Developer: Ludeon Studios
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Coming to Steam in July
Three years ago when I wrote about Rimworld, it was still gathering backers on Kickstarter and seeking votes on Greenlight. So it's only appropriate that, when I come back to the game now, it's slated to come to Steam Early Access next month. Between then and now, Rimworld has evolved and expanded exponentially, growing into what is easily the closest we've gotten yet to a sci-fi Dwarf Fortress.
The basic idea of building a colony from scratch, and then expanding into a thriving settlement, remains the same, but it's grown and expanded in all directions. Colonists aren't just schedule-driven robots; they have emotions, and activities that bring them joy like sky gazing and mediation, and have opinions of each other.
Families extend from fathers and sisters and cousins and uncles, colonists can become couples and get married...and then divorced. Colonists are carpenters, or sculptors who past the time making artwork, or animal tamers with their favorite pets, or drunken narcissist, or doctors and hunters. They grow old, and their backs give out, or they fall ill with malaria, or they get badly burned in a raging fire and lose their legs (only to replace them with bionic prosthetics).
And all that happens in a dynamic world that doesn't wait for you to change and thrive. Predators and prey roam, both the animal kind and the human kind that raid your colony and perform devastating sieges. Time passes literally, seasons changing bringing downpours and feet of snow that has to be shovelled. With weather comes heatstroke and hypothermia and frostbite and spoiling food.
Thankfully with the right tech and gear, you can endure all of that, through clothing such as parkas or equipment like heaters. A vast arsenal lets you hunt roaming herds, and fend off attacks with mortars and rocket launchers. But even your best laid plans and tools might not prepare you for the long-lasing chill of a volcanic winter or the insanity-spreading psychic pulse of a crashed alien vessel. Survival in Rimworld is never easy.
Rimworld is expected to arrive on Steam Early Access in July, along with an new alpha update that adds a host of changes and, more importantly, a deep scenario creator that lets you edit everything from the traits your colonists might develop to what gear they start with and what random events might befall them.