Space Colony – What We Think:
Space Colony is a space-themed strategy and simulation game where you control a number of colonists who will live and work on a number of different planets both hospitable and dangerous. Developed by Firefly Studios, the game’s major strength lies in a solid gameplay experience by allowing the player to control and manage nearly every aspect of the colony while also supporting multiple game modes for even the most finicky of strategy players.
More Than Meets The Eye
The first feature that impressed me before I even started playing the game was the sheer number of modes that you can play. I’ve listed them below:
- Story Mode requires objectives to be completed to finish out a level. New colonists, upgrades, and items are also made available after every level.
- Sandbox mode is a given. It allows for you to have free reign over their resources and colonists with no goal other than to go for as long as you like.
- Galaxy mode offers a number of new planets and different missions to play, all of which with different objectives based on the planet that’s chosen.
- Player-Created Levels were also a pleasant surprise. While there weren’t that many to pick from when I check it out, the fact that players can develop their own levels is a nice break from the main game.
Gameplay remains the same for each mode. You’ll control a number of colonists as they go about their day on the planet. You can assign them to do various tasks, all of which have a direct effect on the colonists. Mining for ore or farming space chickens increases the amount of money that can be used to buy new goodies. Monitoring the oxygen and power levels of the colony is absolutely vital to the colonists so they don’t run out of air and equipment will keep running smoothly.
Sims in Space
Colonists also have needs that need to be fulfilled – social interaction, entertainment, food, sleep, hygiene and cash flow. All of these needs directly feed into their happiness bar. The more the happiness bar is filled, the longer the colonists will be productive and work a longer amount of time.
This is where the game’s strategy comes into place. Balancing the needs of the colonists while also fulfilling objectives to complete the level becomes quite challenging as more and more colonists join the ranks. The pacing is superb here, building up the player’s experience in previous levels before giving them more challenging objectives to complete.
Normally, you’ll do a few missions on one planet before moving on to the next. There’s a whole solar system of planets, from the very peaceful, less-demanding sort to the extremely hostile planets that are plagued with aliens. This adds even more to the gameplay by offering an antagonist that will wreck buildings, injure colonists, and sometimes even kill them.
I like that the colonists are all original and unique. Some colonists immediately hate other colonists, requiring you to pay special attention to fixing the relationship. Thankfully, this can easily be resolved by having them sit in a chair and talk to each other. If only relationships were always that easy! You can also initiate romantic relationships with other characters, though that requires a great deal of interaction in order for it to succeed.
Others have stars by certain needs that are more important to their particular character. Such is the case for Stig, a character that prioritizes the food need.
Each character also has a specialty that makes them more efficient doing certain tasks over others. Utilizing a character’s specialties can make progressing through missions much easier as it can be a challenge in itself to use them effectively.
Space Chicken Farm Enterprise
Building is quite fun if not somewhat forced as new structures are required to complete missions. One mission demands a building where space chickens are raised for food, which not only took up a great deal of space but required me to sell a lot of other buildings and equipment because I didn’t have much room to work with.
Indoor items can be just as big, which doesn’t make it any easier to set aside room for beds that your colonists require – all 20 of them. Planning your building design beforehand is almost required in some cases, else there will be a lot of needless rebuilding in the near future.
Feature-rich and Challenging
Space Colony is very thorough. There are so many factors to control and manage – it really tests your mettle the further you go through the missions. It’s a game to look into for both strategy gamers and casual gamers, as it offers a multitude of features for both. Definitely recommended.
View the trailer for Space Colony below: