Aven Colony Review – A Decent Science Fiction Colony Sim

Aven Colony
Mothership Entertainment

Aven Colony is a science fiction colony building and management simulator. Initially, it reminded me of a browser game, but more complex. Yet not as fully-featured as other games within the genre. It seems to fit squarely in-between; not overly complex and challenging but also not as advanced as its contemporaries. This doesn’t mean that Aven Colony isn’t a good game, but more on that later.

In Aven Colony, you choose an alien world and then BAM! you start building right away. There is no set-up phase where you pick a choice spot on a world’s surface or anything. You literally are plopped right down on your new planet and start constructing different types of structures for your colonists, right off the bat. This threw me off a little because normally I like to pick my own spots to set up, but in Aven Colony your starting points are always fixed.

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While you will face some challenges in your typical game of Aven Colony, most of these are due to the game’s fidgety gameplay mechanics rather than any existential, looming disasters or threats. Sometimes I was attempting to address some issue that popped up during a game, and that in turn created more problems. Fortunately, the game’s various advisors will usually inform you as to what went wrong (and how to fix it).

This unpredictability makes you think before you build, and strategic planning will always serve you better than rash actions. Fortunately, just as with other games in the colony-building genre, Aven Colony moves at a pretty glacial pace. This allows you to plot and plan—in other words, building things up slowly is the way to go.

Aven Colony sports a political system, but it’s nothing too advanced. You won’t be running against other campaigners for your seat or anything. It’s more of a matter of your colonist’s happiness and fulfillment. You see, all of your colonists have happiness meters. If they become discontent with something, such as not enough food to eat or purified water to drink, they’ll start getting all butt-hurt and eventually vote you out of office.

Getting booted from your post will terminate your game, so it’s best to keep everybody well-fed and entertained. You can even supply them with certain types of drugs to sedate them. Fans of more complex political shenanigans will probably want to check out Tropico 4, which features much more robust political features.

There are two modes featured in Aven Colony. The first is the Campaign Mode, which features a rather luke warm storyline. While the game’s narrative structure and arcs are pretty boilerplate and predictable, the voice acting is really well done. I’d like to see a colony building game that has a really gripping storyline for once, as they seem to be about as interesting as fighting game storylines in that respect.

Aven Colony’s visuals are pretty impressive, especially considering that it isn’t even a triple-A level game. You’ll see various shuttles and drones flying around in the air, as well as cool things like colony transports and trading vessels that ship personnel and supplies to and from your base, respectively.

The only gripe I had was that your colonists are pretty much automatons that rigidly march to and from places, with no interaction or animations. It would have been much more interesting to see your colonists toiling away at work, for instance, or simply dancing the night away at a nightclub. It wouldn’t have to be Sims-game level interactions, just rudimentary animations that individualize each colonist and give them more personality.

The game’s sound design is also well done. You’ll hear different chimes and buzzes that indicate when something needs to be paid attention to. There are also some terrific soundtracks that play on in the background; they aren’t too intrusive and provide just enough ambience for you to imagine that you’re really managing a science fiction colony.

I waited quite a while to review Aven Colony, because I didn’t think it would have been fair to do so right after its rather tumultuous launch last year. However, the devs obviously care about the game and have put a ton of work into not only patching and tweaking it, but also providing regular content drops for free.

Aven Colony is a fun colony builder that is a great entry-level experience for novices to the genre as a whole. It features slick graphics, immersive sound design, challenging (if simple) gameplay, and a lot of continuing support from its developers. Try it out for yourself.

Aven Colony features outstanding graphics that make its colony building gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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