Colonizing an alien planet has never been so much fun.
Mothership Entertainment, an independent development studios packed to the gills with industry veterans, has been working on the sci-fi city-building and management sim Aven Colony since 2013. As the game now heads into its final stretch, with a release set for Q2 of this year on PC, Xbox One and PS4, and bringing on Team17 for publishing duties, GGUK have had a chance to spend some time in the PC beta, which is currently available on Itch.io. Expect a full preview in the near future, but in the meantime – Can running a city on an alien planet really be that different from Earth?
Set on the planet Aven Prime, life is all about survival and it is up to the player to ensure that there colonists are not only happy with their new life on this strange alien planet, but that they are also safe and healthy. This alone adds an extra level of tension to the game, for those players who invest, as the usual city-builder will be all about the finances above all else. This time around, there is a very real threat of doom, alongside the usual worry of being removed from power.
The first thing that struck me when playing Aven Colony, even in its beta form, is how good the game looks. I was reminded of the environments in the recent Planet Coaster, bursting with colour and detail. It is great looking, offering familiar settings with an alien touch. The structures that can be placed by the player are more industrial in their form, and don’t have a massive variety at this point, but this is still early days.
Resource management is, as always in this style of game, important and players will find themselves having to manage the likes of water, food and power to keep everyone happy, and alive. Then you have Nanites which are used for construction on the planet, allowing the player to build all of the buildings they need to survive and grow. It is loads of fun watching the colony grow, with all of the pods and buildings connected by little tubes, but the player still has to keep an eye on things like crime, happiness and even air quality, meaning that there is always plenty to do. Still, it is all quite relaxing.
Things can get a bit more tense with the turning of the seasons. Aven Prime is partial to bitter Winters in which solar power and food production is slowed, or even stopped, and players will have to plan ahead to last through this brutal season. Add to this all manner of random environmental disasters, such as alien spore infestations or ice storms. Oh, and there are sandworms…
There is a lot more to come in Aven Colony. Along with the new trailer below, details were revealed just last week of a new expedition system where the player can start to explore the rest of the planet, finding artifacts or ruins, and locating lost colonists and potential threats. Check out the latest trailer -
Aven Colony is set to launch in Q2 of 2017 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, but players interested in getting in on the beta can head over to itch.io right now. Combining city-building with survival on an alien planet is a great idea, and Aven Colony looks to be heading in the right direction. One to keep an eye on for wannabe Mayors who want to leave Earth behind.