My third colony is in the . We made it through a hard winter by the skin of our teeth. ‘Superbeef’ and ‘Emmeke’ handle the cooking and cleaning. ‘Sputnik’ our hunter, and ‘EzPls’ the craftsman install heaters in everyone’s apartment. ‘Vandervaart’, our newest member, works in the shop crafting statues for trade the next time a caravan rolls through. Its going well, but crop supplies and meat *are* starting to run low, but the expectation is that we can pawn the sculptures for food. The next caravan to come through surprisingly doesn’t have any extra food to spare. Oops. Sputnik bravely heads out each and every day and hunts from sun-up till sundown to put food on the table. The colony scrapes by to the final days of winter, and while the colonists are still hungry, life is going pretty good.
But the wildlife is even more ravenous, and in the late winter, the predators roam. Despite our hunter’s preparations, one of the lynxes musters the courage to attack. ‘Sputnik’ is killed and eaten by a lynx before anyone else could come to his rescue (This is the second Sputnik to die in this manner). The colonists drag his body back to town with the intention to bury him in the morning. But the body was eaten in the night by a different animal, so uhhh good news? I guess we don’t need to bother with a funeral. Everyone is depressed and feeling suicidal. Superbeef locks himself in his room for 3 straight days and nearly starves to death.
But a pack of 6 Yorkshire Terriers randomly join our town in the spring, and that made everyone feel a bit happier. But they keep getting into our food supplies and eating everything! A vow is made to sell them the next time a caravan comes through. It’s another great plan soon thwarted by the ing GRIZZLY BEAR PREDATOR who sets up shop next to the lynxs. The bear and lynxes start eating all the puppies one by one, picking them off one at a time while they play outside. And the predators even have the chutzpah to attack EzPls’s Labrador. Enough is enough! While I have no love for the yipping terriers who eat all our food, by god I am a MAN and I will stand this no longer! . We form a posse of my remaining 2 fighters (Emmeke armed with an LMG and EzPls with a combat knife) and went after the lynx and its mate. Killed both lynxs with minimal issues. A couple scratches, nothing serious. Went after the grizzly but it’s measure was far greater than we expected. The bear mauls both fighters pretty bad. EzPls loses a big toe and suffers deep wounds which will surely scar for life while Emmeke is savagely mauled in the arm. That said, the bear fares even worse, for the claws of a beast are no match for the bullets of mankind. It limps into the forest to bleed to death. It is a bitter victory. We’re down from a peak of 5 colonists to 3 seriously wounded, one dead, and the artist with no survival skills. But things are on the upswing. We’re recovering. The labrador pulls through the night. We eat the bear. We eat the lynxs. you! We’re still alive! Everyone goes to bed early to nurse their wounds.
Two BANDITS take this opportunity to attack in the early morning while everyone is still in the ICU. MOTHER ER. This is supposed to be the balanced storytelling mode. The bandits are armed with a club and a knife which would normally be no match for our firearms, but everyone is still really hurting from the bear. EzPls and Emmeke force themselves to their feet out the medical ward and throw themselves at the bandits in a futile attempt at at a meatshield. They are clubbed down in short order. But they’re fighters, they’re resilient and they’re not dead yet. EzPls’s Labrador retriever shows the most courage, attacking both bandits and distracting the bandits long enough while their master is rescued from the battlefield. The dog holds his own for a time, but it’s no match and he falls to the ground, gravely wounded with multiple stab wounds. The dog is bleeding out fast. ‘Superbeef’ and ‘Vandervaart’ can’t fight, being total , but Superbeef waits until the bandits are around the corner before running to rescue the dog, scooping him up in his arms. ‘No one left behind. Not on my watch. I do this for Madden’, etc. It’s no good! The bandit spots him. Superbeef’s movement is slowed while carrying the dog and the bandit easily catches up to him. Before Superbeef can lock the door behind him, the bad dudes force themselves inside the compound. In the hallway leading to the medical ward, the bandit clubs Superbeef to the ground without any compassion and the dog falls from his unconscious arms. The dog recovers just enough to get one more good bite in before having its spine shattered. The bandits steal an electric sewing station and run away. Is that all they wanted? We would have GIVEN THEM AWAY if they’d only asked.
In the chaos, a 70 year old nudist ‘Naelok’ joins our colony. We accomodate his weird lifestyle choices because he’s got a lot of experience in many different fields. This guy has seen the world! He shortly dies to infection. Goofball should have worn a helmet.
It’s bleak. Everyone’s even more banged up and on death’s door. No one that’s conscious knows how to cook, and the one guy who’s still on his feet has no survival skills (The ing sculptor guy) and he’s feeding everyone raw buffalo meat and giving them food poisoning. The crops are ready to harvest but no one knows how to actually do that. The food is rotting
on the vine and now there’s a heat wave.
But you know what, I think we can pull through this. Permadeath. The story marches on. We survive three more years without a jack of all trades like EzPls and Sputnik. Somehow we manage without those two. It’s a lot of micromanagement.
Rimworld has been described as a less autistic version of Dwarf Fortress. I was initially reluctant because I didn’t care for the style of character art and lack of vertical building ‘I wanna build a tower’, but it really doesn’t matter. I fully understand why ‘losing is fun’. Eventually you will learn how to build a spike trap to defend against the raiders, and you will learn when to plan the crops and how to choose a great base location. You will learn how to build a space ship. But if you take the time to watch the stories that unfold from your failure, those are kind of fun too.
Epilogue: A tamed megasloth who had previously saved the camp from bandits in heroic fashion, but who later went wild because we were all too busy dying to pay attention to it, and then for some reason I accidentally selected to HUNT IT FOR MEAT WHILE IT WAS TRAPPED IN OUR BASE and well this happens and this was on permadeath mode so . Everyone except Superbeef dies. Superbeef wanders off into the wilderness to become an NPC for another, more successful town.
In my 4th colony, my kittens get addicted to alcohol and no one is named after my steam friends because they all die in the end.
So, Rimworld. Gotta say, I’m enjoying it so far but the best way to sum up my experience is to tell what’s happened so far, I think that’ll help you decide if you’d like to try it better than just talking about it. So, my second and currently ongoing colony (first one only lasted about a week). It’s three people, only one of which (a women named Benditez) isn’t a pacifist or scared of conflict, so she gets the rifle and armour. I then find out she’s only got a shooting skill of one, and she spends almost two days trying and failing to hunt a tortiose! At the very least she gets much more accurate as this happens. The base grows at a steady rate, expanding to a fourth member who stumbles across us. I panic for a while that we have a warg wandering around our base-then realise it’s apparently our pet! Ok, occasionally hunts dead animals, I don’t mind that, pretty helpfull ocasionally. This later comes back to bite me. It’s been a hard few weeks-a psycic droning is driving all the female colonists mad-in my case, that’s all of them. To make matters worse, a heatwave starts but my AC is good and I’ve even built a freezer room. It’s fine, I think, we’ll weather this out no problem! This is not the case. One day when two members of the colony have collapsed from heatstroke, a wild capybura goes beserk from the heat. Now, the only two members awake are Benditez, and one of my new ones, who’s as bad a shot as Benditez was originally. Benditez is knocked out but survives thanks to her flak vest. Benditez has shot two club weilding madmen dead so far to date but no, the giant rodent gets her, great! The other one is less lucky and starts to bleed out. As the other two wake up from the heatstroke, the capybura savages them too. Three colonists are bleeding out and the only other member is unconsious. By the time they wake up and this time, finish the wounded animal, two of the wounded are two hours from bleeding to death, one is four hours from bleeding to death and I still can’t make medicine, and in trying to save them, I use my entire stock of meds. The two with only two hours left bleed out, including my second fighter. However, one (named Rozalina) survives, and unfortunately, they’re the one that doesn’t get along with Benditez, the two even having fought in the past. This then gets even worse-with their owner dead, the warg goes beserk as well. We survive the fight-but only because a mysterious stranger in black (Named Ben) who thankfully, is a vat grown super soldier apparently shows up and saves the two! However, we’re in a bad way. Food is short (we’re a long way off harvest time), there’s blood (and vomit from an earlier case of food poisoning) everywhere and the colony is in a complete mess. After burying the dead, we get a message that someone’s been captured by bandits but that we could save them. They’re only lightly guarded. I decide that since we couldn’t save our own, we’ll take all we can to go save them instead! If we die trying, at least we tried at all! We’ve enough food to get us there, and about a quarter of the way back. Hoping there’ll be food as well as someone to save, all three arm themselves and head out. And almost immediately, the camp, now empty, comes under attack. A single bandit with a knife. Easily dealt with… if we were still there. Instead, he sets fire to the main building (which is basically all wooden, great) and destroys the wind turbines. This disables the AC, which in turn defrosts my few remaining food stores. All are rotten within a short time thanks to the high heat. However, the group arrive at the prison camp. The two turrets cover the building but not the entrance so I’m able to get quite close. Benditez is injured but Ben picks up her rifle and kills the jailor! We free the prisoner, take everything we can carry, food included thankfully and start to head back. Then, things start to go bad. The prisoner catches a disease. Ben splits off from the party when we hear rumours of a weapons cash including a very high quality SMG and sniper rifle that’s actually rather lightly defended. I can’t make any new weapons so this is a godsend and not a chance I’ll get again any time soon. Since it’s not far from home, I send him alone, hoping he’ll somehow make it on limited rations. The prisoner we rescued dies of disease. Ben is starving and lost in the jungle. Benditez and Rosalina are starving, and overburdened so I’m forced to ditch a fair chunk of our loot. Then, only about a day away from the cache, Ben goes mad and starts wandering in circles in a daze. I assume he’s done for and focus on the other two, who have somehow made it back to the burned out ruin that is my base. Only the rain stopped the whole thing burning to the ground. They pig out on the last of the potatoes, skipping cooking them entirely as they’ve been starving for a while now. The mood is terrible-the base is a mess, their two close freinds corpses have been exposed when their graves were smashed (why that bandit thought ‘Oh, I’m raiding a base, let’s smash the steel grave! Nahh that won’t be a disproportionate amount of effort!’ I do not know) and food reserves are at zero, though there are potatoes if they can actually bring themselves to harvest them. I decide to make the two bury their freinds again, to at least try and improve things a bit. As the last body goes in, Rozalina snaps. She goes beserk, wandering and looking for someone to fight-she was a pacifist I thought but has apparently picked up a pistol. I send Benditez after her, hoping that being shot will calm her down. Then I realise. Ben, who’s still out in the jungle had her rifle. She makes a dash for the only pistol in the storehouse-which is directly behind Rosalina. She gets it but is too close to fire and the two break out into a melee fight, and Rosalina somehow knocks her out! Then, I get a message telling me Ben’s apparently not only avoided stavation somehow but is actually sane again! I’d love to bring him back given the situation but he’s too far a way so I leave him to keep going. Then, I get another message. Rosalina’s sister is on her way over seeking refuge from someone chasing her! I accept immediately despite the fact that Rosalina herself is still wandering beserk. The one chasing her gets lured into a fistfight with Rosalina, and at the last moment, her sister gets the gun Benditez had gone for and kills her chaser! And, even better, the sight of her sister alongside her injuries snaps Rosalina out of her fury, and the sister saves them both! 10/10 Ben still lost in jungle. (I’m not making up any of this. This all happened. I was seriously tempted to abandon save after I lost the first two, so glad I stuck with it. Any game that can organically make a story like this is good as far as I’m concerned)
I will admit as far as indie titles go this is one of the more expensive ones since it never goes on sale (as of this writing). That being said after watching some gameplay and with over 130 hours logged at this point (and it quite possible for me to log another 70-80) I will say it was worth every penny.
Update: I am now at about 300 hours and can say I don’t see my hours decreasing anytime soon. So here is my more through review of the game.
In terms of guides and resources the ingame tutorial while short and cannot be completed (if you choose someone incapable of violence) does an excellent job providing advice to new players. In addition to this there is also a wiki and the reddit community for this game is one of the best.
Every aspect of the game has a detailed system that you can spend hours getting lost in if you wished. For example let’s say I want to make my kitchen as efficent as possible. At the most basic level I can make a stove and get food from somewhere. An improvement might be putting the kitchen next to the freezer and adding sterile tiles. Perhaps you want to replace those slow freezer doors with autodoors. Oh, and if you give your chef bionics he will cook your meals faster. That is the level of depth for each gameplay mechanic.
Combat in the base game is fairly detailed with each object in the game having some type of cover. There is even a cover mechanic for standing in an open door since you are using the wall. You can flank your enemies or out-range them with sniper rifles and mortars. The mental state of you colonists affects their ability to aim. Even the weather affects the aim of your colonists.
Each activity has a formula behind it for success chance. For example cutting stone blocks depends less on eyesight than medical care. The result of these calculations affects produced resources (more food from butchering), less likely to fail construction, higher quality medical care (which reduces the odds of scaring), etc.
There is a system for pregnancy of animals and an aging system for them as well that considers max life. Some players will have tons of chickens while another might have an army of boars. Others might go for a small number of dogs. You can even have pets like wargs who will eat you if you do not feed them. The animals have a specific diet so some can just graze while others require meals or just raw meat.
The clothing system is detailed with each item and the material it was made from affecting protection from not only the elements, but also enemy weapons. It is quite interesting to see how a colony in a tropical rainforest will differ from one in a desert or boreal forest.
There are multiple environments. Each map will be different due to random generation and the biome present. On one map I maybe hiding in a mountain fighting with insects who infested my colony while on another I am building a greenhouse so that I am able to grow crops in an inhositable environment. The is a small minority of players who like to push themselves to their limits and play on sheets of ice as well while others may prefer extreme deserts. Both of these two environments will cause hypothermia or heatstoke. Each biome will affect how your colony runs much more than you would at first expect.
The colonists or should I call them a dysfunctional family. Each body part and organ on the colonists has hitpoints and damage will effect how they function. Permenant scaring can be corrected with a quest item on your colonists if it occurs or you can use bionics. If the liver or kidneys are damaged/destroyed then the colonist will have issues recovering from diseases unless you can get a transplant. Brain damage severely affects a colonist, but they can also become a savant as a result. Surgeries exist for things like cancer, etc. The medical system is very extensive.
Each colonist has needs that they have to meet. So they must be fed, rested, and have a source of joy at a minimum. There are also other things that can be done such as maintaining their addictions (or making them quit). If you fail to meet these needs they can starve, pass out, or have a mental break. Fortunately you can give them schedules and they will take care of their own needs without the tedium of you doing it.
Each colonist will also have traits such as hard worker or pyromaniac. These traits make them unique (though pyromaniacs can burn your base to the ground). There are social mechanics that can start relationships/mariages or fist-fights. There are also very interesting traits such as iron-willed, canibal, or nudist.
The game will have events which are driven by a story teller which will balance good events with bad in a mostly orderly fashion. You can also change the story teller to completely random. The events right now are quite lengthy so just to name a few: short circuit, drop pods, wander joined, escape pod, eclipse, blight, volcanic winter, toxic fallout, raid, etc.
If you enjoy it there is also an economy system where you can buy/sell goods for silver and more goods. In addition to this there are multiple factions on the map which have a relation towards you that if peaceful you may trade with. This is in addition to trade ships that will appear in space over your colony that you can purchase/sell from/to.
There is even a complete system for prisoners. Using this you can recruit, execute, or release your prisoners. They even have a chance to try and escape.
There is a great deal of depth and it is very streamlined so you can find it gradually as time goes on and still play very well without it.
Mod support for this game is extensive. If there is an issue or something you don’t like then you can mod it. You can also create custom scenarios to disable things like tornados or adjust the starting situation.
Not so good things about the game: price wise it costs more than most independent titles, random events can be unbalanced (while rare with the default storyteller it is possible to have multiple negative events that can cause problems), the economy in the game is problematic as in traders become rarer (you are supposed to make trade caravans with other factions instead), some very detailed items are not completely explained in the tutorial (you usually can figure it out though without help), it has minor balancing issues that are symbolic of an early access game (not game breaking but worth noting), and the endgame completion is kinda hallow. Since it is kind of an empty end then most players will choose to avoid it and just continue their colony until it is destroyed by raids.
Overall I recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of deep strategy and simulation.