What If You Could Play Pool With The Moon?

A reader who was tired of my stories about L.A. Noire recently wondered why I hadn't written about Universe Sandbox. What's that? A simulation of the universe I can run on a Windows computer? And here I am at work on a Mac?

At least I can watch the trailer of this marvelous-looking creation. You can get it on Steam for $US10. Your enticement might be the trailer above... or these promotional blurbs below, which all are listed as Universe Sandbox features on the game's official website.

*Explore our solar system *Blow up moons *Line up the planets with a single click *Play pool in zero gravity *Rip Saturn's rings apart in 3D *Destroy our solar system with a single rogue star *View the paths of hundreds of asteroids and moons *Compare the moons and dwarf planets *View our constellations from other stars *Make a football orbit a bowling ball *Explore nearby galaxy clusters

Before today, I didn't know I'd ever want to do these things, nor had I imagined that I could pretend they were possible.

Oh! Here's a Universe Sandbox bombarding our planet with the planet(s) Mercury. Keep that kind of behaviour in video games, people.

Universe Sandbox


    I actually got this, and was highly disappointed with it... being an astronomy nerd (with a tip of the hat to a little astrophysics) I found it didn't really live up to the hype in the videos.

    Fun if you don't really care about the simulation part (I am sorry, a 10B M☉ black hole does not bounce off and "poof out of existence" when it collides with our sun.)

    Maybe I expected too much for a $10 game, but still... astronomy/astrophysics nerds, you might be a little disappointed with this game...

      It's basically just an N-Body simulator with fancy graphics. The whole collision modelling is just for show, nothing realy scientific about it.
      Have been writting my own n-body sims for a while now for some fun, always good to play around with. Though half of the fun was in writing the code that made the simluation.... but I guess its different strokes right? lol

      Still, a good way to waste a few hours for 10 bucks :-)

    Reminds me of what David Braben did all those years ago (1992) in Frontier Elite II. This engine could be the back bone of an absolutely steller space warfare sim with sling shot orbits and gravity weapons.

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