Space Engineers is one of those games I feel I should enjoy more but it never really clicked with me. This doesn't stop me from jumping in every time a new update arrives however.

And this time the patch is positively huge. Just the planets alone would've been enough to impress me. I mean, exploring fully destructible planets in your own space ship, what's not to like? Oh right, the giant space spiders.

As a programmer I can only stand in awe at how much work and dedication it must've taken the Space Engineers team to pull this off. You can read a bit about it on the developer blog but sufficed to say the end result seems well worth the effort.

The planets can be up to 120 km in diameter (74.6 miles for my metrically challenged friends) and yes, you can actually dig from one side to another. Although, according to the developers, you should pack some snacks because it will take a while.

They also have their own gravity which so far seems to be fairly Earth like but with the system in place we could see some very strange planets indeed.

And most importantly, both the planets and moons are fully explorable (on foot or via vehicles) as well as permanently destructible (so any damage you do to it will remain). However it doesn't look like there is much to do once you're on the surface outside of building a base but with a project this big out of the way I'm sure they'll find some means to make them compelling. Well, besides the giant space spider tourism.

If you are interested in all of the changes you can find the full patch notes on the game's forums.

As for my opinion of the game? I think it speaks a lot about its quality when even a guy like me who doesn't really "get it" still comes back every once in a while because the newly implemented stuff is that interesting.

Space Engineers is currently in Alpha and if you are OK with buying/supporting an unfinished game head over to their Steam Early Access page. And for the end, here's a very pretty trailer for the Planets update.