Colony Survival Review

Colony Survival is an Early Access 1st Person colony management/base-building/tower defense simulation game. It is a classic modern “choose your own adventure” game, where how you play and what you do is mostly up to you.

Colony Management at its Core

Because Colony Survival is still in Early Access, most of the gameplay is still focused on the core experience of colony management. You recruit colonists, tell them where to work, where to sleep, and what products to make at the various crafting locations. You assign some of them to work as guards to kill the zombies that spawn at night. Your colonists are the stereotypical NPCs. They don’t talk. They don’t complain. They don’t interact with each other. They wake up, eat, work, and sleep.

Obvious Inspiration

Colony Survival is obviously inspired by Minecraft. The art style is almost a direct copy. However, Colony Survival’s gameplay is only loosely inspired by Minecraft. You still need to gather resources (or make the colonists do it for you), kill enemies (again, or make colonists do it for you), and upgrade your gear. The difference between Colony Survival and Minecraft is that you cannot do all the work yourself. In some ways this is great because you don’t have to handle the tedium of farming, mining, and forging yourself. In other ways, it can be a little aggravating because you need specialized colonists to forge some of the higher-level items for you.

Many other gameplay elements of Colony Survival seem inspired by Factorio, Cities: Skylines, Civilization, and standard tower defense games. You have to manage defenses, buildings, locations, housing, automation, logistics planning, and resource production and allocation. It is more simple than it sounds.

Resource Management Like You’ve Seen Before

In Colony Survival you don’t need to manage your own food (unless you take damage). However, you will need to feed your colonists. To this end you have colonists gather berries, farm wheat, make bread, and so on. There are even higher-level food sources that will feed multiple colonists at the same time, such as stew.

Unfortunately for you, the large number of colonists draws a large number of zombies. You will need to hire some colonists whose sole jobs are defending the colony with various ranged weapons. Zombies get stronger and more numerous as your colony gets bigger and bigger, so you’ll need to manage the number of defenders as well as their consumption of stones and arrows.

Colony Survival is rather straightforward. Once you’ve figured out the interface and how to put what’s in your brain into the game, you will have an easy time of progressing, building, and managing your resources. If you’ve played any of the games I listed above, you won’t be surprised by any of the mechanics you find in Colony Survival.

A Mile Wide and an Inch Deep

While this might seem like a criticism, it is more of an observation of Colony Survival than anything else. As an Early Access game, I don’t expect Colony Survival to have a lot of depth yet. The gameplay is extraordinarily straightforward, with little nuance. When you encounter a problem, the solution is to build more beds and recruit more colonists to do whatever job fixes that problem. Need more food? Recruit a few more farmers, millers, and bakers. Need more copper nails? Recruit more miners and crafters. Need more defenses? Recruit more guards.

There are no goals in Colony Survival. You decide everything except for the very limited tech tree. If you want to build in a certain place or a certain way, you are free to do so. If you want to build nothing and roam the land forever, you can have at it (but there isn’t all that much to see, honestly). So while Colony Survival lets you choose your own adventure, don’t expect a lot of depth.

It’s Unique in its Combination, but not Much More

While the individual mechanics are not unique from other, similar games, Colony Survival is unique in its combination of these mechanics. It is a base-building game like Minecraft. It is a resource-management game like Factorio. It is a colony simulation like Cities: Skylines. I highly recommend watching gameplay to see if this game interests you. I enjoyed it and look forward to the continued updates to the game.

You can find Colony Survival on Steam here.

Leave a Reply