RimWorld is the first game developed by Ludeon Studios and was funded through kickstarter with an incredible $268,132, over their minimum of $20,000. I love the type of games that come out from kickstarter as it is the players who are the ones who make sure they happen, meaning they will more than likely fit several niches to satisfy different gamers. RimWorld set’s itself as a Sci-Fi Colony Sim, advertising survival, expansion and tactical gameplay. To the review!
Rimworld main website can be found Here
Currently there are no cinematic or grand story telling devices in RimWorld, besides the starting text box you aren’t given much else story development. The basic story is that you have crash landed from your ship on a desolate planet and must find a way to get off the lonely rock with your lives. You will be hunted by travelling raiders as well as random occurrences on the planet’s surface from lightning, collapsing cliffs and brain altering brain waves that set the wildlife against you. Keep an eye on the Boomrat population.
The setting of the universe seems to be a bit into the future, with the sites description telling us that RimWorld is set in a time where humanity has explored the stars and has become wide spread across the different planets, but with limited travel between the separate worlds due to not inventing light speed travel. You have crash landed on one of the RimWorlds far from the majority of civilisation with little hope of escaping.
Besides the game’s story there is also a ton of background and personal story for each colonist under your control with interesting personalities and traits that will require some tactics to work with. From the nerdy scientist to the manic miner and even the diplomatic soldier, there is a man or woman suited to each of the tasks needed to be undertaken on your colony.
When starting a new colony you have the choice to select an AI to guide your game, from the easy mode “Phoebe Friendly” to the harsh “Tough Kassandra Classic”. The AI drive the events that occur over your gaming experience, from debris landing on the planet for you to scavenge, ships flying overhead looking for trade to the unforgiving plagues that destroy your crops or solar flares that disable your power for the day. There is an AI for everyone it seems, catering to the hard-core fans as well as the players who want to make a spanning colony.
The story has great potential and will hopefully be continued with the updates up to the public release of the game.
Through playing the game I found a great similarity to FTL: Faster Than Light as well as Prison Architect in the atmosphere, graphic style and gameplay. You place buildings, furniture and amenities on a grid on the map, controlling both their rotation and where their energy is drawn from. As well as placing objects you can turn on and off the power to conserve your energy reserves when at peace and to power on your defences when enemies approach.
Besides the base building you also have the ability to research new buildings and objects, like carpets or increasing the efficiency of your gun turrets. Once you have built the Comms Centre you can contact passing ships to trade resources like metal, food or medicine for other resources, weapons or even people. Although the game has only just come out with an alpha there is plenty to do, with some resources not even being useful at the current stage allowing you to stockpile up awaiting the next update.
The game is split between survival and battle, depending on AI, with the majority of the game spent building your complexes to have the best power efficiency, happiness generation and the overall prettiness of the colony. When battle begins you simple turn on your automated defences and control your colonists to go into attack mode and move them to their positions behind sandbags or around corners with a very well put together combat system that is both harsh but forgiving.
Besides building and battle you also have to keep an eye on all of your colonists as they also have their specific needs that need to be addressed. Similar to Sims, the colonists have 3 different emotions you have to keep in check, Loyalty, Happiness and Fear. Loyalty affects if your colonists will follow your commands, laze around or even go insane from the thought of living on the planet forever, Happiness and Fear are what affect the Loyalty meter, with the highest one being the deciding factor, control your colonists through keeping them happy or making them live in fear, it is all up to you.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
At this current time RimWorld shows a lot of potential, like other games in pre-release like Minecraft, with hundreds of things to be implemented.
The current graphic style is lovely to look at if a bit simplistic, with the textures and objects being placeholders until later updates. I have a good feeling this game will shape up to be a beautiful piece of art with the gameplay as smooth as it is currently coupled with the promised updates coming later on.
Though the game lacks any music, there are several sounds to be heard as your colonists go about their daily tasks, from the clanking of pickaxes to the sizzles of blow torches.
Overall, RimWorld is a great start to what could possibly be an amazing final product; it has definitely drawn me into its addictive gameplay.