Aven Colony – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Developer: Mothership Entertainment LLC
Publisher: Team 17 Digital Ltd
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4
Tested on: PC

Aven Colony – Review

Site Score
7.6
Good: quite a lot of content
Bad: Texture pop in
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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Aven Colony has been released recently and was, surprisingly not a PC exclusive, but also visits the PlayStation 4. Even now it’s somewhat strange to see consoles dabble with the management/simulation genre. It’s not impossible, but with all the different buttons, and what with controllers being counter intuitive when it comes to this kind of gameplay, it would seem only natural for Aven Colony to only be released on PC. In the current case more players can adopt it into their gaming libraries, and the more the merrier, as the saying goes, this includes colonies on alien planets. The preview of the game can be read here.

Aven Colony

Story

Either humanity has fucked up and Earth is in shambles or they are sick of not knowing what’s in the deepest ocean or if the monster of Loch Ness is real so they leave the planet and turn their attentions to another one, terraforming it and trying again. So that’s what’s happening on Aven Prime. A planet lush with greenery and barren with deserts, it’s a myriad of circumstances humanity has both calculated and even more they hadn’t taken into account. That’s what you are there for, the omnipresent overseer that gets to play God and tell people what to do and where to do it on the base you are building. There isn’t a personal growth arch going for the narrative, but there’s the personal investment you get in each mission that raises the stakes differently because you painstakingly craft each base and try to keep the occupants happy and content. It works and it keeps you engaged.

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Graphics

Aven Colony hasn’t changed since the beta. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as the game wasn’t going to win ‘game to play at 4K’ resolution prize anytime soon with its rather gritty resolution and texture popping in, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad looking game. In fact, there are quite some details added. If you zoom out you can see the overall structure of your base. Some buildings can look quite samey, making you click on the wrong ones while you are trying to find the greenhouse and keep selecting the housing structures because they vaguely resemble one another and you are scrambling to keep your inhabitants fed. This isn’t so much a problem in the lower difficulty settings but can be annoying at the higher ones.

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What is apparent when you zoom in on the structures and the piece of the planet you get to colonize, is that there is a lovely amount of detail. You can actually see people walk the hallways, the trees move as the winds sweep over them. Of course this isn’t something you’ll be focusing on but it shows the developers dedication to crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s.

Sound

The music is both upbeat when you are supposed to pay attention and merry when times are rolling and you are on top of things. This creates a sense of urgency when you are trying to make ends meet, but a sense of relief when you are riding the high. The voice acting in the campaign mode is done properly so you can get into the missions without the thought that this was just another box checked on the checklist of things that ‘needed’ to be in the game. When winter rolls around, and yes Aven Prime has a winter season, you’ll be notified with a frosty signal.

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Gameplay

Aven Colony is a simulation/management game. It’s up to you to make sure your base grows and your colonists thrive. It all starts off quite basic. You are to make sure there’s water and electricity, the basic needs. What follows is you making sure there’s food and housing, trade and protection while managing the storage. The tasks grow organically and you are eased into it.

When the larger outlines are set, the smaller ones deserve your attention. The smaller ones being the micro management, because Aven Colony isn’t just about building stuff, it’s about making sure your colony trades to get goods, that recipes are researched so your inhabitants get a diversified meal pattern or medicine gets researched. If you piss people off by forcing them to traverse long distances to work or being a bad leader of the colony they’ll revolt and you’ll need police drones to make certain the innocent families are protected. It’s of course up to you to not let it come that far, which is easier said than done. You have to keep things constantly balanced and only focus on what’s needed at a certain time. The time of the year is also important, hunker down during winter by building more energy batteries and some more farms, so your colonists don’t starve.

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With 9 maps and 7 difficulty modes, the campaign mode will keep you occupied for a very long time, and even if you do manage to work your way through all of it, you can still try your hand at the sandbox moden. No rules, no regulations, just you and your creativity to try and make it work on the alien planet.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of content, even without the sandbox mode for a management/simulation game fan to enjoy, even more so with the sandbox mode added. If you are into these types of games, it’s definitely something to look into. Even to newer players this game is quite forgiving and the missions help players build their bases so they gain the insight into managing their colony. Great for newbies to the genre, as long as you aren’t scared of space worms.

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