"Space Engine" Is a Free, Scientifically Accurate Version of "No Man's Sky"
No Man's Sky has been taking the gaming world by storm lately, but as it turns out, simulated universe gaming enthusiasts have another option. The free, downloadable game Space Engine creates an entire simulated universe, which is as scientifically accurate as possible, and allows you to explore trillions of alien worlds.
This is Space Engine, a game where you can explore the entire known universe. Uncharted solar systems and landscapes are procedurally generated, creating trillions of alien worlds to explore.
Space Engine is a game that allows you to travel in a star ship around the entire universe, which is represented by scientifically accurate astronomical data in all of the known universe and then procedurally generated for the rest. The game simulates all types of celestial objects, including galaxies, nebulae, stars and star clusters, planets, moons, comets, and asteroids, all of which are generated from official astronomical catalogs. There's also a built-in wiki system that allows you to see descriptions of all of the celestial objects, even the ones that are generated by the game itself.
The above album—which includes a Tatooine-like binary star system, a view of the Milky Way from inside the Carina Nebula, and the procedurally generated "Not Europa," a "Europa-like planet with conditions for subglacial life"— comes from a recent Reddit post, but since it's from back in 2014 when the game was created, there are several new features it doesn't mention, including black hole accretion disks and rogue planets (planets without stars). Here's a trailer for the latest version: