Rimworld is the sort of game that quickly becomes a time sink.
The base game is at its core well thought out and incredibly complex. This is not a game you get for graphics or visual effects. It’s not a pretty game to look at – it’s not horrible but it’s rather “spartan” and stylized. The graphics are there to represent things – that’s it. It’s not a highly complex building game so you’re not going to get building wise more than a 2D grid to work from, even if it has multiple stacking levels to each. Also, this is not a game you get for sound (the music is pretty good, if a bit repetitive). So why do I recommend this game?
In one word: the core gameplay underneath is very sophisticated, and has D&D qualities to it – not in terms of quest – but it terms of the depiction of events and strategy needed to survive, no matter what the game throws at you in terms of challenge. I think of the game more like a board game that depicts your characters going about their business as you guide them. The gameplay is all about the colonist behavior, their skill simulation – highly detailed moods, health and abilities – the tasks at hand and who does them – colonist relationship (love, hate, friendships, backstabbings) – and what they do well – what they don’t – what they can learn, all of this level of detail plopped in a close quarters world building that you get to make decisions on. Do they have food to eat (can they make food), do they have a place to cook, butcher, hunt, grow, research, recover from sickness or injury from? Is the place defended well enough? Can you make things to trade? What makes the game very good is that all of this is all interrelated and creates a wealth of options to either die (sometimes comically, sometimes very frustratingly), or live (and luck doesn’t have a lot to do with it).
The designers are I think intent on depicting what’s bad about human nature. We start with a basic survival “get dumped on a planet and survive” mode, but the dangers are not just on the surface – they are within the colony and how well people interact and get along with each other. In fact, it’s the closest simulation I think of real life team building in a game I’ve seen to date – tumultuous chaos, petty things being blown out of proportion, that time of the month gets in the way, psychology, etc. You really get a good simulation of “feelings” in Rimworld. What you ask your colonists to do – or not – sometimes they’ll flat out refuse – impacts all of that, and it’s all wrapped into some construction and infrastructure you need to build to survive and build your colony. The gameplay is a lot about herding cats.
The game in general is very gloomy, not as bad as Frostpunk perhaps – but definitely you get to make tough decisions real quick. Any time you have to decide if you will amputate the leg or try to fix it immediately sets the mood (that thankfully is not a daily decision).
You immediately can tell that things won’t go well for your colonists, and your decisions are all about not making that any worse. The game is very hard – but hard in as way I find deeply rewarding as like an onion, there’s so many layers to peel and discover. Nothing every good seems to happen to your colonists and a decision you made last week as a player may come back to haunt you – or prove to be the one thing that saved you from the next catastrophe. For every good thing that happens, there’s a plethora of bad things the game throws at you to challenge you – nothing is ever dull in Rimworld, even if the graphics are. The game doesn’t want you to win – that’s a definite
This said, the base game has its limits – and I wouldn’t play the base game as it is because it has a few extremes where I think the devs went a bit too far in the “atmosphere” area. There are a number of wonderful mods that add features (like plumbing and sanitation needs) or modify some core gameplay to remove some of the more extreme elements of the game – example, a colonist willing to kill another because a table wasn’t available for dinner and they went off the deep end. That’s a bit extreme, but thankfully, the game was out there for a long time in early access, which has fostered a number of very good mods to either add features not in the game, or tweak it just to your liking. Some of these mods were actually incorporated in the base game before it was 1.0.
There are more advance tech trees, new parts and capabilities, you can go full out on prosthetics if that’s your cup of tea. These mods that add additional depth to the game and plug some of the gaps the base game doesn’t include and smooth out the extremes.
That is a significant strength. Pick them carefully – some of course are flat out cheats – but most are only here to enhance the game.
The ability to customize your experience, to some extent in the core game, but more likely through this careful selection of mods that tweak the game to your playstyle, opens a wealth of options, and yes, you will be spending hours – days – in it if you’re not careful. The core game makes that possible as it has a very solid foundation.
The game is a total time sink. Yes – you will feel probably sad when a colonist dies of old age or perhaps because a hunt went bad, and you didn’t have someone with the skill or tech available to fix them up. Something about digging a grave for a colonist you nurtured past all the crap thrown at them, seeing one of them get all giddy with a new pet, some people getting married and wanting to get the same bed, only to want to do separate rooms a while later, at the end of the day makes it a good game. Oh and there’s a sci-fi flair to it and some construction/design you have to worry about for the engineer in you.
This is one of the better strategy games out there and I like it because it makes me think. That can be a rarity these days when I’m looking to do something interesting and study the human condition.
If you are about to buy this game and your starting to hesitate, don’t even think about hesitating, just do it.
This game is one of the best colony-sim management games i have played so far, it contains a lot of micro-management and a lot of options and possible scenarios that could happen, your imagination in this game is endless as you cannot get bored. There’s a tutorial to even start with that provides basic information. You can get a game over from the smallest of threats that you cannot handle, or the biggest ones that’s impossible to handle.
The vanilla game provides a lot of experience and fun, with grief that comes with it if your colonists are having tantrums around your base. Your base can be attacked from the smallest of tribes to the large mechanoid centipedes, you have to manage ( or micro-manage ) your colony for them to be able to live comfortably as they have very specific needs and it all depends on their traits. speaking of traits, there are a lot to choose from but it all depends on the game as the game randomly generates your colonists traits.
Weapons are used to dismantle threats, hunt , and obviously protect your own colony from anything that attacks, there are multiple varities of weapons in the game (Mods can add more) there are basic rifles, basic shotguns, pistols and even SMG’s, but there are also Advanced weapons like Doomsday Rocket Launchers, Oribtal targeting weapons and Miniguns, these weapons are overwhelming to your opponent but it comes with a price as the firing rate or time gets longer as your weapons gets more destructive.
Skills in this game helps you identify on what your colonists specializes in , there are skills in mining, shooting, surgery and a lot more. Skills can help if your able to make the best of weapons or the shoddiest of statues, it all depends on what your colonists specializies in, you can also improve a certain colonists skill by making him do the work but if he fails, materials will be wasted but Skills will improve.
You are pretty much able to craft anything in this game, but not everything as the game has limited that . (Mods can help ) you can tell your colonists to manage the Marble slags to be able to make Marble blocks, or even craft a destructive weapon yourself, or apparel that can uniform your colonists, food to cook and make a lavish meal, but if your going to make such, your going to need materials.
Randomly Generated Stuff
The only parts that is randomly generated in his game is the people that can enter your faction, traits, raids, names, scenarios, threats, events, mental breakdowns, nature, factions, world, pretty much most of this game is randomly generated and every new game you start, there is a different experience, that’s why this game is unique, the world is randomly generated, and the area that you will start in, its either you’ll have a scarce surrounding that has limited supplies to harvest or a rich area with Steel or Jade. As you start a game its your choice on where you will start as a world of your preferably picked size is generated, you can also modify that world if its snowy, or a desert planet.
Vanilla factions in-land consists of tribes, pirates , and outlanders, in each world that is generated there are a lot of colonies. Outlanders are most of the time friendly but it all comes to your decision to ruin that relationship, tribes are not friendly but they use bows, spears and swords as their weapons. They may have weak weapons but they do come in numbers, where-in the Pirates are using modern weapons, armor and equipment, they are the same as the outlanders but they are not so friendly, as most of the time in a generated world they are your enemy with the tribes to also deal with, but even if they are both your enemies neither are they allies. There are also out world factions, Mechanoids which consists of a Mechanoid Centipede and a Scyther.
this is pretty much the AI that is in charge of giving you a story, there are 3 current storytellers, its your choice to pick and each and every one provides a different experience, some limited, some not, some will not have a larger chance of raids but different scenarios could happen, some opposite or vice versa, some is just peaceful and there’s difficulties to choose from, from a beginner to the hardest of difficulties that is recommended for experienced players, there are also mods that adds more possibilities.
These are much different than the story tellers as these are the options to choose from on where or how many supplies you should start with. You could crash land, or safely with Crash Landing pods in an unknown RImworld, or even start as a tribe with vast supplies but lack in firepower. or be a Lone wolf as you are finished with your technologically advanced Home but have supplies that came from that home but be alone, the Scenarios are endless, as you can make your own or download or install one from the Workshop or Ludeon Forums.
Mods are accesible from the Steam Workshop or Ludeon forums. Mods adds much more variety to the game, more possibilities, more threats, it doubles the fun and it all depends on what mods you can pick, the better the combination of mods, the better stories you can make yourself about you and your colony. There’s mods that provides basic menus for organization, Minimaps, Races, Zombies or even Factions that is much more threatening than the Current mechanoids, it all depends on your choice.
All in all, if your looking for a game that has a ton of micro-management, similar to the Sims and maybe some parts of Oxygen not included and Prison architect, also a Survival game then it is for you. If i have spent several hours playing this game and still counting, there’s no doubt that you won’t spend time with this game at all. This game has all the fun unless you are too lazy to enough till you get your colonists killed.