My three intrepid colonists had successfully crash-landed on a titular rimworld: a distant, isolated planet lacking in any sort of strong central government, and which was low in population density. We set about to building a makeshift base as quickly as possible, as there were reports of dangerous wildlife as well as bushwhacking raiders scampering about.
My three (4 counting the pet) survivors were Maurice, a 40-something electrician who was also very adept at animal handling, and his dog named Travis, Yukio, a young ex-popstar who had a snobby streak and whom was trained in the martial arts, and Yumi, Yukio’s mother, a botanist with a serious green thumb.
As Yumi dug up a garden patch and sowed the upstart colony’s first seeds, which would eventually yield a variety of vegetables, Travis did the brunt of the heavy lifting and hunting, since Yukio couldn’t be bothered with such crude undertakings. Yukio was, however, good at cooking, as well as butchering the animals that Maurice brought in from their forested surroundings.
Imbued with a carnal lust that only her could fathom, Maurice developed some serious horn-dog tendencies for Yukio, and would hit on her quite often. But she’d always reject his advances, which upset him and lowered his morale. Whether it was from resisting the bands of marauders that would attack them from time to time, or just the sheer bonding that comes from crash-landing on a planet together and seeking comfort and human emotion, Yukio eventually gave in to Maurice’s advances, and they hastily constructed a new, larger room for both of them to sleep in, complete with double bed.
All was fine, for a while at least. Maurice’s attitude elevated dramatically after many mornings of waking up after receiving an endorphin rush from lots of Yukio’s “good lovin’.” Yumi didn’t exactly approve, as she didn’t care for Maurice much, but kept herself busy by tending their colony’s burgeoning garden.
Then one day, a large band of raiders attacked their outpost. Although they eventually prevailed over this dangerous mob of malcontents, Yukio sustained some serious wounds while engaged in her usual melee combat tactics. Maurice promptly carried her off to the colony’s hospital quarters and frequently doted over her—providing her meals and giving her regular doses of medicine. Yukio began to get better in time, and then one day she developed an infection from one of her wounds.
Maurice tried everything in his power to save Yukio’s life, but in the end she perished. Maurice immediately dug her a make-shift grave and decorated it with her favorite sculpture (she had also been an artist). Meanwhile, Yumi went a little off the deep end, and after several severe bouts of depression, simply walked away from the colony to an unknown fate.
Heartbroken and depressed himself, Maurice packed up all of his belongings, and he and his loyal pet Travis abandoned the colony, since it reminded him so much of his lost love, Yukio. He and Travis would eventually go on to begin a new colony elsewhere…
This is your typical game of RimWorld, Canadian developer Ludeon Studio’s science fiction colony survival experience. I call it an experience because each game unfolds like some sort of epic, Greek tragedy. In RimWorld, it’s your job to manage the lives of crash-landed survivors, with the ultimate goal of living long enough to construct a shuttle in order to escape the hostile planet you’ve landed on.
In order to do so, first, you’ll have to construct a base capable of withstanding the AI’s ever-increasing threats. Half of the fun is in designing your base however you want to, just make sure it has some sturdy defenses since the game’s surprisingly complex combat system takes such things as cover, concealment, and range into consideration.
You’ll also have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of the colonist’s themselves. Some of them may consider themselves self-important artists, while others may be mush-brained simpletons who are extremely hard workers. Heck, I’ve even ended up with a paranoid arsonist who fell in love with the colony’s leader, but couldn’t resist burning him alive (and turning the entire base into smoldering embers). Sometimes certain colonists will turn out to just plain not like one another, and brawls (and even worse) can break out, should one of them not tolerate a disparaging remark in passing.
RimWorld is a fantastic survival simulation game and although it is still in Early Access, it already has a wealth of content to indulge in. Ludeon has also recently released a large update that allows for colonists to travel from their base to other areas. For instance, if a couple of your colonists want to travel to a trading post to buy or sell some wares, they can simply pack up and hit the road. However, you always run the risk of being ambushed by bands of scurrilous bushwhackers on your journeys.
As in my gameplay example at the start of this article, you can also just pack up and abandon your colony altogether, should you choose to do so. And there are several reasons why you may want to do just that. Perhaps there is something in the immediate environment which troubles one or more of your survivors (such as Yukio’s grave haunting poor Maurice), or maybe you’ve used up the area’s resources and would like to relocate to a more fertile setting.
In all, RimWorld is a welcome break from the fast and furious deluge of first person survival games that are presently oversaturating the video game market. Its minimalist art style, top down perspective, and unique, extremely complex gameplay mechanics are a refreshing alternative from all of the Rust’s and Conan Exiles’ out there. I, for one, can’t wait to see how this slow-burn-developing game comes along in the future.