When Team17 put their name to something, it’s usually nailed on as being something a bit decent. And that is the plan with Mothership Entertainment’s Aven Colony.

City sims were all the rage back in the early and mid ’90s. You have SimCity to thank for that, but after a bit of a lean period, it seems the gaming masses are yet again ready for some god-like powers. With the likes of Tropico delivering an interesting take and Cities Skylines popping up everywhere it can, is there a place for another game in the genre – especially a console version?

Well, when it does away with the usual Earth vibe, and whisks us off to another planet, I’d say yes. And that is exactly what we’re getting with Aven Colony.

Set on the strange world of Aven Prime, Aven Colony tells the epic story of humanity’s first colonization and settlement of a new world outside the solar system. A city builder at heart – just one set a million miles away from what we are used to – Aven Colony most definitely delivers enough variety and intrigue to ensure all building styles are well catered for.

With in-depth tutorial modes helpfully guiding you through the basics, and then nine further unique areas delivering mission based objectives, you won’t get bored of familiarity in a hurry. Much of this is down to each of the included maps housing completely different areas for you to get to grips with. For instance, the first area, that of Vanaar, will see you needing to create a self sustaining colony that feeds off the rich tundra, allowing for the manufacturing of exotic foods and substances in order to keep your citizens happy. The overall goal is to build and research until you have the required knowledge available so you can bring an Earth Historic Centre to your colony. Only then will you be deemed a chief commander.

But then, in a complete departure from the lush green vegetation that Vanaar brings, Sandy Gulch will see you trying to make the most of a barren wasteland that is only really any good for mining. Thankfully, it is an overall mining goal which you have been set… should you bother to follow that objective at least.

You see, Aven Colony will let you experiment however you deem fit, and wherever you place your hat, you’ll just need to ensure that your colony is a thriving one and has enough variety to ensure all citizens are happy and well – and above all else, kept safe. With your choice of buildings, structures and well planned forward thinking at the heart of everything you do, you’ve pretty much got yourself an open book ready to be filled.

Aven Colony does away with the usual humdrum of boring Earth life, and instead you can expect to find all manner of high-tech scientific builds and research opportunities thrust your way like never before. A rather brilliant visual take on matters draws you in and enhances every route that you decide to run down, whilst the audio and musical scores push you along at speed. Nothing is ever too confusing with Aven Colony either, with plenty of direction given at all times, but in the same breath, it is only ever as in-depth as you allow it.

But should you wish to get fully acquainted with everything that Mothership Entertainment and Team17 are willing to put before you, then you’ll find that the level of depth is immense, letting you take on a role far and away above what you may initially think is meant of you. That is something that is most definitely found within the deep and challenging campaign maps, and the stress and strains that they bring. But similarly, if you wish to just rock up and roll on with the Sandbox mode, creating and researching till your heart’s content, then you can do so – just be aware of the constant environmental hazards and ‘local lifeforms’ which threaten to test your governing skills to the max.

If you’re looking for a new game that will see the minutes turn to hours, the hours to day and the days to weeks, then Aven Colony provides the know how and depth to let you accomplish that… and a whole lot more!

Keep an eye out for our full review nearer to when Aven Colony releases on Xbox One, PS4 and PC come July 25th 2017.

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