* THIS REVIEW IS OBSOLETE *
April 2020 update: The developers have continued to make significant advancements to the game in the years since I first wrote this review. It is a fun game. Buy it.
— Historical early access review follows —-
1. Micromanaging pawns to correct for lack of common sense is not fun
2. Progress is painfully slow and often is counteracted.
Pawns (NCPs you manage) make unrealistic choices that are frustrating and break immersion:
– Pawns do not incorporate enemies into their pathing. This results in a peaceful pawn walking through the middle of a battle to get some wood (or whatever) and will drag downed pawns *into* the enemy forces if that door is slightly closer to the hospital.
– Pawns do not prioritize hauling by perishability. Those berries nearby that are going to rot are passed to go grab a rock halfway across the map (which takes half a day, BTW).
– Pawns doing far away jobs often haul nothing back. Even the most stupid humans would haul stuff back. [This has been fixed]– Injured pawn can *pass* expensive medical beds hooked up to a monitor and choose an ordinary sick bed beyond them. Why?
Food/Cooking is broken.
– Pawns spend enormous time going to get a meal, going to a table, and eating. This slows the progress down. Let them carry more meals and not get a debuff for lack of a table, so they can eat where they are.
– For 16 pawns, I need two or three full-time cooks/butchers while others make sure the pantry is always stocked. What an adventure! The developers could fix this by producing 3-5 meals at a time. This is a great example of what is wrong with the game: food should be a challenge at the start, but with investment in farming/kitchens/freezers that aspect should take care of itself so you can move onto newer challenges (fighting, building, travelling, whatever). The same task shouldn’t become more tedious with ‘progress’. [This has been fixed by allowing 4 meals at a time. Cool update. Thank you.]
Even with stone paths, I have to dedicate one or two pawns just to cleaning dirt in rooms all the time. That’s fun. Reduce dirt build-up by 5x-10x. Or, add a vacuum robot. Or, make doormats part of the vanilla game. Something. Here again, make dirt and early challenge that you can overcome with investment. Instead, it just gets worse.
Pawns lose experience over time. Yeah. That’s what I want in an RPG.
Pawns become damaged over time. Scars, eye and finger losses. Bionics correct some issues.
Most of the ‘Research’ topics are useless and just a grind to delay end game.
– Let me research better picks or enhanced medicine or something that allows me to trade productivity today for gains tomorrow.
– When I research and produce better weapons and armor, my reward for producing those items is harder enemy attacks (raids). So, you don’t actually make progress. The same old enemies simply level up with you. [It would be fun if you could invest in making your base unraidable and then you could switch to wiping out bad guy bases for the second half of the game. Escaping the planet doesn’t need to be the only goal]
Every time someone in the real world figures out a better way to wall, create killboxes, or make money (sell parkas), the developers nerf it. Hey, if someone chooses to play the game with a killbox because they would rather play other aspects, let them.
Combat/Defense is broken:
– Animals break down even the strongest doors and enemies destroy the strongest walls. So, why bother having them?
– Autoturrets can be destroyed by a tribe with bow and arrows. Really? [Better turrets have been added]– Two ‘Expert’ level shooter pawns armed with assault rifles were downed by four deer. No.
– Expert shooter with a sniper rifle can take a dozen shots to even *hit* a sleeping animal. What? Really?
Caravans take forever to travel, carry too little, and you need to manage multiple fronts at the same time. It’s painful.
I could go on. The developers should dedicate themselves to polishing what they have rather than adding more ‘events’.
Four guests visited my colony. One of them went berserk and attacked its nearby faction mates.
His friends incapacitated him, then one of them took him and left the colony through the open main gate.
The other two guests in that moment mined their way through my walls to leave after him, ignoring the opened entrance.
After they left, i got a message that the faction blames me for their berserk friends injuries, loosing some goodwill with their faction.
Now for the serious part
—> EARLY ACCESS REVIEW – described content may change in the future <—
Welcome to the deepest sci-fi colony-builder game, i ever played. Rimworld offers hours of gameplay over just a single colony. You control your colonists in form of job priorities – you pick your best constructors to focus on constructing houses, cooks to prepare meal for others, artists to produce sculptures to make envinorment prettier for colonists. You will have to help your colonists survive through tough challenges game has prepared for you, including occasional enemy faction attacks trying to capture your colonists, surviving the sudden heat waves or dealing with some weird space ships crashing next to you…
Colonists form stories Colonists always come with stories, that are interesting to watch as time passes. Everyone (even enemy attackers) have their ‘backstory’ which informs you what the person used to be before landing on rimworld – these backstories may sometimes affect their skills levels and traits.
All characters have traits that change their behaviour. You can have ‘lazy’ colonists, that work slower than others, ‘slowpokes’ moves slower than the others, you can have ‘pessimist’ whose mood is always a bit worse…
During the game, your colonist form a friendships and enemies among themselves, colonists may decide to get married to the ones they like or to insult the ones they dont like, which may lead to some injuries as well… (I had one colonist ‘insult’ another one, which led him to cut his middle finger off – yes its THAT detailed!)
Easier said than done Game starts in the empty land with some mountains and trees around. Your first colonists arrive and youre ready to start building. Game offers frequent ‘hints’ during first few days telling you what to do, but there is no actual tutorial – which makes the game hard to learn. Prepare to have your colonies wasted during first few playthroughs, as surviving in wild is harder than it looks – unless you look up some guides, be ready to learn from your mistakes (and to restart few times).
Official goal of the game is to survive long enough to research and build a ship and leave the planet. This will hovewer take few ingame years and even if you manage to build the ship you may not want to leave the colony and you may just want to keep expanding.
2018 EDIT: Game now has multiple ways to win. You can also decide to travel to the other side of world to find ship and escape. Maybe even more will come !
Community adds a lot of variety Did you finally had a succesful run and done everything you wanted to? No problem – game offers three different ‘storytellers’, which differs in the way random events appear. There are also 5 difficulty levels to beat.
And if you feel like you want to see something new, check out steam workshop – community is currently very active with mods, that adds a lot of new unofficial content. You may decide to try out Hospitality mod, which adds interactions with guests or Zombie Apocalypse mod, which will unleash zombies against you.
+ Long playthrough
+ Insanely detailed information about everything (e.g. you know EXACTLY where colonists was hit..)
+ Active community in workshop
EDIT 2018: They actually removed all the big minuses in their updates :O There is still one more minus that i have to add:
– Minor issues which are matter of preference
Game may seem a bit overpriced on the first look, but the hours i spent and going to spend in this game (and i have much more hours off-steam) makes it worth for me even more!
EDIT – after release
Still solid, worth the price! 9/10 !