Indeed. I seemed like it was cheaper a few weeks ago. I thought maybe I saw it wrong. But now i see i need to get my ass in gear and buy this game. Also, if i remember right you get free updates.. So buying now gets you a full game for cheaper.
Quick question though.. Do you need "in game "money"" to buy parts? Or is it sandbox mode for building and launching?
When you start a new game in the retail version you are presented with a choice between sandbox mode and career mode, but right now you can only pick sandbox mode. So even when they finally add the career mode, you'll still have the option to play in sandbox mode with unlimited funds and parts.
And yes, if you buy it now you'll get all future updates for free, up to and including version 1.0. I'm not sure if they'll continue to add features after that point like Minecraft does, but that's so far away that I'm not even sure if the devs know what their plans are. The next couple of updates sound very exciting though, they're planning to add minable resources and colonisation features. Longterm, they've discussed a desire to add additional solar systems and a procedurally generated galaxy the further out you go, sort of like Minecraft's infinite world. That may be pie in the sky thinking, but it would be incredible if true.
Did they change the art style? those last 3 images look much less cartoonish and more Like NASA concept images.
Yes, they updated the textures on most of the parts in the latest update, and the old engines and fuel tanks from the demo had a major makeover. The planet Kerbin also changed considerably in appearance. The Kerbals themselves are still quite cartoony, but that's rather fitting considering they're a race whose space program is based on trial and error and expendable astronauts.