FYIG got the chance to colonize an alien world this past weekend! Read our Aven Colony impressions to see what we thought of this sci-fi simulation game.
I had never heard of Aven Colony up until a few weeks ago when I got an e-mail about it. It’s a city-building (colony-building in this case) game set on an alien planet. There aren’t many decent comparable games out there so it was intriguing to take a look at.
If you’ve played games like Sim City in the past, you’ll instantly recognize how similar that game is to Aven Colony. The game is all about building a colony on an alien planet called Aven Prime. Your goals it to make sure your colony has everything it needs to grow, survive, and defend itself from the enemies and elements this new world presents. It’s a sci-fi setting, but you’re still managing resources like water and food. You also have to maintain the happiness of residents by dealing with things like air quality and crime. It’s familiar, but it has enough twists to make the game feel fresh and enjoyable.
An interesting part of Aven Colony is the fact that there is no money. Instead, you mine for metal in the terrain of the planet and the resulting “nanite” allows you to buy new structures for your colony or upgrades to existing structures. There aren’t any taxes or budget to worry about so it’s a lot less strenuous to build your city. You’re able to focus on the needs of your colonists rather than whether you have enough money for this item or that item. It’s a welcome change from most games in this genre and it makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable.
I didn’t have a lot of frustration with Aven Colony as I have with other city building games. All the tools are at your disposal, it’s up to you to use them properly. It also helps that more unlock as you colony progresses. Even with issues like sand worms and lightning strikes, there are defense turrets and lightning rods to combat those random problems if you choose to utilize them. There’s even a winter cycle that cuts food production unless you’ve built a greenhouse. You are able to micro-manage a bit by rationing food during these times. There aren’t a lot of things that you manage like that, but I can see this game being one that is constantly evolving.
I will say that your colony doesn’t feel like it’s a thriving community even as it grows. There just isn’t a lot of animation going on to show the fruits of your labour. It’s a minor negative, but one that I feel needs to be addressed. I’d also like more information about the buildings I plop down and precisely what they’re affecting. There are some buildings like the air filter that aren’t as clear as they could be about what effect they’re having on things.
I think Aven Colony is really promising and I’m excited to see the full game when it arrives next month. I had a lot of fun creating my space colonies. It was really cool to stretch it into new settlements and see space pods bring in new immigrants. I do think that it’s a bit too easy at this point, but I’m certain that that’s only because there are only a few scenarios along with the sandbox mode available right now. It’s a unique concept for one of my favourite types of games and I’ll certainly be going back to play this one often.
*A preview copy of this game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of impressions*