Simply put Rimworld is the perfect Colony survival game.
Every single thing you do in this game has risk and reward to it, and it makes every every single game session different.
As like most games, it has a fairly well defined Early, mid, and late game:
Early gameplay tends to focus on colonist survival, building, establishing an economy, ect.
Mid gameplay tends to focus on diplomacy(or piracy), research, spreading to other locations
Late gameplay is where you approach the end goals, by either building or traveling to victory
The thing that stands out most about how the Rimworld Devs, handle this, is by introducing different starting situations. Like basebuilding and the survival aspect? You can choose to spawn with 5 less advanced colonists which will keep you in early game for longer. Like having superior technology? Spawn with a single highly advanced colonist which will rocket you into higher teirs much faster. And if you want a normal mix of gameplay, the default option spawns you with 3 regular randys
Additionally, there is so much procedual and random generation of elements in this game, it is actually impossible to have 2 games be the same. The planet is randomly generated at game-start, where towns, roads, and biomes are all procedurally placed. Then, you start with characters who have wildly varying stats, socialphysical quirks, and pre-existing health conditions. Finally, when you do land on the planet, each tile you land in has been randomly generated, plus you can travelspread to as many as you want as the game goes on.
Colonist Mental health
Mental health is actually a huge component of this game. You could have a dream team of people, but if you get attacked, and your doctor has a mental breakdown and drinks himself to death, you now have wounded soldiers with no doctor.
There are random events and traits which raise and lower people’s moral, people have relationships with eachother, and can learn to lovehate eachother.
It would be very difficult to have an colony if it’s members were constantly depressed and unproductive. But, since there are plenty of ways to combat this, it is never a losing battle. Make nice art, or furnishings, or food, or drugs. You can even be a psychopath that simply loves to stay up all night and eat raw flesh! Something for everyone I suppose eh?
TLDR; Combat is detailed, RNG with good reward for using the right people for each job
The health system is very detailed. Each hand, leg, head, kidney, lung, toe has a health pool, which can be damaged different ways by different damage types (bludgen vs peirce). Have a rioting prisoner? You probably want to bludgen them unconcious. This will lower the risk of lethal hits, but take longer to perform. If you shoot them unconcious, they may die of their wounds, and you will face diplomatic recourse for it.
The health system also seems fair, generally, as long as you have the medical supplies, you won’t randomly have a colonist die on you.
Combat is also one of the ways you can grow your colony, simply capture one of the enemies, harbor them in a prison cell, and convince them to join your side.
While it is possible to be completely self-sustained, I tend to find it incredibly useful to have a GDP. By having my colony produce a product which is valuble on the market, I don’t necessarily need an expert for every task. I can instead produce Art, weapons, drugs, livestock, minerals, ect and trade for the things I need rather than producing them
You can either wait for traders to randomly arrive, you can physically travel to them, or you can raid PirateFriendly bases and steal your product!
The game is a custom engine, 2d with sprites, but beautifully executed. It does not look aged, yet could probably run on any machine
Controls are intuitive, with a pretty low learning curve. Plus, if you get stumped on a mechanic, there is a step-by-step helper which explains EVERYTHING in detail.
The engine offers you as much, or as little, control over the colonists as you please. You can micromanage if you’d like, or you can just queue up tasks and let them get to it whenever they feel like it.
Rimworld is a detailed Colony sim that is easy to get into, generates it’s own story, and is overall a great experience to play. There are so many paths to success and failure that playing it feels like reading a book, and will always be able to provide a twist, or fun surprise at any given point. Excellent buy, from an honest dev team; Definitely worth full price.
Rimworld is a game about managing a colony of survivors who have crash landed into an undeveloped world, and keeping them alive long enough to escape from it. Because this world is filled with rabid raccoons, heavily armed raiders, disease, famine, depression, drugs, and more dreadful disasters than the book of Revelation, survival isn’t guaranteed.
Your colonists have numerous needs they need to fulfil, ranging from basic ones such as hunger, sleep, and housing, to less crucial ones such as not having a floor covered in blood and vomit, owning a spacious and elegant room, social interaction, a fulfilling job, and keeping all of their original body parts intact. Your ill-fated people have plenty of skills to help them survive; they are not entirely helpless. They can craft useful utensils, haggle with merchants, cook (occasionally edible meals), hunt, grow food, chop down trees, build furniture, perform woefully inadequate surgeries and plenty of other joyful activities. They do a decent enough job considering they are not professional survivalists.
Each colonist has unique backstories and personalities that affect their skill competence. A hard working, urban world architect is more suited to construction than a neurotic, former youth delinquent, alcoholic trucker with severe depression. A colonist can’t do certain jobs if his or her personality and backstory prohibit them. A pyromaniac will never fight a fire. A charity worker will never commit violence. And a model will never do intellectual work.
In order to progress in the game, you must craft weapons and armor, build shelters, forage, grow food, hunt, set up defenses and traps, and do research that lets you build better equipment. You usually give commands to your colonists indirectly by assigning tasks that must be done to a global pool of actions. If a capable and idle colonist is nearby, he’ll do whatever task is next on the list. You can force a colonist to (literally) drop whatever he or she is working on, and do something more urgent instead. For example, defending your potato plants from voracious alpha beavers with your mighty pointy stick is considerably more urgent than rearranging your furniture so your room “flows”.
Rimworld is not an easy game. You have to master gobs of interlinked game mechanics just to stand a chance to win. Rimworld is not a game for everyone. You have to be humble (and masochistic) enough to learn from your mistakes even as your colony fails miserably and everyone suffers gruesome and undignified deaths. Rimworld is an unapologetic, staggeringly compelling game capable of creating the most horrifyingly hilarious stories you’ve ever experienced.
This is a game where it’s possible to have a heroic and fearless leader that guides his colony though starvation, disease, natural disasters, increasingly armed and violent pirates, personally carrying and caring for his downed comrades into the medical bay and forming a self-sufficient colony to rival any community found in a glitter world before dying peacefully on his sleep.
This is also a game where you can fend off three poorly armed raiders, kill one, enslave and sell another one, harvest the organs of the remaining one and make wearable items with his skin, only to soon after be attacked by a wave of fifty enraged ferrets that overpower your defenses, kill eight of your ten heavily armed and trained colonists with thousands of tiny bites, and leave the rest with infected wounds, forcing you to choose to watch your colonists either slowly and agonizingly die of fever, or amputate their gnawed, infected limbs and hopefully live long enough to replace them with peg legs or with highly advanced prosthetics (if you manage to save enough silver).
Rimworld belongs to a genre of games where winning is beside the point. Dwarf Fortress heavily inspired Rimworld, and the former’s “losing is fun” philosophy applies here. You will definitely lose over and over and over and over and over and over. You’ll rage quit. You’ll uninstall the game. Soon you’ll come back again. And then fail again. But each failure will teach you an important lesson and/or game mechanic that will help you survive longer the next time you play.
Rimworld is one of the few games that can approximate the addictive feeling of freedom you get from playing a pen and paper role playing game. You have so much freedom in your choices (and consequences), and there are so many situations that can go engrossingly bad or horribly well, in such fascinating ways, that you can’t help but stare at the losing screen, chuckle incredulously at what you just witnessed, and remember (and share) your stories fondly long after you turned off the game.