On a planet filled with various factions, animals, and hazards, you are tasked with the survival of a colony. Will they survive, or is everyone doomed to die at the hands of starvation, disease, or hostile takeover?
Originally released for PC, RimWorld is a top-down construction and management sim. Before each game, you set the world seed you want to play on, adjusting the individual settings such as the overall temperature of the world, how populated it is, and so on.
You are also allowed to pick your colonists’ starting conditions. You can choose a larger group of more primitive people or a mid-sized group with a decent bit of technological knowledge. You can even decide to roll with a rich explorer type who sets off on their own to discover new lands. Whichever scenario you decide, you’ll be presented with a variety of colonists that you can select for the playthrough; each one with individual stats and personality traits. Some of which are good, others, not so much.
When booting up RimWorld Console Edition for the first time, the game explicitly tells you not to go for perfect stats since it makes the story more exciting when the characters have flaws.
Another major decision to make is which AI will be the “storyteller” for the run. This is what sets RimWorld Console Edition apart from other base management games. There are three storytellers, each of which has their own style of story; a classic style where the game gradually scales in difficulty, the chill style which allows more breathing room, or random where anything can happen, at any time.
Finally, you can choose how frequently the game allows saves. You can set it to allow saves at any time, or if you are looking for a greater challenge you can confirm for things to only save when you exit.
After all of that, it’s time to start playing. The tutorial for RimWorld Console Edition is basic. A little too basic actually, since after playing through it I felt like I only knew the bare minimum to get started. It then took a few hours to get used to the mechanics and even after sinking well into double figure hours into the game, I still feel like I have a lot to learn.
This is going to be the biggest deterrent for a lot of gamers. RimWorld as a whole has a steep learning curve and the Console Edition doesn’t do much to help mitigate it. I think it’s different on PC because there’s the chance to alt tab and then pull up Google to figure out what to do. Playing on console doesn’t have that luxury so you’ll need to either grab your phone or pull out your laptop to figure out the mechanics.
I wish there was a more advanced tutorial that covered the mechanics that aren’t discussed in-depth with the current one.
That aside though, RimWorld is highly addictive. As I built up my first base, set aside plots for crops, and figured out refrigeration, I got more and more excited about what I could do. I love base-building games and I always choose a difficulty that offers me a challenge while I attempt to build the best base possible.
I say attempt, because Rimworld is tough. Just as I seemed to be getting a grip on things, the AI would throw a few hurdles my way. A cougar would attack my colonists and my crops would become diseased. But it wasn’t just the AI doing me in, my foolishness of placing outside in the rain would cause explosions and fire. Thankfully, the rain stopped my colony from burning down there and then.
It was at that point I decided to drop in an energy storage building. With it, I had power, I had frozen food that wouldn’t perish, and my colonists were starting to become happy again. That’s when the raids began. Tribes that wanted my corn would attack, and they always seemed to attack the one person who was a pacifist. Before I knew it, poor Clementine was unconscious and being hauled off to who knows where.
As if that was bad enough, the cougar came back, angry at Sam for chasing him off. Sam was still recovering from prior wounds so she didn’t have a chance. She got knocked out and then the cougar just upped and left. It seemed to be a stroke of luck, but Clementine was our only doctor so Sam laid out in the field just bleeding out. Unable to hold on, she succumbed to her injuries.
Which left me with one last colonist, oh what’s his face, I don’t even remember his name because he was so useless. He wouldn’t do chores, wasn’t a doctor, and it didn’t take long for him to perish when left to his own devices.
My colony was dead.
But I wanted more, so I booted it up with a different scenario. The names were different and so were the conditions, but it was a whole new group of people with a whole new story to tell. They too died, and so did the next group.
Even with the setbacks, you’ll want to play RimWorld Console Edition more and more. Rimworld is a game built on failure. The victories are made ever-more sweet by the losses, and the losses are made all the more devastating when you realise that you’ve lost a colonist you’ve trained and care about.
The mechanics are fun, simple to grasp but complicated to master. You can build structures, benches, tools, and more. There are also quests to accomplish which allow you to recruit more people, earn the recognition of other factions, and so on.
There are a lot of systems to learn, but there are also places where RimWorld falls short. One mechanic I wish was in the game is the ability to have kids and expand the colony the natural way. But sadly that’s not part of the base game functionality. Which brings us to the biggest gap between RimWorld Console Edition and the original PC version – no mod support.
RimWorld has remained relevant to this day because of the modding community. I am ecstatic that it has made its way to Xbox but it’s disappointing that there are then limits. You’ll want to do certain things and feel frustrated when you’re told you can’t, more so when a PC mod would allow it.
Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of content to enjoy in the RimWorld Console Edition base game. But the modding community has added a lot to what is on offer and I wouldn’t be surprised if that has led to the developers putting some ideas on the back burner. That’s just conjecture on my part, though.
You’ll have a lot of fun playing RimWorld Console Edition and it’s a game that you’ll find yourself constantly heading back to. The PC version is bound to remain superior thanks to the fans that have built up so much content for it, but we should be thankful that we can now boot up RimWorld on our consoles.
If you like building and management sims, then I wholeheartedly recommend RimWorld Console Edition.
RimWorld Console Edition is available from the Xbox Store