The Colonists – Review (PC)
When I first saw the screenshots and animations of The Colonists, I became hyped. It grabbed my attention, and I wanted it. I loved sitting there and just watching things happen. Seeing how the AI reacts to things. In a first impression, I loved it. I wanted more. As my hours grew in the game, I realized how precise and ruthless this little game can be and what feels like it’s missing.
The gameplay and story idea is simple, humans created robots, robots decided they wanted to become more human and take off to colonize their own planet. It’s cute and a fun premise and it works well. When you land you have just your ship with a limited number of supplies. Like most strategy games, you need to balance your resources while expanding your settlement. The Colonists takes your basic resources such as wood, stone, power, and cranks it to 11. You have wood, stone, power, water, iron, coal, etc. Then you have level 2 stages of those resources; planks of wood, level 2 power. These will usually require level two buildings, which you could upgrade a level one building. The problem is with this is, say your level one residence which generates 1 power, it will no longer create the level one power and will create level 2 power. This could cause a pinch in your resources because you have one less building producing resources. Oh and that level 2 power? Requires cider. Which you now have to build an orchard and a building to process the fruit into cider. Does it sound a little intense? It really does.
The most visually pleasing, and frustrating are the little robots that carry your resources from place to place. Each robot is assigned a road and each road will have two drop points. For example, if you need wood at a location and you do not have any in place there, the robots will relay the material to you. I ABSOLUTELY adored this. When there wasn’t a major timer pushing against you I loved just sitting there and watching the AI take over and move materials from all over to get it to where it needed to go. While you can ban certain items on certain roads to try to stop the congestion, sometimes it’s not possible and everything gets delayed until one bot gets queued up to move that one item to allow everyone else to work. In extreme cases, you need to delete some items for everyone to start moving again. Though frustrating in congested times it just makes the robots feel alive.
The Colonists have several missions to go through with most of them being tutorial based. The missions aren’t too hard to accomplish within the given time for a gold ranked mission. The maps are fairly small and the resources being fairly limited. Once a resource gets diminished (besides trees as you can replenish those), you’ll need to explore to find another source of that resource. Sometimes you cannot and you’re stuck and have to replay the level again. This was somewhat disheartening as you had to play fairly linear because of your limited resources. Luckily for expansion isn’t too hard as you just need to build a watchtower towards the edge of your viewable base and that will light up allowing you to continue your conquest.
I really did enjoy playing The Colonists, though there are a few things I would like to see in the future; multiplayer would be fun, revamp the train system as it really doesn’t function well with established bases, a mission creator mode and tie it into Steam Workshop. Those are just a few ideas I came across while playing. Let me tell you what though, these devs are on top of updates. Just the last couple of update has added more resources to certain missions and added a sandbox mode I was so desperately craving.
These little robots, although not perfect, found a way into my heart. With the developers actively listening to their fans, if The Colonists grabs your interest in any way, jump on it. You won’t go wrong!
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Glorious robots
+ Fun, yet punishing resource system
+ The process of moving resources is mesmerizing
+ Difficulty ramps up in a good way
+ Devs actively listening to fans of the game
- Some resource systems are overly linear for building (devs actively updating)
- Train system needs help or better explaining
- Needs more to do, more missions, or Steam Workshop