Kerbal Space Program: Making History Review – Expanding Into the Stars

GR Staff
Kerbal Space Program Info


  • Simulation


  • N/A


  • Private Division


  • Squad

Release Date

  • 03/13/2018
  • Out Now


  • PC


Personally, science was never my strong suit. I couldn’t wrap my head around scientific theories, the periodic table, and can barely remember the difference between a Eukaryotic and a Prokaryotic cell. Yet when I first discovered Kerbal Space Program, I was missing out on much-needed sleep to research rocket science and astrophysics to make sure I could finally get a fake spaceship out of orbit.

When I would hit launch, there was a tactile feeling of creation with every rocket. It seemed not only personal but also terrifying to see something you had spent so much time on be left up to even the slightest bit of chance. Even if my rockets exploded into many pieces, or I couldn’t get my astronauts off of the planet I put them on, I would still be engrossed for the next hour due to these small victories. Kerbal Space Program is a rewarding game, and its popularity is deserved.

Kerbal Space Program: Making History Review: Expanding Horizons

Kerbal Space Program Making History Liftoff

Kerbal Space Program might be one of the most popular educational games of recent years. Having released out of Steam’s Early Access program almost two years ago, the developers at Squad have been hard at work on building an expansion, Making History, for the game which would be free for those who had purchased the game before April of 2013 (or $14.99 if you hadn’t bought in at that time).

This expansion is promised build on top of the already heralded space program simulator, and this expansion is true to its objective and adds much to the title. We’ll be going over if the new missions that were added are worth your time, whether the mission builder is as ambitious as it seems, and most importantly detailing who exactly this expansion is for.

Kerbal Space Program: Making History Review: Clear Skies With a Chance of Radar Debris

Kerbal Space Program Making History Lander

One of the large prospects of the Making History expansion is apt to its name. There are numerous missions based off of the space age (and even a mission inspired by the film Gravity). Yet these missions can vary in quality, and sometimes left me feeling very frustrated. There are no checkpoints. Meaning that even when not fulfilling one single objective, you end up having to restart the entire mission.

There’s also the issue, that when trying to circumvent this by save-scumming, your save file can become overwritten. Overall, if you’re purchasing the expansion just to experience the new missions, you’re better off sticking with the original game or exploring what other players have created.

Kerbal Space Program: Making History Review: Time to Make History

Kerbal Space Program Making History Nodes

However, the highlighted feature in this expansion is the mission builder. What is featured is one of the most comprehensive level creators that have been integrated into a game. It’s simple enough to understand due to the way that you design levels.

Practically, if you can understand a simple flow-chart you’re going to be able to make a level in Kerbal Space Program. You’ll be dragging and placing nodes to the flow-chart which will detail out what specific action is required followed by a reaction. It’s pretty basic, but eventually, you’ll be able to add things such as various probabilities to your mission that can be as complex as parts failing once certain requirements have been filled.

Kerbal Space Program: Making History Review: Handing over the Keys to the Space Station

This opens the conclusion that the community will be one of the major deciding factors when it comes to buying this expansion. If the community ends up creating thought out levels with a design that trumps the base game, then the expansion will definitely be worth it. Much like other games which give the keys of the car to the player, there’s a potential that levels will overshadow those which are in the base game.

It’s important to understand who the Making History expansion is for before purchasing. If you’re already experiencing a great time with Kerbal Space Program, or if it is still gathering cobwebs in your library, then you should probably hold off until you at least understand that this is a game you will have the commitment to enjoy.

Yet, if you’re someone who has spent tens and hundreds of hours in the space simulator, the low $14.99 price tag makes it a no-brainer. Making History expands vanilla Kerbal Space Program to a point in which you’ll be receiving your time’s worth. As to the underlying quality of the title, even though the baked-in missions are inspiring and well-designed, how the fanbase for Kerbal eventually uses the mission creator will be the deciding factor.


Box art - Kerbal Space Program
Mission Creator is comprehensive and easy to grasp
Making History missions aren't enjoyable enough
Adds to an already dedicated community
The game is still unwelcoming towards newcomers