Rimmworld Early Access Preview
by Cynthia Grillo
Even though Rimworld is an Early Access game, it has more content than many 60-dollar games out there. Inspired by Prison Architect and Dwarf Fortress, Rimworld is a colony simulation game that lets the player decide the fate of colonists and make their own story. The default story starts with three colonists crashing on a rimworld, a dangerous planet filled with tribals and bandits, and the player builds a base to feed, shelter, and defend the colonists from raids.
My colony was made of 3 people that crash-landed onto the planet. I had Babu, Maya, and Justin. Babu and Maya were already lovers by the time they started the colony, but they just could not stand each other. The very existence of one another made them upset, and on a treacherous rimworld, every negative feeling puts colonists closer to a mental break. After a much-needed break up happens between Babu and Maya, Maya gets a cut on her stomach for unknown reasons. Justin took her to a hospital bed and prepared to treat her, but her cut quickly became an infection. During Maya’s hospital visit, Babu’s other lover crash lands on the planet and is rescued, lying in the hospital bed next to Babu’s ex-lover Maya. Maya is over 50 at the time and her immune system has a lot of trouble dealing with infections, so as it progresses things are not looking good. Our skilled doctor Justin, who also happens to also be a psychopath, has no issue attempting to amputate Maya’s stomach in order to get rid of the infection and save her. Colonists can survive without a stomach, all they need to do is find an unlucky prisoner, harvest their stomach, and give it to Maya. As Justin prepares for the surgery, Maya and Babu’s new girlfriend, Ray, share seemingly friendly conversation with each other as they lay in their hospital beds. Justin returns, and two failed surgery attempts and a broken tibia later, Maya dies on the operating table next to Babu’s new lover. Babu buried her body and went from a depressive lay about to a hard working, cheerful colonist. Every visit to that grave makes him happy and gives him the will to go on. Babu continues to date his girlfriend Ray, who also happens to be a psychopath, and soon adopts the same trait from her. My colony soon became a psychopathic colony where no one was really truly happy, but could deal with tragedy and violence with ease.
Stories like this happen in every play through, and aren’t entirely controlled by the player. Events happen almost daily, and it brought me in more than any other game’s linear storyline had. Every colony started is like a unique finger print, there are no two that are the same. To know that your play through is unique to you is more meaningful than experiencing a plotline everyone has already experienced. Rimworld has different “storytellers” to choose from that balance your story differently, giving even more custom options to choose from. Perma-death mode is also provided, meaning that once a colonist dies, there is no loading your game. They are gone forever and your colony has to move on.
Rimworld is a difficult game to get into. You may have trouble knowing how to start a new colony without looking up a guide telling you how. But once you pass that filter, mechanics become intuitive and easier to naturally understand. Once a player understands the game, it’s very easy to move the game up to a more difficult setting and perhaps care for an unluckier colony. The soundtrack is short but the songs never really get repetitive; they are quite pleasant and match the feel of the Firefly-like game. With added mod support and the Steam Workshop, Rimworld gets even more replay value with Lovecraftian cult, Medieval, and zombie apocalypse overhauls. I thought I experienced the best things Rimworld had to offer to me… Then I found that cult mod and spent another 50 hours or so.
If you have the patience to learn how to run a Rimworld colony, then you too have an opportunity to give yourself in to a truly addicting game. Just look at me, I’m already 250 hours in and I still don’t see myself stopping…
Please send help.