The future of humanity is in your hands.
Aven Colony is a game that lets you simulate the entire economy of a space city in any way that you want. It gives you the responsibility of managing your own citizens and making sure they’re well taken care of by imposing various laws and putting to use many resources in order to keep them well fed and happy.
Platform Reviewed: Xbox One
Platforms Available: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Developer: Mothership Entertainment
Release Date: July 25, 2017
This review is based on a review copy provided by Team17.
Being able to have the power to run your own space colony might seem interesting, but does it really hold out as a fun game in general? Is this a game worth your time and money?
Listen to this review and decide for yourself.
Diving Into the Game:
The first impression that many people will get from Aven Colony is that it pretty much Sim City, but in space. However, this isn’t quite the case. Aven Colony does a few things on its own that gives it its own identity. Despite its efforts, the game in general is still reminiscent to the more popular and well known Sim City.
Aven Colony overall does a great job in keeping its players entertained. There are simply many things to do and many ways to run the economy. It also does a good job of adding a few twists late in game to avoid repetition and feeling bored of building the same buildings and managing the same resources.
The game’s initial tutorial is lacking in several ways. There are two tutorial missions, and each take about ten minutes explaining and letting you experience a few things for yourself. However, this simply isn’t enough to convey the more complex mechanics of the game. Thankfully, there are in-game notes that help you in deciding what building to prioritize building for your economy to benefit.
A minor grip to be had with the game is on the menu. Right from the start, players will be given a speech about how “the fate of humanity is in your hands” and there is no way to put a stop to this. It is a minor flaw, but can get mildly irritating to keep hearing this same speech over and over again after investing 50+ hours into the game.
There are two main game modes, but they are ultimately just the same thing. Campaign and Sandbox. The former is recommended for those who are just starting out at the game to help them get used to the more complex mechanics. The latter is there to allow players to have fun in building their space colony however they want.
Many maps can be selected of which to start a colony on and they are beautiful. Each map has its own qualities and own challenges that force players to adapt to a different strategy in building for each map. Some maps are more difficult to build on than the others and that offers a significant challenge to keep the game interesting.
After deciding on what map to pick, players can then set just how they want to start their game with. They can adjust how difficult economy will be to build, how many resources to start with, how frequent any form of environmental effects will occur, and etc. However, this is the only time of the game where they can adjust the settings. Players cannot experiment in game of controlling the world for their own, such as sending an alien invasion to their colony to test how good their defenses are.
There is no world building. Players will be forced to choose from the prescribed maps and this restricts a bit of creativity to be had with the game.
There are many types of buildings to be built and made, each serving their own purpose. Although, buildings are relatively straight forward and there doesn’t seem to be much variety. Players can’t just build a small clinic as they have to go for a hospital, and can’t simply build a small store as they have to construct a mall for their citizens. Players might question the lack of interesting building designs for a space game. Despite this though, the buildings are very much interactable and are significant for multiple constructions in order to cover a more bigger colony and many of them can be upgraded.
Governing is another interesting part of the game.
This aspect allows players to have more interaction with their citizens as they decide which laws to impose, which restrictions to enforce, and freedoms to allow in order to help keep their colony clean and happy. Though laws aren’t as extensive as one might think, they do cover governing deeply.
Keeping colonists alive, well, satisfied, and happy with the player is also part of the challenge. As the game has a referendum which allows citizens to vote for a new governor based on a specific amount of time. Once the player is outvoted, the game is over. Though, this isn’t much of a problem in the beginning.
There are simply many things in Aven Colony to distract players and keep their attention. Economy management can be a challenge. And this is what makes the game great. Different buildings offer options to better the colony such as research facilities which allows for research for certain plants in order to make them edible or trade vessels to gain a certain product hard for the specific map to grow in exchange for something else.
Aven Colony is a good game. But it has a lot to improve on.
Generally one can gain the impression that Aven Colony would play out just like a mix of Sim City and Command and Conquer, with aliens invading colonies players built and them building different types of defense in order to combat different types of aliens and prioritize certain buildings to be defended more than others. In all honesty, the game could’ve been so much more better had it gone for that kind route instead of what we got here.
It is a game worth your money especially if you are a fan of building your own city. Aven Colony is the kind of game that players lose track of time playing, and that’s a testament to how fun it is in general.