If you took Tropico 5, mixed in some Banished and transported it across the galaxy you would be close to what Aven Colony is getting at.
As soon as I saw the original trailer for Aven Colony I knew this was something to check out. It looked to combine city building, resource management and colony simulation in a sci-fi setting.
Aven Colony puts you on a mysterious alien world.
After getting hands on to the current beta build I can happily say that so far it is delivering on most of these.
In Aven Colony you are plopped on the surface of an alien world with it’s own atmosphere, fauna and environments that were never meant to be suited for humans. Then you are tasked to make the ultimate living space despite all of this.
Your colony will start small and insignificant.
To create this living space you are to build a variety of buildings that will create power, food, water, mine minerals and much more. This works in a very similar way to the Tropico series, where every building must be connected to a road, only in this case an air sealed tunnel so your population doesn’t die from the outside world.
Of course you do this by making buildings like farms to produce food, power plants and more that will all take up squares in the vicinity as you expand out your colony.
Power and nanites are initially the most important as without the former you won’t have working buildings and lack of the latter will leave you unable to afford more buildings.
Once those two minor details are worked out you will generally be focusing on food and water, again creating buildings to manufacture these in the form of farms and water pumps. These will use even more of your precious power, so back to solar panel creation afterwards.
Eventually everything seems to be going fine in the colony. You have enough power, even a few apartments, possibly a tavern for residents to drink their sorrows away on the space frontier.
Your colony will begin to thrive.
But all of a sudden, winter is coming.
Right here is when things take a turn for the Banished side of the coin. As soon as winter hits your solar panels operate at half-efficiency, food production all but halts and you are facing a colony-wide progress freeze.
The winters can be challenging if you do not properly prepare. My first colony was all but wiped out because of this, so taking advantage of summer months to stockpile food is essential. Of course the issue of power consumption is a damper again, so it’s also prudent to create more solar panels than you could possibly hope to use.
Winter introduces a host of extra problems.
You can interact with your citizens and buildings as well. Characters will respond when you click on them, jobs can be moved around and locations prioritized above others when things get a little rough.
Overall I have enjoyed my time so far in Aven Colony. It feels a bit lower budget than other games in the genre, but it has a good premise and some enjoyable systems and game elements to manage over the course of the game. Seeing your colony grow and become successful is definitely something that will keep you playing longer than you anticipated.
The game is currently in beta so I will be brief about the technical aspects. The game includes a decent amount of options settings, but currently on the highest settings the texture qualities look a bit mudded out. Performance is good across the board with it maintaining above 60 frames during the entire session on a GTX 1070.
The game has some strong colors, but graphically looks a bit mudded right now.
There’s so much more that I have barely begun to scratch the surface on in Aven Colony. Alien species and disasters will hit your colony right when it begins to grow, spaceports open up trading and immigration. Eventually you are dealing with a metropolis that needs healthcare and crime management.
I don’t want to spoil much more in this game for you to discover yourself. If you are a fan of games like Tropico or Banished, this is something you may want to keep your eye on in the future.
For those who are interested, the public beta for Aven Colony begins September 7, 2016.