This is a drama generator disguised as a game. You could just go through the motions and play this challenging survival game. Or you could take a few moments to actually read about the characters you are playing with and watch the story unfold.
In one game, an overweight male cook crash lands on a RimWorld with two naked female sex slaves. The women are constantly frustrated at their lack of clothes. Mr. Cook is constantly hitting on the girls and trying to get lucky, and is constantly rejected. The girls who have the necessary survival skills between them (except cooking) ignore the cook’s advances. The cook eventually goes insane and runs around in a crazy stupor until he eventually starves to death. The girls who cannot cook eventually get depressed over having to eat the corpses of animals they hunted raw and end up fighting. The one with medical skills is knocked out. The survivor has no medical or hunting skills. They both starve to death…
In another game a family consisting of a daughter who is a researcher with some medical skills, her mother the botanist, and the ex husband/father who was a soldier, crash land near the pole with their pet Husky. The botanist can’t do anything without a hydroponic set up as nothing grows in the cold and ice. The mother can also cook. The daughter can hunt and cook. And the father can build a shelter. They manage to build a small, heated space and have plans to create an indoor hydroponic set up to feed themselves as there are very few things to hunt out on the ice.
Then the daughter is attacked by a polar bear while hunting a rabbit. The father rescues her. While she is in bed recovering, the father and mother can’t take the stress of being in such close company anymore and start fighting. The mother is injured. The father has no medical skills. The daughter gets an infection which can’t be treated and gets gradually worse. There’s a short in the battery room and power is knocked out – with no power there’s no heat. Mother – with some medical skills – gets hypothermia. Father can’t repair the battery as there’s no metal left, and the daughter had the mining skills. Besides – the polar bears are still out there…
Eventually food runs out – the daughter dies of her infection. The mother dies of hypothermia. The father can’t bear to eat the corpses of his family and starves to death. The dog survives by eating their corpses. Eventually, a wanderer stumbles upon the settlement. He figures he could just live there, mine some metal and fix the hydroponic set up. There’s no food, but he has no problem with eating this frozen human protein lying around. He survives for days, repairs the battery compartment, and is re-buidling the hydroponics.
A few days later an escape pod crashes near the shelter. The old man rescues the young woman – the girl of his dreams! He locks her in a room while she recovers, hoping to woo her and convince her to stay with him, that cannibalism isn’t all that bad and that people are actually quite tasty. But she rejects him. Eventually he goes insane from digging up the frozen corpses and butchering them, and in his madness he attacks the dog. The dog incapacitates him outside the shelter, and the old man – unable to get back inside – freezes to death. The young woman locked in her cell starves to death…
10/10 would turn cannibal and abduct women again!
Rimworld is one of those few games that does what it does unbelievably well. Rimworld is a base-building/colony management style game, but these genres it takes to a whole new level in complexity.
The game itself is considered an ‘early access’ title, but don’t be fooled by this, there is a breath and depth of content here that goes far beyond a $30 price tag. You can easily get hundreds of hours of play time in Rimworld, as there is so much depth that even after almost 150 hours of play time myself, I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface. There are always so many new things, new mechanics, new items, new ways colonists interact with things that I’m learning about that things can stay fresh for a long time. Rimworld is one of those games that takes a short amount of time to understand, but a lifetime to master.
Part of the replayability is the sheer variety in any given game. You can choose a difficulty, a biome, a storyteller (the style of AI when it comes to how challenges and boons come to your colony), and you can even generate your colonists. Everything, right down to those very colonists have such depth, it’s difficult to explain in a review. One colonist might have an excellent skill with firearms and cooking, but might be incapable of dumb labor and like to eat human flesh. Another colonist might have a bad back and cataracts, but might be an excellent researcher and particularly strong willed.
Another part of the replayability is the extensive and highly active modding community, which have created amazing mods to keep the gameplay fresh and fun. Everything from mods that reduce micromanagement, to mods that allow you to play in H.P. Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu setting. Mods that allow you to engineer organs, or mods that add additional weapons and enemies. There’s truly a mod for just about everything.
The graphics and sound effects are simple, but the true value in Rimworld is the story that gets told as you progress through your game. When raiders come, will you defend yourself and then set the raiders you capture free? Will you try to convert them to your side? Will you tear their organs out to sell on the black market and use their skin to make arm chairs with (yes this is totally possible)? Will you tame wild animals and breed them for food and materials as a farmer? Will you simply slaughter them as a hunter? Will you grow and concoct drugs to enhance your colonists abilities and keep them happy? Or create these drugs to sell and make a tidy profit? Do you prefer a simple, defendable base? Or a beautiful, symetrical base? There’s really something for everyone in Rimworld.
I could say so much about Rimworld and I really feel like it wouldn’t be enough. I know videos aren’t always the best way to communicate the experience of a game, but in this case I think it’s approrpiate. If you ever want to see the depth a RImworld campaign can get, here are two modded ones I’m running, along with all of the insanity that happens in each:
The start of a Playthrough of 5 Psychopaths that slaughter, remove organs, and sell off all that cross them.
The start of a Playthrough featuring H.P. Lovecraft as the storyteller, fighting against creatures from The Call of Cthulhu:
In my opinion, a must-buy for everyone who is even only remotely interested in survival base-building sims.
And even if you are not so much, Rimwold might change your mind.
So, where do i start?
Visually, the game is rather simplistic, but it has it’s very own charm and i think it works very well to focus on the main aspect.
Which brings me to the gameplay, and o boy, you’re in for a treat.
There are different scenarios you can choose from, for example playing a few crashed spaceship survivors or starting with a lost tribe. Depending on that, your starting gear and building possibilities are very different.
There are also different ‘storytellers’ to chose from, which are basically defining the random events and how often they appear and difficulty as well. There’s an option for everyone there from a more relaxed experience, to ‘why the hell am i even doing this to me’.
After that, you’re chosing your starting spot on a world and off you go.
Survival is the main aspect.
You need to mine materials, build shelter, beds, grow food or hunt animals and cook their meat, but you also need to make sure that things won’t spoil, so researching electricity, generators, freezers, but also guns and clothes and all the other things that’ll make your life easier.
Your survivors all have different traits and skills. Some are good at building, some can shoot very well, some others are doctors all while having different personality traits as well, so some can be psychopaths, nudists, fast learners, pyromaniacs.
All of that will influence stats, bonuses, behavious etc.
Also, be prepared that your survivors might punch each other in the face for not liking or insulting each other.
Now, this might seem like a lot, and in the beginning it definitely is.
BUT, i think it’s not as hard to get into it and definitely worth the experience. You definitely have to find out what to prioritize and in the beginning you might fail a lot.
But that’s also part of the fun.
Being hunted by a mad rat, that kills half of your survivors, du to the injuries they receive might be something that will happen to you.
The random events can range from raid parties trying to kill your survivors, packs of manhunting animals to eclipses and other events.
I’d say it’s not the easiest and relaxed game, even though it can be for a long time, but then it also can go *boom* a hostile raid on your colony, shortly after that a pack of manhunting squirrels coming after you, then someone getting in a fistfight, losing an eye and another one getting the flu.
But it doesn’t matter, it’s really part of the fun, even though it might set you back a bit, the constant struggle is part of the fun in my opinion.
Rimworld is giving me something, that i didn’t experince for a long, long time, maybe even not since Diablo 2.
‘Only finish this building’, ‘only mining this steel block’, ‘only that one more thing’.
It’s a really addicting and fun gameplay spiral and i’ve caught myself losing track of time so often.
There are also a lot of great workshop mods, some of them i’d probably couldn’t play without anymore.
It’s a great base-building survival game, with a difficulty that’s challenging, but never feelt unfair to me.
In my opinion, a masterclass in complex, challenging gameplay.