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Fans of Squad’s wildly successful Kerbal Space Program will cheer when they get their hands on the 0.24 update, which adds a list of anticipated features to the Career Mode of the game.

The Contract Update, version .24, available for free on Steam to owners of the game, adds currency, reputation, and corporate contracts to the already existing Science tech tree, creating a complete new gameplay mode, called Career Mode. (The “Classic” Career Mode is now Science Mode)

Seemingly forcing a new play-through, Career Mode follows the player as from putting together their first rocket until they soar through the solar system, selecting incremental contracts from the now-active Mission Control building.  Successfully completing the objectives of the contracts rewards the player with money, reputation, and sometimes science.  Failing to complete the contract int he designated time frame results in a penalty to those currencies.

The contracts come complete with flavor text, and some pretty silly completion criteria.  One had me test a parachute at over 15,000 meters, and another wanted me to test an engine while splashed down int he ocean.  The requirements add a refreshing flavor to the game, putting a new twist on elements that the most seasoned of KSP players can do in their sleep.

As your reputation and cash grow, you can take on new challenges and build better rockets.  But efficiency is key; while parts are not overly expensive, just loading on the fuel is an unsustainable expense, and rockets are no longer a dime a dozen.

The update comes with 64-bit support on Windows, available as a separate .exe within the KSP folder. Alongside the feature updates, the new patch brings with it some UI enhancements, making the game run crisper and better formatted for higher-resolution displays. The only thing that seems to be missing are tooltips for the new UI elements, such as currency and reputation; I had to deduce their meaning using context clues, as the reputation bar is hard to read, and the currency uses its own symbol (which is great for immersion).

In what I’m sure is a “coincidence,” Kerbal Space Program is 40% off on Steam until tomorrow, so go pick up a copy and blast into KSP .24 to see how the professionals do it.

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Mike Johnson

I like MMOs, RPGs, and sandboxes, all played with my trusty hedgehog sidekick Harvey. When I'm not building, slashing, or rolling, you'll find me with a good book and a hot coffee.