If you’ve ever considered yourself to be a practical thinker, a master of logic, a player who will strive through the most stubborn of obstacles, a person who will adapt to any situation; then perhaps Rimworld is a title you should seriously consider adding to your collection.
Rimworld, currently an early access title available for purchase and download, has recently been made available on Steam; however, don’t be fooled, this title has been available for purchase way before this and is the current project by independent developer Ludeon Studios. Rimworld has been born from a passion for intelligent and challenging real-time simulation strategy. If you head across to the official website for Rimworld, the FAQ comprises the team mentality and drive behind the development, “as a rule, we [Ludeon Studios] don’t announce release dates because it just creates stress for everyone and interferes with our ability to optimize the development process. It’ll come out as fast as it can”. It is clear that Ludeon Studios will not be pressured into forced updates, they want to make their game as best as they can; they listen to the community and develop. There is a real sense of collaboration between developer and game-player, which is a refreshing relationship.
There are a range of difficulties available for you to attempt, equally so you can make the game a lot harder by purposefully selecting baron areas on the map to start your colony. The game beings with a crash landing on a remote planet, you will have to act quickly in order to survive as you’re immediately in danger from the environment and ‘others’ who may also inhabit your new home. You have the ability to expand your colony, should you wish, or attempt to go it alone. The choice is yours.
The sole purpose of the game is to survive, or not. It is up to you to best develop your environment to work for you, be the introduction of a stable structure to keep your characters warm and sheltered, the implementation of technology to harness electricity, weapons, water; the list goes on. Realistically you will look to increase the power of technology, however, if you choose not to, the game can also be played from a more primitive perspective, grow, harvest, rinse and repeat. The choice is wholly yours, this is your story. If you want to beat the game, you can do so by surviving long enough to create another spaceship and jet away from the planet, but this will take time and there will be a whole host of difficulties to overcome before this.
If your colony does grow, you will face the additional challenge of managing player psychology. Each of your colonists will have their own genetic build, each with their own flaws and weaknesses. Some characters will be exceptionally gifted when it comes to developing technology, however, leave them idle for too long and they’ll likely go psychotic and wipe out your weaker players, they’ll also turn to cannibalism should they go hungry for too long. It’s incredibly addictive and equally frustrating to have your peace disturbed by a maniac science teacher going ‘ham’ on your farmers! But, this is Rimworld, and anything can happen.
You colonists need to rest, eat, sleep; as a basic rule, this must be implemented into their everyday cycle. If you push them too hard then their morale can plummet into the depths. I found the psychology aspect of the game to be fascinating, it’s a smart move by the developer as this lends itself to creating a real bond between the player and your workers. I recall having ‘Spartacus’, my most favoured potato farmer, being mauled down by some wild animals. I hadn’t realised he’d moved so far from the base, I was devastated. I could only watch as he fell to the ground and drew his last breath, I was honestly mortified by his passing!
This however, is what Rimworld does best. The game forces your to learn, and learn you must as make no mistake the learning curve behind this title is a challenge in itself. This game is tough in the first instance, there is so much to discover, so many pitfalls, so many instances whereby you’ll reflect and think you should have done something slightly better, or prioritised your workload somewhat differently.
The mental priority of each colonist is key to your survival and must not be overlooked. Some of your colonists will mine as a priority, others will hunt, cook, collect, farm, the list is almost endless. Again, do not make the mistake of having your defenses too low as should you be attacked by animals or an opposing faction, then your colonists make continue to carry out their chores whilst being stabbed in the back… Yes, this happened.
Aesthetically the game works very well, the visuals are simplistic and yet are extremely effective, lending themselves to the design of the game. There’s enough here to keep the average gamer satisfied with the look and feel. The soundtrack is beautifully collaborated and compliments the game perfectly. It’s not overpowering and can also assist with a relaxed vibe when you’re contemplating your structures and tactics.
There is a ton of re-playability with Rimworld, you can have numerous worlds saved; there’s always a reason to start fresh and challenge yourself from a different perspective. If you enjoy a tactical survival game that requires patience and calculated thinking, then I doubt there are many titles out there that will offer you such a rewarding experience. I could go on and write about the depth of Rimworld for another hours so and not even scratch the surface, I could continue to write about all the different challenges you will face, but then this review would be endless. Rimworld is a wonderful title, it knows what it is and what it ought to be. The developer provides meaningful and well worked updates, indeed it is still an early access title, but there is more than enough here to keep you entertained and will keep you coming back. The most exciting part is that there is so much more to come. Superb.
REVIEW CODE: Here at Brash Games we have a strict Review Code policy, Paul Ryan owner / editor is the only member of staff at Brash Games permitted to obtain review code and distribute it within the Brash Games review team. No other person is permitted to request review code and or send review links or contact the publishers in any way whatsoever. Should you wish to send us review code please email paulryan-at-brashgames.co.uk.
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