This is an Alpha 15c review, which isn’t code, that’s just the version. Obviously.
Yawn, another early access game primed ready to disappoint when the devs decide to go spend their hard earned money on wine and cheap hookers (hold the wine). I can already feel the inevitable sense of betrayal in the air.
I hope not. I really, really hope not.
This has quickly become one of my favourite games of all time. Funny, sad, horrendous at times; few games have generated so many unexpected stories while I wasn’t looking, and then slapped me round the face twice for not paying attention. Like the time my bunch of colonists ran out of food in the middle of winter and ate the family dog, then a mad squirrel, then a lonely trader looking for some business. We drank his beer though. Like the time my colony set on fire and the internal temperature of the cabin hit over 2000 degrees, roasting my little minions alive while they desperately tried to put it out (please, devs, can we have vanilla fuses?)
Graphically, it’s reminiscent of prison architect, and you are a benevolent colony god staring down at your colonies burgeoning attempts to survive in this new world. They cook, grow, mine, chop, and butcher their way across the map; hunting resources to build ever more complex stuff to vomit on when your 17 year old degenerate accidentally gives everyone food poisoning.
Like all sim management games, there is a steep learning curve, so fully expect your colonists to perish a lot in the early game, and quite frankly the end game. The devs have provided a menu based tutorial helper for basic controls, as well as an opening tutorial, but it barely taps the surface of what can be done. Learning how to prioritise work is a necessary feature you joyfully uncover for yourself, which is for the best because winter is looming and all your people are running around in pants throwing horseshoes at a wall, while the storehouse is filling with cloth.
There are even NPC traders and raiders to deal with. The former hang around your base and charge silver for items, the latter charge your defenses with increasingly worrisome weapons. Set up turrets early on. You won’t regret it. Then loot their corpses and keep the weapons, just don’t let your starving colonists anywhere near the bodies (not a joke).
All in all, I love the game. It’s fun, weird, and horrific in a fun and weird way. Do yourself a favour; put on your crash pants and descend into the wilderness. You won’t regret it.
The best way to review a story driven survival colony game, Is to tell you a story.
3 survivors of an unknown accident, crash land on a random planet.
Unknowing how to play the game, progress was slow, but eventually we had a cosy little settlement.
3 beds, table, heat, light and stove. Everyone was happy.
This is when S### hit the fan. I misjudged how big my farm needed to be, so hunting was the only way to keep the colony going. Raider attacks, eclipses and shared living was starting to take its toll.
The final straw was when the food ran out and Earl (My hunter) couldn’t catch anything. Tim (My handyman) had a mental breakdown. And Earl’s Son (Ivo) was injured in a gunfight.
A few weeks later, my colony was up to 5 people and 1 prisoner (which i took pity on). I accidently sent Ivo out hunting on his own to fight a Grizzly. Earl came to the rescue, but it was too late.
Ivo was alive but very badly wounded, Earl was worse off as his arm was completely ripped off. And to top it all off, i ran out of medical supplies and Earl is the only trained doctor i have.
The next day, Ivo’s wounds got infected. Earl decided not to amputate his arms as there was no medicine.
But then a trader came by and sold some medicine, Earl gave it to Ivo and he started to recover, but it was too late. Ivo died 1 hour later.
The depression, the lack of food, the occasional cannibalism and winter was setting in. My colony was doomed, but with every great story there came a twist.
A cargo pod just came out of nowhere filled medical supplies. The farm finally yelded a decent amount of crops. Also a trader came by and sold me a bionic arm which was then attached to Earl during a extensive operation.
2 escape pods landed on the planet only a few days later, It was Roslyn and Masaru, Earl’s wife and other Son.
That is were my story must end. As there is yet so much more to see and do.
10/10 Would decimate the Turkey population again.
UPDATE: A lot of things have changed since this review. My colony now has 15 colonists. A nearby mine shaft got infested with alien insect thingys. 2 colonists got married but it rained during the ceremony. Raiders continue to get tougher each day, luckily my turrets and perimeter wall are still holding up. 90% of the buildings in the colony are made out of Plasteel. A huge statue was erected in memory of Ivo. And Earl celebrated his 60th birthday, with all the research complete, he can enjoy a happy retirement.