It falls close to titles like gnomoria and dwarf fortress and follows the minecraft scheme of your survivors landing in the middle of nowhere with just a handful of things to last for a couple of days, and now you are set to the task to travel from campfires and wooden bows to building a spacecraft.
So what does this game offer compared to all the other competitive topdown smurf management simulators?
In all honesty, not too much. Why im still on my way to spend a 1000 hours into it?
While it does not really innovate anything about the genre, it still executes it near perfectly. When you ask yourself what this type of topdown survivalist manager is supposed to be, rimworld falls really close to what you would call ‘this is how its supposed to be’.
And mother of god, dont even get me started on the modding community for this game, from turning your survival experience into alien vs predator, to a lovecraftian cult simulator, to a medieval fortress defense, all of them with ff7 pawns stripped from a furry board and thats just the tip of the iceberg.
When i look at the modding community for this game, things like the original starcraft and warcraft 3 come to my mind where hundreds of thousands of people let their creativity flow.
Its just beautiful to watch.
I will recommend this game despite any and all of its shortcomings, but i do want to mention some of them cause they do impact your experience. The handful of major issues i have faced have been: Hardware requirement and optimization issues.
I have heard many things ranging from the game using a single core, to following the x32 architecture, and i dont really know what holds true to date, but one thing is sure: The game has severe speed issues as it enters the late periods where you have amassed larger amounts of items and/or pawns.
To date, this is one of the things that really bugs me and to a point, is actually completely ridiculous. A pc that runs things like overwatch and doom, skyrim and what not in near max settings, will actually visibly slow and choke on this game.
Extremely narrowed down randomization
When it comes to things like maps, you soon come to the realization that nearly all maps are carbon copies of eachother, even in mountainous regions. All maps are generated in the same way, which becomes even more painfully obvious when you get a map reroll addon.
Mountain maps are literally just one side of the map having a wall of stone and thats it.
You have to generate 100 maps to have less than 10 which have any unique forms, shapes, features to them, such as a hallway, a bubble, etc.
The same for sea bordering tiles, the same for everything.
The map generator is so bland and useless that there is almost no point to it. Its certainly not ‘random’ generating anything and all maps are 95% identical to eachother, which is still an issue to me, despite of having plenty of biomes to spice up things.Neither of these will keep me from playing the game, but they do bother me, but thankfully, unlike many titles like Terraria, this game is still receiving fixes and updates and is soon to hit 1.1
Looking forward to all the fun yet to come.
This is a long review, so I’ll start by jumping to the conclusion:
Rimworld is a graphically appealing colony management game, set on a distant world, with a strong ‘wild west’ vibe. If you enjoy colony management games with a good balance between strategic depth and fun, then this is a game worth checking out!
Now for the wordy bit of the review:
To be clear, this game was given to me over a year ago by the developer, and again, recently I was offered an opportunity to play the steam release a few days ahead of the official unveiling (Alpha 14) That being said, I’m an avid fan of the colony management genre and judge the game against the likes of Dwarf Fortress, Gnomoria, Prison Archetect, and even the oldies like Startopia and Dungeon Keeper.
First, let’s get the comparison to Dwarf Fortress out of the way; Rimworld is not as complicated as DF. But then, what game could ever claim that? But Rimworld does an amazing job of distilling the fun from the complexity. You will find yourself building traps to blunt raider attacks, large industrial areas, prioritising research and even delving into animal husbandry. Whatever you do, it’ll focus more on being a game, than a complex world simulation.
That said, there’s a lot of strategy involved, it just never feels like fun is taking a back seat to it!
The visual aesthetic closely resembles Prison Architect, so if you’re familiar with that game, and enjoy the art style, then you’ll find a lot to like about Rimworld’s clean, sometimes cartoony graphics. Rimworld also boasts some amazing audio assets and impressively atmospheric music that really helps to set the mood in the game!
The difficulty is highly customisable, and combined with the detailed scenario editor, allows you to tailor each game to suite your particular skill level. Want steadily rising levels of tension and challenge as you play? Then pick an AI storyteller that will emphasise dramatic pacing and adjust in game events to match your situation, keeping you on your toes but never throwing truly impossible odds your way. Want a relaxed experience where you can focus on learning the game? Pick (or create) a scenario that affords you a generous set of starting conditions, and an AI story teller who will give you plenty of time to prepare or recover from each event… the game can be as brutal, or as gentle as you want it to be! 🙂
Finally, as for longevity, without even touching on the topic of modding (Rimworld has one of the most rich and active modding communities I’ve seen in these kinds of games!) the base Rimworld experience offers enough potential to adjust your game and starting conditions that I find it unlikely that anyone will grow bored. There’s enough strategy involved in making a successful colony, and enough difference to be found in the various events that might occur, that you’re virtually guaranteed a different experience each time you play.
In my opinion Rimworld is a solid example of a colony management/simulation game, where the raw fun of the game has not been hidden beneath the complexity of the simulation, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any fan of the genre.