The older I get, the less I like violent games. Instead, I find myself drawn to games I used to scoff at as a youngster: Simulations and city-builders.
I have no explanation, honestly. One’d think that I’d be in love with shooters since adulthood has introduced me to whole new levels of disappointment and frustration, but, somehow… it has also been very pleasant. Maybe that’s why I like to build and micro-manage. I don’t know, man.
What I do know: I like ‘RimWorld’ a lot. It is a base-building game that is best described as an accessible ‘Dwarf Fortress’. You guide a bunch of characters (e.g. space-farers who have crashed on an alien planet or a tribe already living there) and help them survive by building a base and managing food and energy sources. You have to trade with other settlements and spaceships that occasionally enter your orbit. You have to make sure your guys and girls are happy and productive, but you’ll also have to fend off pirate raids – ‘RimWorld’ is quite fierce if played on the higher difficulties. There’s a lot of fighting, if you want it. For those of us who just want to relax and build – you can do so by choosing one of the lower difficulties. The game offers three different AIs that control the ‘events’ which occasionally hassle your settlement (like raids, solar eclipses, meteorogical catastrophes etc.). Some of them are REALLY dangerous and can wipe out your base, if they catch you unprepared. Toxic Fallout, I’m looking at you. The AIs differ in their predictability and the severity of the events they choose to unleash.
‘RimWorld’ is quite complex, but perfectly accessible for anybody in my opinion. You don’t have to be a simulation buff to play it. Then, again, if you are a buff, you might find ‘RimWorld’ a bit underwhelming compared to ‘Dwarf Fortress’, since it lacks Z-Levels (underground layers you can dig to and build on) and its multitude of creatures. After approx. 20 hours with ‘RimWorld’, I find myself gravitating back towards ‘Dwarf Fortress’ which I find beefier. However, ‘RimWorld’ is by no means a bad game and I keep coming back to it. The developers have been updating it regularly and I hope they’ll be adding some unexpected stuff soon. I propose magic flutes that let you guile tribesfolk into lethal traps.
Rimworld is a kind of game that can make you addicted to it, just like ya-yo does the colonists in the game. But that’s not enough to make you buy it, or is it?
It has simple mechanics that you will get used to it even in five minutes. But learning how to play the game takes a lot more than. You can simply play the tutorial first, then you can create a new game and start again. You can continue if you want, it’s up to you. But my advice is starting again.
I said that it takes some time to learn the game, for me it was about 30-35 hours.During that time I tried to improve my colony, build some staff and discover the game. Then I realized that I need to start focusing on beating the game.
The game has 6 different difficulty levels, Intense is the one suggested by the developers. That’s a hard one, you had better play the game like 30-40 hours before to play the hard ones.
I can finally talk about the game. The game has three scenarios but I will talk about the popular one, which is Crashlanded. You have three colonists, an optimal start for resources and there will be ship chunks that gives components you will need the most by deconstructing them. Be warry of fire, the biggest enemy of yours. At the start, you will have to construct everything from wood, but beware of it for later. Fire can be cringy for your first play. It can destroy everything in a few minutes that you tried so hard to get, but you will be able to save yourself from it by constructing fire foam later, but you will need to research it first. There are technologies that your colonists can learn by researching them. There are also works like hunting, growing, smithing, crafting, cooking, hunting etc. You can make them hunt every animal, and can eat all of them. You can even make your colonists eat humans but it makes colonists feel cannibal and that decreases their mood. The point is build a ship and leave that rimworld with colonists by launching it. When you do that, you will beat the game. But there will be raiders, mad animals and even ancient mechanoids that will try to prevent you. But you won’t be alone, there will be turrets and traps you will construct.
The game is not just this less, it is large enough to make me feel like I don’t even know a thing.
Rimworld is a great game that I’ve played for hours upon hours pre-Steam Release, and still am just as easily engrossed in now. As you’d probably expect from a game with a similar style to dwarf fortress, there’s a ton of replayability and stuff to do, and the 3 different AI storytellers with their variable difficulty levels add another element of that for people that want to experience the game in new ways!
There’s also the added bonus that certain option combinations can make the game focused purely on basebuilding, for players that want to become more familiar with the game before dealing with raids and disasters (or if they just don’t want to deal with the danger and just make a successful colony! That’s a legitimate option too.)
On the flipside, you can set the game to be a constant test for survival, just to see how well you can make it, for people who want more of a challenge, or just for people to see what the game can come up with.
There’s randomly generated worlds, with many different biomes, and each starting site having different average rainfall, temperatures, growing seasons. This could just mean that a starting site in a temperate forest biome that’s closer to the equator could be a bit more hot; it also means you could try starting in blisteringly hot desert or trying to scratch out existence in the frozen arctic.
One thing to note is that the game plane is in 2D; there is no levels of height or depth like in Dwarf Fortress. Although there can be hidden areas or alcoves hidden in mountains, what you see is what you get. No tunneling downwards into the depths to get at more minerals here! (Which is why I prefer settling in mountainous country; more access to minerals, as well as the fact that living in the side of a mountain is a BIT more defensible than just a shack in the middle of the country.)
Overall, this is a great game. Looks great, soundtrack is actually very well done and doesn’t drone repetitive, very replayable and offers hours and hours of enjoyment to people that are a fan of these types of games, with the added bonus that the interface is much more intuitive!
(If you’ve liked the idea of dwarf fortress but found it too hard to get into, this is honestly a really good alternative. Try it out!)