RimWorld A13 Review – A Tale of Tragedy And… Well, Just Tragedy

RimWorld Logo. Copyright Ludeon Studios

As is usual style for me, the simulation game has come through again.  RimWorld advertises itself as a colony simulator, and lives up to that very well.  While i’m not convinced that the concept is necessarily unique, the execution most certainly is and considering this is a game that’s in Alpha, it far exceeded any expectations I ever had.  Despite a fairly steep learning curve, the amount of immersion and constant replay value is unreal.

Figuring It All Out

If there were a major complaint about this game, it’s that it really lacked any fundamental tutorial.  I learned about the game after watching a YouTuber by the name of Blitzkriegsler do a Let’s Play.  That helped give me a feel for what was to come, but nothing can really prepare you for the road ahead!  Not having a tutorial came with a perk of its own, though.  It makes you feel helpless, as one by one your colonists get plucked off by raiders, killed by exploding camels, or burned alive in a wooden building.  Each play through, you get less and less attached to your colonists.  Your empathy begins to wane.  Your favorite pet is now a source of food.  Wait, is it 2am already?

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

It seems like there’s a never ending series of decision points in this game, too.  Tynan Sylvester, the creator, did an incredible job of preventing that early to mid game staleness that sometimes derails an otherwise well crafted indie title.  From the research trees, design choices, to optimizing your work priorities, it’s all very involved without feeling the need to micromanage every decision.  I spent far too long setting up the work priorities, only to have a key colonist crushed in a mine collapse.  Well, lesson learned!

Kimmy crash landed, but never got to join the colony.
Kimmy crash landed, but never got to join the colony.

Don’t feel too bad though, there are a plethora of good surprises too!  Sometimes, you’ll be blessed with an additional colonist who just so happens to be highly skilled in something that you’ve otherwise been neglecting.  Other times, you’ll get a ton of raw meat raining down from the sky.  If it seems like the whole game seems negative up until this point, it’s because those tragedies are what make the game thrilling and exciting.  All of the positive twists are simply perks that might prolong your time on the RimWorld.  The screenshot to the right here of poor Kimmy, who unfortunately never got to join the colony, is the signature of RimWorld.  In order to rescue her, I had to fight off a swarm of rabid boar.

Final Thoughts

This game is nothing short of incredible.  Any time that I’ve delved into a round of play, it’s an instant 3 to 4 hours pure pleasure.  If there’s an indie game award of the year, I think this one takes the cake.  Between the original game and all of the mods available through the forums, it’s hard to not buy this game.

The game is currently available as a DRM free download from the RimWorld website or through Steam for $30.  In the current form, there’s no limit at all to how much satisfaction you can get out of a single, or multiple playthroughs.  Every time you play it’s a new adventure, and there are multiple “storytellers” to help spice things up (and mix up the gameplay style).

If you happen to play the game already or have any questions, leave a comment below!  I’d be glad to share any experiences I can, but for now, it’s time to start another colony.


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