Rimworld: First Impressions

I love games that offer a challenge, and the idea of running a colony on a distant world was just the setting that would catch my eye! Dwarf Fortress was always a game that was of interest to me, but whilst the complexity and the emergent gameplay was just the right thing for me, let’s say that the UI was best described as an acquired taste.

So, I’ve had my eye on [Rimworld](https://store.steampowered.com/app/294100/RimWorld/) for quite some time now. A smaller number of people and a much better interface and graphical overlay meant that it was likely to be the Dwarf Fortress for me! Since the Steam Early Access, I’ve been watching and waiting, however I tend not to buy into the Early Access due to the risk of the projects going under (I do back a few games on Kickstarter), but more often because I don’t want to play a partly finished game, I want the full experience the first time I play!


World Generation and Setup

The world is randomly generated and this is a game with no hand holding. You can choose to start in a nasty place and it is definitely a game that benefits from the Ironman (permadeath) setting. Basically the setting is that your three colonists are dumped unceremoniously onto a planet that is partly inhabited (there seem to be humans, alien life and some sort of ancient secret…) that is made up of many different biomes.

Depending on the setting that you choose, you can be dumped with either more people or more equipment. However, the base game that I began the game with is the standard three person and standard equipment and materials.

Speaking of people, your colonists are also randomly generated with a wide variety of skills, preferences, jobs, traits and existing conditions. You definitely DON’T have the cream of the crop here!


Current Situation

This game is a game full of steep learning curves and unexpected difficulties. After all, you are dropped onto an alien planet with minimal resources so you shouldn’t expect a cakewalk here.

So far, I’ve built up my little colony to have a little potato farm, enough sleeping quarters to house my colonists and a small wood fired power generator. Simple but on the verge of self sustaining. I hope to have a wind power generator up soon!

I have fought off a couple of simple raids, and also managed to pick up a defector from one of the neighbouring tribes. I also managed to capture a prisoner from one of the raids, who I’m trying to persuade to join my newly founded kingdom….

I am afraid that I’ve lost my trusty Labrador to a wandering Lynx. Actually, I would say that I lost her to a stupid mistake on my part, as the dog and lynx got in a fight and both got severely injured and blacked out. So, I had one of my colonists heal the both of them (thinking that the lynx would be grateful), after which the lynx finished off the dog…

I also have managed to tame two Llama sort of beasts, who will provide wool, and two cow-like animals who you can milk for a gasoline-like substance to power generators. Sadly, I found out the hard way that you can’t harvest them for meat, as they explode… putting one of my colonists out of action for a while with serious burns.


First Impressions

So, I am struggling to grow my colony and to prepare for the winter. I’ve had a number of setbacks, some self-inflicted, but I’ve survived and learnt….

… and I have to say that I LOVE this game. It is a slow burn game with steep learning curves and viscous survival mechanic. You will lose, your colonists will die, and perhaps your colony won’t make it. It will be a struggle, but wow WHAT a GREAT GAME!

I will be definitely playing a good deal more of this in the coming months and weeks. The bonus is that it is pretty easy on the hardware as well, so my laptop can run it pretty decently. This is the ideal travelling game!


Review Specs

DELL XPS 15 (9560)

CPU: i7-7700HQ
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: SSD
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050


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