Rimworld Preview

Written by Jake Tucker

January 18, 2017 // 10:25 a.m.

Tags: #dwarf-fortress #maia #rimworld #strategy #survival

Rimworld Preview

In Rimworld, you can assign your colonists jobs. My mistake, the start of my first experience with this butterfly effect that led to the death of my first colonist, was assigning my farmer to help as a hauler, pulling iron chunks from my mine to my secure compound. Later, she was hauling from the mine to my base when she chanced upon a rabid elephant and was attacked, coming away from the encounter without her legs. This wasn't a big issue; the surgery system is so complex in Rimworld that a colonist losing their legs is a hiccup, and you can easily fit a replacement made with wood or steel, with expensive bionic legs proving better even than the fleshy appendages the colonists were born with.

I was totally doomed, although I didn't know it yet. To operate successfully, you need medicine, and I'd just run out of the good stuff. Lacking the requisite technology to cook up some more of my own, I'd need to rely on Healroot, a herbal remedy that can be grown by a skilled farmer. Thing is, I'd failed to prepare some in advance, and now my only farmer had no legs, and was a poor choice to send out sowing the fields.

Rimworld Preview

An unexpected bout of plague that I couldn't treat and a lack of farmers to grow more food meant everyone starved within two weeks. It's surprising how many Rimworld stories end with, 'two weeks later, everyone starved to death.'

Rimworld is one of the most complete packages I've seen on Steam's Early Access platform, and I've found myself drawn in for semi-regular binges, enticed by the near obsessive level of complexity to the simulation that provides rich rewards for those willing to prod and poke at the mechanics holding everything together. It's a game that requires you have a long-term strategy, laying out plans for expansion and redundancies for failure, but also a game that requires rapid decision making, with you positioning your best fighters to repel a pirate assault and using the game's cover system to brutal effect on the AI controlled attackers, for example.

Rimworld Preview

It's also a game that rewards exploration and tinkering, with the lessons of each failed colony being carried to the next as you struggle to improve. It occupies a fairly unique spot in the market too: It looks good and has an interface that's easy to use, which sets it a good chunk of the way ahead of Dwarf Fortress's opacity and makes it infinitely more accessible.

Quite simply, even at this early stage, Rimworld is the best there is at simulating the hassles of running your own colony. There's a lot of weirdness, little quirks you'll trip over once or twice as you learn, but, overall, it's a game that's fairly easy to pick up for its complexity. I don't usually advocate picking up Early Access games, because you're paying for something that isn't finished yet, however in the case of Rimworld it feels like a complete game already, and you shouldn't feel too bad for jumping in and giving it a go.

Rimworld Preview

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