This is probably my favourite game on steam at the moment and currently I have played 686 hours and will continue to sink more into this game. The base game is great but what I really love in Rimworld is the mods and modding community.
Rimworld is a survival game with building mechanics where you have crashed on a planet and have to build a colony to survive and get back off planet to complete the game. Originally when I bought this game I bought it on a whim because it looked like Prison architect and the building mechanics looked very similar to that game also.
This game is far more than that though, you have to contend with raiders, mechanoid robot attacks, diseases, food supply, weapon crafting, building defenses and much more. It’s a completely different game even though it looks similar.
With mods you even add hygiene problems, cloning, cybernetics and other crazy and whacky stuff that makes the game far more than it was ever intended to be. There is even mods like TiberiumRIm and H.P. Lovecraft mods that overhaul and adds mechanics from other IPs.
I was completely blown away with the creativity and extra content on the workshop for this game and I’m sure you will too if you have a look for yourself. I have currently 250+ mods on this game, in fairness some of them are mini mods or tweaks and fixes but a lot of them are major mods that add a lot to the base game and give it massive variety of flavour and enjoyment.
The main problem with RImworld at the moment is that it can run slowly at times with a lot of mods installed. I have been told it doesn’t use multi-threading, which usually isn’t a problem with simple games but with mods it can become a nightmare especially when I am using 250+ mods changing or adding things and when there is a lot of colonists running around. I’m pretty sure the engine isn’t really designed for the amount of extra content that is out there now in the current game. For the most part the modding community is very skilled and writes great code but I think they are all limited by the ever aging engine Rimworld was built on. The way things are going they will probably need a Rimworld 2 re-written for more modern hardware. I’ll definitely have my wallet on standby for that 😉
My best advice for anyone interested in buying this game is look on Youtube at videos of the game and videos showcasing the various amazing mods people have created for this game. I could go on and on four hours about how great this game is but best you go and look and see for yourself. A picture can speak a million words and a video would probably say even more lol. The game is worth every penny and even though I’m not super keen on the new Royalty DLC I’d say it adds enough to the game to justify the price. 686 hours for the price I payed is a lot of value lol. I hope you try it and like it, just as I have. 🙂
In lieu of writing a detailed review where I pick apart what makes this game a work of pure genius, I’ll get right to the key points that I feel make playing this game such a special experience.
Rimworld is a game of imagination. Everthing in this game lends to painting a picture in your mind’s eye of what your colony is experiencing. The graphics are minimalistic, with characters/animals/mechanoids represented with simple, vector ‘pawns’ that move on a 2d grid. Most of the depth Rimworld provides is through text in menus and alerts. The true brilliance in this representational model is that you are free to visualize with your IMAGINATION what each scene of desperate survival looks like. Its almost like reading a book, and more akin to P&P D&D, or those old text based adventure games like Zork.
In an age of hyper-realistic. AAA video games that leave nothing to the imagination. Rimworld seeks to cultivate the long lost art of creative thinking. It does so in a way that is both compelling, and (in many cases) emotional. You become attached to your pawns, colonist and animal, as well as the wellbeing of the colony itself. You are sad (or at the VERY least perturbed) when a Scyther takes your favorite colonist’s head off in one shot, or your dog gets eaten by a wandering couger. The stories of Rimworld write themselves, and come to life in your mind.
Simple aesthetic lends to imaginative interpretation of gameplay.
Highly in depth-gameplay with micromanagement that is (largely) optional until you need it.
Music is great and reminds me of Firefly (even though there are only a few tracks, I don’t get tired of hearing them).
Updates about the time you finish a few runs with lots of new content and bug fixes (thank you Tynan).
TONS of replayability, custom modes, settings, mods, etc.
Mod support through the workshop that adds to and fixes base content.
Variation in difficulty with the storytellers, permadeath mode, and tradition difficulty as well as custom scenarios.
Bigger maps aren’t (yet?) optimized well, and can lead to lag on higher playspeeds and long load times.
Some bugs and oddities affect gameplay adversely.
Medical operation success rates and (inevitable) failures.
Your game does eventually end, and you are always sad to see the pawns lauch off, and the colony abandoned…
I just realized that this is possibly my most detailed review yet, RIP my opening statement.
I know this review largely focuses on the ‘deeper’ aspects of what makes this game great. The reason for that is you can always watch a ‘let’s play’ or a streamer or something to see what the game actually plays like. This review is simply my impressions after dozens (hundreds?) of hours crafting stories of adventure and survival in the Rimworld.