Sandbox games have their limits, especially when it comes to the size of the world and the amount of different things you can do during gameplay. However, titles like Minecraft proved that you can definitely work around these issues and maintain the same level of fun for unlimited periods of time, as long as the mechanics allow the players to let their imagination run wild and put their ideas into practice.
Mine planets and travel through space
Masterspace takes it one step further and provides you with a game world formed out of multiple planets, which can be fully mined and customized as you see fit, as well as fly from one to the other when you manage to evolve enough and construct space ships. Thus, although you start with only a pickaxe, a shovel and a few other minimal tools, you can quickly collect some materials and construct yourself slightly more advanced structures, which can be used to develop microchips, solar panels and the actual spaceship components.
Just like in any other sandbox game of this type, there is not background story to talk about, although you can certainly make your own on the go. However, the planets are filled with interesting landscapes and weird fauna, most of which attacks you on sight and must be avoided if you are not properly equipped. Speaking of which, the crafting menu also allows you to make yourself some weapons, in order to defend your soon-to-be empire.
Explore the solar system and meet new races
Part of what makes Masterspace so special is the fact that you can travel between planets and meet new cultures and races, although the concept has yet to be implemented properly and it is far from functional. In addition, the planets themselves can be either flat or spherical, which allows you to come up with some pretty interesting construction, by taking advantage of the planet's radius. Moreover, asteroids can be mined as well and they contain some pretty rare resources, required for more advanced technological achievements.
From a technical point of view, the game suffers a lot from being so far from completion, because there are countless bugs and glitches that can ruin your gameplay experience. In addition, while the physics and graphics engines are indeed impressive and quite potent, they require an enormous amount of resources, especially if you want to toy around with the view distance and the liquid simulation options. Hence, frame drops bring the game to a stall a lot of the time, even if you happen to run it on a powerful computer.
A potentially good game with plenty of nice ideas
Despite its flaws, Masterspace might be able to become a real phenomena, in case the developers manage to fix the bugs, add more content and somehow optimize the game to require less resources. That way, many more should be interested in the concept, especially since no one can refuse a combination between sandbox mechanics and space exploration.