STAFF REVIEW of Colonists, The (Xbox One)


Monday, May 17, 2021.
by Kirsten Naughton

Colonists, The Box art Who knew that I'd enjoy a video game with cute robots that look like Wall-E and EVE's future children? Was that never a thought that occurred to you until now? You're welcome! The Colonists boasts a relaxing simulation strategy game with cute little robots and an updated UI to make your gaming experience “natural and fun on consoles” when compared to it's PC release from a few years ago. I was quite excited to start experiencing The Colonists and had high expectations for the game. I think I've found my home away from home that even us humans could be thrilled with.


The core idea of The Colonists is that you're tasked with settling on a fairly decent sized piece of land. There are tiny robots that are under your command that are synchronized to do whatever you say and work wherever you command to work. There are a few main buildings that can be built and you will need to start your area off on a good foot. You have access to a lumberjack hut, a sawmill, a workshop, a well, some residences, a mine, a vegetable farm or two and more. Each of these buildings have a significant role to play in your land, whether it be creating electrical energy, collecting mining materials, processing trees from the ground into planks or researching to unlock higher level items. Beware though, don't build too much at once or you'll become overwhelmed like I did.

One of the quirks of The Colonists is that you have to manage your resources precisely. Think of it this way; if you have five houses, you need enough wood, planks, stones, food and water. If you add five more, you need to meet the demand of ten houses. I know, you may think 'It's a piece of cake', but it's not. It's a little hard to get the hang of initially, but once you figure out what your balance is you're golden and off to the races. The moral of this long tangent is to build only a little at a time. I have quite a few times built literally everything I could, but the problem I had was that everything took FOREVER to build and resources can only go as fast as they can before I ran out.


There are two main ways you can play The Colonists. You can play the traditional campaign or you can enjoy a freeform sandbox mode. The campaign forces you to play by their rules and follow along. In sandbox mode you control all the settings and play however you wish. I dove a little bit into the sandbox, but to be totally honest I spent a lot of my time in the campaign instead to have that guidance. The flow of the campaign is fantastic though, so I decided to spend the majority of my time there.

From the opening stage it teaches you step by step how to get things done. Level two introduces you to your advisor and your objectives, should you look at your TV like a deer in headlights as little robots zoom all around. The advisor is a nice touch that I'd hope other developers would implement in their titles. Have you ever scratched your head wondering what you were supposed to do now? I mean, you've built a residence... you've built a lumberjack hut... robot dude is zooming around building stuff and the vegetable robot is harvesting food. Now what? The advisor is like your 'Help/Tip section'. It shows you the objectives you should be focusing on. She's basically your answer to 'How do I beat this level?'. I used her a lot during my time with the Colonists.

The graphics are beyond cute and well done. It's bright, happy and lively appearance give The Colonists a fresh, eager edge against most simulation strategy titles such as Sim City or even Tropico 6. The detail on the robots to the buildings is spectacular and I really enjoyed the attention to detail. You can see every robot doing something and interacting with their world which adds life to the experience.


There is something that really bothers me about The Colonists though. For me, even though it's not a deal breaker, I feel like I need to put this out there; I felt gameplay most of the time a lot for my brain to handle as there is a ton going on while playing each level. I'm personally alright with fast paced, but I felt like The Colonists was a bit too much at times. Trying to organize so many buildings, energy levels, food levels and robots made me feel a little anxious, not more relaxed.

The opening level is a perfect entrance into the world of The Colonists as it's slow and takes you step by step. Every level after that I feel like throws you to the wolves, and if you don't come out the leader of the pack you may not enjoy the experience as much as someone who is more able to be quicker and able to handle a little more stress and multitask. I still thoroughly enjoyed The Colonists but would caution those who tend to get overwhelmed easily to take it one level at a time and play in the Sandbox to get used to the pace before jumping into the Campaign head first.

I've really enjoyed every minute of my time with The Colonists. Even with the bump in the road with its pacing, I'm beyond happy with the whole experience. I'd play with these cute little robots any day of the week and developers CodeByFire should pat themselves on the back for the effort put forth. For me, I'm going to board the rocket back to Earth and move onto the next adventure with my adorable robots.




Overall: 8.8 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10

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