Rimworld, released in 2016 is a game about survival on a distant world in the outer rim of the galaxy. You control a group of colonists as they endure through raids, harsh winters and alien infestations as they attempt to get back home.
In terms of story Rimworlds is extremely simple, in fact I summed it up already in the previous paragraph. While there isn’t a set story per say, you create your own while playing the game. Each playthrough is different thanks to a set of interesting mechanics including within the game, these include psychology, a varied climate, diplomacy and many more.
I wanted to focus on the games Psychology mechanics as I feel this is one of the core features in the game. When setting up your colony you will notice that each colonists behaves and reacts differently to each other, some may prefer to work during the night or that their standards are lower than usual meaning you won’t have to try and please them as much as a regular colonist.This creates a dynamic in the game, you will have to attempt to cater to each Colonists needs to make sure they remain happy. If not they will have a ‘mental break’ essentially the colonist has snapped and will no longer listen to you. Some handle this stress differently, from getting blackout drunk to starting fires in the middle of your crop fields. Tending to your colonists moods is vital to survive on Rimworld.
A colonist may have a certain condition, i.e Asthma, meaning they cannot work fast or run often, they could have a relationship with someone in a trading faction making them trust you more. And certain traits may also interfere with your Rimworld colony, a colonist may be too ugly and cause others to become uncomfortable. This may lead to fighting amongst your colonists and result in someone having to stay in bed for a couple of days (Bunch of jerks)
Raiding is a key aspect in Rimworld. It is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as you try to survive. The raids start off basic, a couple of tribals with spears and clubs wanting to smash your stranger head in. Although as the days go by and your colony gets bigger more dangerous people will take notice. Men with grenades and rifles will begin to attack you. If unable to win they may just attempt to kidnap a colonist or two. Resulting in a major setback for the colony. Losing a colonist is a very common occurrence in Rimworld and can leave your colony in a dire position.
As the game goes on you have access to more advanced technology and building knowledge. Better equipment can be made to increase your chances of survival. Or a trading beacon can be established so any passing spaceships can put some traders at your doorstep. The end goal is to be able to build and operate a spacecraft to get off of the Rimworld. Although getting to this step is a difficult goal.
Rimworld’s graphics are very basic, if you’ve played Prison Architect than you will already be familiar with the particular style, while not being the most gripping and visually appealing graphic style it still has its unique charm. I feel this art style really helps to drive the development of your own story in Rimworld. While most games are able to tell a story through the world itself the world of Rimworld is simple and straightforward which resulted in me developing my own stories and perceiving the game in my own way.
The music of Rimworld reminds me of old Western music with a sci-fi twist, resulting in a relaxing soundtrack that doesn’t seem to grow old, although if that’s something you can’t get along with Rimworld has a number of mods that alter the game, soundtrack including. The sound effects are average. Nothing stood out but nothing ruined the experience either.
While I didn’t experience many bugs whilst playing Rimworld I did encounter some annoying AI. Without your intervention the colonists are not the brightest bunch. Wandering into a firing line of raiders without realizing. Focusing on cleaning some dirt rather than putting out a fire that’s burning down half the town. A little frustrating but it does keep you on your toes and provides somewhat of a larger challenge.
We touched on mods earlier, Rimworld has a large modding community available through the Steam Workshop. Some spice the game up, adding extra stages to the game prolonging its replayability, others fix annoying aspects such slow cook times or frequency of raiding. The community here is perfect to alter and tweak your game to the way you prefer. In today’s gaming world with big titles such as Fallout or Half Life having access to so many mods it really breathes new life into games and makes playing them a much more interesting experience.
- Good soundtrack
- Graphic style may not be for everyone
- Challenging for some