmower Dog,” “Meeseeks and Destroy” and “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind.”

Final Score: 9.5 / 10.

The First Sci. Fi. Movie Week

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One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about Science Fiction is the ability it has to create wonder. Whether it is the “Star Treks” or “2001: A Space Odyssey” or countless other films these universes that draw from our own give us the chance to look towards a brighter future. This week I’ll be reviewing a few of these films that all explore the many themes that make up Science Fiction.

Whether it’s aliens and building bridges in “Enemy Mine,” Time and space in “Interstellar,” Artificial Intelligence of “Robot & Frank” or the idea behind first contact in “Contact.” All these have different themes that when I review I will tie them to their science fiction roots as well as exploring the ways they go beyond it, if they do.

If you’ve been reading the blog you have no doubt seen how the future and unknown have functioned as an inspiration for me, especially when those possible futures are tied to the relevant present. To me that is what made “Star Trek” and so many other great sci. fi. films and television shows great.

In the case of the films I’m reviewing this week, they were requested on my facebook and had the most interest attached to them. If there are films or themed weeks you are interested in seeing, feel free to request in the comment section. I’m always looking for more ideas, concepts, films and television shows to explore or re-explore if they are favorites or were favorites was younger.

So without further ado, let Sci. Fi. Movie Week begin.