“RimWorld is dank” says Staff Gamer Boi, George
by George Kite
Staff Gamer Boi
Out of the thousands of games on Steam, very few have made it to the best reviewed. Among the highest rated are true classics like Counter-Strike, Portal, Factorio, and Terraria. Number 8 on that list is RimWorld – with 37,000 positive reviews for a total of a 95% positive rating. Such a video game doesn’t just accidentally warrant such high praise. So too have I played RimWorld for a great deal and enjoyed it. Explaining why it’s such a good game can’t be summarized by just describing it – you yourself need to experience the game.
RimWorld is a top down management game, where you control colonists on a settlement on a foreign planet far in the future. The ultimate goal of the game is to build a spaceship and escape, but the vast majority of the game you will be ensuring your colonists survive. Your colonists allow your colony to function – no colonists means game over. Living can be unforgiving and brutal. You must hunt wildlife and grow enough food, defend against people raiding your colony, ward off sickness, fire, cold snaps and heat waves. You must ensure your colonists’ needs are met, or else have them go insane.
All people and environments in the game are randomly generated, so no colony is the exact same. Every person that joins your colony is unique – they each have certain skills, looks, and traits, so that no single colonist is the same. Traits and skills define your colonists; they determine what they can and can’t do, what their needs are, and other quirks. Some colonists can be very difficult – some might be nudists and wear nothing when a blizzard hits, some might be drug addicts, some might be cannibals. But some colonists can be real blessings, too. Excellent doctors, skilled artists, and intelligent scientists can all help you prosper. Good and bad traits often overlap – your top-notch cook might also be incapable of defending your colony.
Take for example my colonist, Collin. Collin is a 18-year-old man, though his years in cryosleep make him 76 years-old chronologically. Collin grew up on as an orphan on an industrial planet, but escaped from the factories once he became old enough to leave. One of the first colonists to crash-land on the colony, he is a jack-of-all-trades. I consider Collin the “leader” of my colony because he has the highest social skill, so he handles all things diplomatic, like trading and negotiating with other colonies and tribes on the planet. He is also a quick sleeper, so he’s often the first one up, making him one of the most productive colonists. Without Collin, my colony would certainly be worse off, and probably dead.
Then there’s Sacriel. Sacriel is a 48 year-old man, who is chronologically 120. He’s one of the more interesting, and more difficult colonists. He grew up in a primitive tribe that lived in caves, spending most of his time in the underground. As such, he is completely fine living and working in the dark. When he grew up, he became a taxonomist, become skilled dealing with plants and animals. As such, Sacriel is our main farmer – he can plant and harvest like no one else. My colony would starve without him. However, he doesn’t get along with with any of the colonists. Sacriel is a psychopath – he doesn’t really have emotions, and is totally unphased when people die or other horrific things happen. On top of that, he has an annoying voice. Other colonists just don’t like him. As such, he is prone to fights and insults other colonists often.
The needs of your colonists will be the your top priority when it comes to ordering around your colonists. You have to set priorities for what your colonists do – the better your colonist is at something, the higher the priority. You need to make sure they’re happy, too. Surviving sucks, and dire situations can break your colonists. If they break, they stop working and do things like hide in their room, break things, binge out on food or drugs, or even attack other colonists. But there are plenty of things you can do to make them happy – making nice rooms, having good food, pets, and other sources of recreation help them, and can even inspire them to work harder.
RimWorld in itself is a brutal game. Your first crop of the spring can be devastated by a random cold snap, plunging your colony into hunger. Your colonists can randomly contract debilitating diseases, or even cancer. One lucky raider made a vital shot on your best builder, leaving a heart transplant needed. You took one of the raiders prisoner – do you decide to brutally take the prisoner’s heart and transplant it to your builder? Or you decide to grow and sell drugs to finance buying an artificial heart instead?
But the things you can do in RimWorld are vast and fun. You can create and decorate buildings and furniture out of any material – yes, you can make a room with a solid gold bed, a steel floor, a uranium bedside table, a marble plant pot, and a jade dresser. You can create swords, clubs, pistols, and laser guns to defend your colony. You can outfit your colonists with nearly anything – cowboy hats, alpaca wool pants, camel parkas, or if you’re feeling especially psychopathic, a human leather button-down shirt.
The thing is, in the end, your colony will probably fail. Only those with huge deal of experience typically win. But that’s what makes the game fun – win or lose, you created a life for your colonists and numerous stories you can tell your friends. This is a game that is endlessly re-playable. You can sink endless hours into Rimworld. Although you can set the game to be easy, it’s much more fun when it’s challenging – it makes your accomplishments much sweeter and entertaining. RimWorld is one of my favorite games, and I highly recommend it to anyone. It’s $34 on Steam, but can often be bought for much cheaper during Steam Sales. You will not regret buying this game.