When I got my code for The Colonists and checked out some screenshots and descriptions of the game, I was pretty hyped to play it. I’ve long been a fan of settlement building games. From Banished to The Settlers, to the Anno series (even the really crap ones). These games always manage to put me in that frame of mind were I start playing on Friday night at 9 PM and by the time I realise how much time I’ve put it in, I’m 53 and living in a small bedsit in Luton, subsisting on those noodles that you get in the corner shop that
The gameplay is pretty much standard for these types of games if a little simpler than most. The resource buildings basically exactly supply each other, so there’s no real micromanagement of resources. Need wood? Build a forester. One forester gives you one supply of wood per day, which supplies one lumberjack, which gives you one plank per day, and so on up the chain.
So you might be wondering where the strategy is. So was I after a while. The idea seems to be that it’s based around the terrain itself. You get fairly small areas to work in, and you have to squeeze in a lot of buildings and roads to get things running. That concept is fun for about ten minutes. Then you realise you’re basically playing a jigsaw puzzle with some maths included. Creativity is minimal, since you’re always just trying to occupy space more economically, and there are only a few ways to do that.
The other strategy involved is trying to troubleshoot your previously functioning colony when something just straight up bugs out that should be working. No food? Better go check to see which road has just suddenly stopped delivering things for no reason other than that the game feels like it. Got 400 stone in your storage? Try figuring out why you can’t build something that requires 50 stone, and half of your colony thinks you have none, while the other half is happily using it.
Overall, The Colonists feels like an early access game being sold as a finished game. It feels like they got halfway through making it, ran out of money, and said, “That’ll do. Let’s put it out and hope people buy it”. On the plus side, the developers do seem to be actively maintaining the game, and pushing new patches for it, so with that in mind, I’d keep an eye on it, and pick it up on sale. Decide what you value 5-10 hours of fun at, and then spend that.
The Colonists (PC)
This review does not have enough energy to keep producing words.
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