I was recommended to play this game after talking with another gamer about Civilization V. I ended up logging over 5.500hs, joining the game’s own wiki and socializing through Discord server and the developer’s forum too. I really got into this game. The final release version got ‘too cheesy’ in my opinion, a few examples:
* Thrumbos (which used to be the most dangerous beast) are now very easy to kill and same for wild animals.
* A new event called ‘Man in Black’ ensures your colony doesn’t wipe.
* Picking up your ‘Dream Team’ for a perfect team from start got even easier as you can hold potential characters under ‘Left Behind’ which are three slots to keep pawns you may want to use instead of losing them from reappearing again while randomizing Character Creation.
And at the same time it got waaaaayyy… much more ‘Grindier’:
* As resources became scarce (temporal maps on world quests no longer generate with rare minerals) and every thing that you need to build of high priority now requires ‘Components’ and ‘Advanced Components’ which are the same as Components but 10 units fused into one, just to cause pain on the player without much reason.
* With the lack of resources aforementioned, all items you need to craft require more materials than before. So now you delay even much more time to get lesser than before.
* The game can be divided into three stages: Initial, middle and last phase. The last third has always been criticized by the Community, as you enter an ‘Industrial stage’ of spaceship mass production, in which growing your Colonists and Building the Colony becomes stagnant as you find yourself with nothing else to do…
Based on interaction with other players I found myself within a rather small percentage of the player base who can handle massive micro-management, so my comments had oftenly landed too shocking for others. Which means the vast majority of it’s fan base favor a more simplistic approach, but I personally cannot handle a game when it starts to look more like a movie in which you do ‘nothing but watch only’.
Still, it is a very exciting experience. This was my first ever Colony Building game and got fascinated by the premise in which you can start with three to five initial characters… who happen to be all different from each other, and ‘not’ just cloned pawns that are all alike and have nothing distinctive from one another. If you want to squeeze the juice out of this game, don’t do like kids do and instead of forming your ‘Dream Team’, start with the first three (Crashlanded scenario) or first five (Lost Tribe, my favorite) that you get from the starting roll, as in ‘don’t randomize’ for perfect characters. The thrill of the survival adventure is that you can make it to the end while holding together a group of problematic persons that need to work together to see another day.
Once you get familiar with the game, you will know more or less how to overcome problems, but the first time you face ‘events’ there’s going to be plenty of hilarious occurences which will most likely wipe your team but in very fun way. I don’t want to detail much about it as it would contain spoilers and I don’t want to remove the surprises out of your own experience, but trust me, you will laugh your azz off.
You can pick a variety of climates called ‘biomes’ but the game does not provide much depth in that area in the sense that your characters will all have the same technological research, like ‘coolers’ which are useful for warm temperatures but nonsensical to cold temperatures. If you want to play in ‘Ice Sheet’ biome, your tribal characters will start with little clothes just like temperate forest characters. Ideally, you would expect esquimos well protected against cold. So in this particular case, you would want to roll Character Creation to ensure all pawns start wearing ‘parcas’ with the downside of not picking their skills, abilities or traits that you would prefer in friendlier biomes.
The game offers a range of difficulty level, that are solemnly based on the threat danger scale by the number of foes you will face but not much challenge on player skill, which means you could easily make it to the extreme level once you know what you are doing and you won’t suffer much than playing on a ‘normal difficulty’. The most difficult level has insane and unfair ‘loss of limbs’ that makes them unattractive.
The largest crowd will choose to play with ‘Killboxes’ that ensures safety, as most kids prefer to play ‘All-mighty powerful & Immortal’ with tons of mods… But if you play without killboxes and raw a.k.a. ‘vanilla’, you will enjoy the game much more.