Rimworld came into my world out of nowhere. I bought the game on a whim, launched it, and a few moments later it began telling me it’s first story. The story of Chi:
Chi is ugly as ****, so he saved up what he could and went for plastic surgery…
That was the last thing he remembered, when he woke up below the remnants of his escape pod on an unknown distant planet – bruised, naked and covered in slime. Bummer. And he was still ugly as ****. Bummer. Bummer!
Chi doesn’t give up easily, though. He is not a whimp, so he build himself a home from nothing.
In a year he went from sleeping on the cold hard ground, picking berries and chewing on raw rat meat to having a real kitchen (with a fridge!), a comfy bed and heater to warm him during the cold winter nights.
He even made an acquaintance, a friend (kind of). The acquaintance was an actor named Tom. Tom came screaming into Chi’s life, fleeing the club wielding maniac who was close behind him. Chi and Tom somehow managed to survive the fight against the aggressor, and Tom chose to stay in Chi’s crib (although he didn’t like Chi, because he really IS ugly as ****).
Another year went by, and Chi and Tom managed to get along. This was probably because Chi is a night owl who enjoys sleeping during the day and working in the moonlight. They only crossed each other during breakfast/dinner.
Everything was… well, not peaceful, but at least without events such as starvation, disease or violent murder… for a while.
Until the day, they received a message, telling them that Chi’s sister had somehow arrived on the same planet and was now being held captive by a group not too dissimilar to Chi and Tom.
They gathered their best (awful) weapons and went on a journey to save the poor girl (who was also ugly as ****).
The mission turned out to be slightly more challenging than anticipated.
Two bandits had locked Chi’s sister up in a small shed, so far, so good… but the place was defended by gun turrets and bloody mortar fire!
Chi and Tom only had a spiked club and an old six shooter, but as I said – Chi doesn’t give up easily!
He ordered Tom to shoot at the solar panel, which provided power to the gun turrets, while Chi himself started running.
Chi dodged whistling bullets and flying shrapnel from mortar explosions as he screamed for death and revenge.
Somehow, he didn’t die.
Chi’s sister was saved.
Tom was blown to bits by mortar shells.
They buried Tom next to the solar panel.
Brother and sister went back to Chi’s little hideout and lived on a little while longer…
Rimworld is a storyteller. Rimworld is an absolutely awesome game, because Rimworld is FUN! Rimworld is ugly as ****, but somehow this makes everything exactly right. It underlines the fact that it is all about the story and the gameplay – most of all the story. Rimworld is hard and unforgiving. Rimworld is stealing my sleep. Rimworld is never leaving my hard disk…
I have never played a game as much as RimWorld, and I’m not sure if I ever will. I’ve bought it twice. Once in Alpha on the Ludeon website and once on Steam at 1.0.
HOW DO I KNOW ‘THIS GAME IS FOR ME?’
-You don’t mind ultra minimal art (4 directional animations on static sprites which are just pretty icons.)
-You want a narrative story generator with deep character stories and life events
-You played FTL and loved the way you got attached to these little sprite characters
-You want a colony management game
-Management software doesn’t bother you or excites you
-You want a game where you can do almost anything you imagine
-You like building things and trying to keep it from being destroyed
-You stop to watch the grass grow
HOW DO I KNOW ‘THIS ISN’T FOR ME?’
-You want highly detailed and animated sprite art and can’t get past it
-Simulation games have nothing to offer you
-Survival games are ‘played out’
-Strategy games aren’t your thing either
-You can’t stand losing because you didn’t anticipate something could happen
-Excel sheets and management stuff is boring
-You don’t care about emergent narrative and just want to play a set story
-You aren’t interested in making your own fun and prefer a linear experience
RimWorld is easily summarized as a Firefly inspired Dwarf Fortress with a Prison Architect aesthetic.
But the best description is that it is a Dynamic Narrative AI Storyteller where you crashland on a planet with a few starting colonists and items, then proceed to guide them through survival situations on your way to building a sustainable base, eventually with spaceflight capabilities to end the game.
But that only scratches the surface.
There are alien monsters, genetically engineered life forms, any planetary biome you can think of, primitive tribes, space age militaries, and frontier western cowboys.
You’ll be harvesting kidnys from your enemies to save your only engineer’s life, waging epic wars against rival factions armed with machine guns and lasers, watching in horror as your base is ripped apart by alien insects with only a husky and a lone survivor struggling to rebuild after fleeing to a new map in the dead of winter, and establishing a trade empire selling drugs to fund your starship building enterprise.
When you toss mods on top of this, of which there are thousands, it takes the experience to new and impossible places. Cloning the perfect human over dozens of generations with Questionable Ethics, Nuking enemy civilizations into radioactive wastelands with RimAtomics, buiding starships to travel to new worlds with Save Our Ship (featuring my art ad Kentington’s code!), and becoming a master chef with Rimcuisine.
It is worth exactly the price it is listed for and will never go on sale. Yes, you should buy it. Forget the other games in your list, you’ll play this one for sometimes days straight.