Okay, so version 1.0 will be released in about a week, so I think it’s about time to write a review for this game.
As you can see from my profile, I’ve spent over 150 hours in this fantastic game, making it my third most played game of all time, and definitely one of my favourite all-time games.
This is a game that costs $30 (USD) but it’s worth at least $60. This is a game that you can spend hundreds of hours playing and yet not even begin to explore everything that it has to offer. This is a game that lets you live out your lifelong fantasy of harvesting organs and turning people into fashionable armchairs. So let’s look at what this game is all about.
Rimworld is a space colony simulation game. In it, you (attempt to) manage a colony of, well, colonists. Each of your colonists has their own skills, traits and backstories that make them unique. Some are psychopaths who can’t socialise and feel no empathy. Some are masochists who love the sweet, sharp feeling of pain. Some are cannibals who… well, that one is pretty self-explanatory.
You will also need to manage your colonists’ health, both physical and mental. You need to make sure that your colonists have food, a comfy bed, and get to relax every now and then – if they become too unhappy, there is a risk of them snapping, going on a mental break that could last for over a day.
Also, colonists can be injured in many fun ways. No arbitrary hitpoints on these flesh bags – every body part has an individual health value, and injuries need to be tended to in order to stop bleeding and minimise the chances of infections or permanent scars. And don’t even get me started on the variety of FUN events that can happen to your colony – raids, nuclear fallouts, heatwaves, crashed ships from outer space, and much much more. You can choose to capture raiders and recruit them to expand your colony or use them for… less ethical but more lucrative things. There are many other things in this game, but it would take me hours to type out everything that Rimworld has to offer.
Another great thing about this game is its customisability – i.e. mods. There are thousands of mods out there for this game, letting you customise your Rimworld experience whichever way you like. If you don’t like a certain aspect of the game, there’s almost definitely a mod for it. And if there isn’t, make a mod yourself! Rimworld has been designed to be extremely easy for anybody to modify. What’s that? You want to create a Lovecraftian colony of fanatical Cthulhu-worshipping cultists? There’s a mod for that! You want to recreate the world of the Lord of the Rings… in Rimworld? There’s a mod for that! Basically, anything is possible in this game.
‘Wow, this sure does sound like a great game! But I don’t know if my potato laptop is going to be able to run Rimworld…’
Don’t worry, mysterious disembodied voice! This game can run on almost anything! It’s quite well optimised and you should be able to handle colonies of up to (or over) ten colonists with even the most basic modern laptops. Yes, performance starts becoming an issue as colonies become larger and larger, but your colony will have probably burnt down due to a manhunting pack of exploding rats before you get to that point.
So that brings me into the difficulty of the game. The way difficulty works in Rimworld is a bit different to other games. There is a ‘difficulty’ setting that changes the frequency of bad events depending on the setting, but there are also three storytellers to choose from. The storytellers are essentially things that control the patterns of these events. So if you choose Cassandra Classic, the amount of bad events will slowly scale over time according to how well your colony is going, in a gradual difficulty curve. But if you select Randy Random as your storyteller, anything and everything is possible because you’ve basically sold your soul to a random number generator. No gradual difficulty curve for you!
The biome you choose to make your colony in also affects difficulty. A mountainous temperate forest with plenty of food and resources is much easier to live in than a barren tundra with a 10 day growing season. Living in a tropical rainforest increases risk of disease, and settling on a river allows you to harness electricity from the flowing water.
But basically no matter how you play Rimworld, this game is hard. There is a ‘goal’ to the game, but you really shouldn’t expect to reach that goal on your first colony, or your second, or your third. The point of Rimworld isn’t to win, it’s to attempt to survive, only to watch hours of progress become erased from existence as your colony succumbs to a raid, or a fire, or famine, or some other equally fun thing.
Rimworld is an amazing, difficult, frustrating, stupid, fun, fantastic game. It’s worth $60, but it costs $30. If you like simulation or strategy games, then this game is for you. If you’re not a fan of simulation or strategy games, then this game is for you. Basically, BUY THIS GAME ALREADY AND STOP WASTING YOUR TIME LOOKING AT ALL THE POSITIVE REVIEWS.