Farworld Pioneers is a survival colonist management title developed by Igloosoft and published by TinyBuild. The game takes heavy inspiration from both Terraria and RimWorld, which is unique. The Terraria influence is obvious, with a 2D world filled with resources to mine and chop down all the while fighting hostile monsters that try to rip your face off every night. Meanwhile, the RimWorld elements consist of crash landing on a randomly generated location and being tasked to build up and manage a colony of NPCs, who each have their own jobs, traits, and skills, and must be kept happy, healthy, warm, and fed if you don’t want them to die or leave. With enough time and resources, you’ll be able to build a self-sufficient colony that you can call home… provided it can withstand raiders, unrelenting cold, and other escape pods.
First off, I want to mention the slight problem I had with the control on mouse and keyboard. While they were intuitive and allowed you to quickly access commands and items, I found actually clicking on them very difficult. When a colonist is in front of something and I want to talk to them, it’s a coin flip of whether or not I successfully interact with them or activate something else. It was one of many annoyances I encountered throughout my playtime, which is going to be a theme here.
There are a few pros and cons with the colonists. The pros are that you don’t have to do everything by yourself, allowing you to set tasks such as crafting, cutting down trees, farming, and mining. It makes running things so much easier, and I felt much more at ease instead of worrying about needing to spend time collecting resources. The cons, however, is that the colonist A.I. is not perfect. Sure, they can navigate fine as long as there’s a way to get to their destination, but what really annoyed me was when they tried to fight enemies. They would chase them to the ends of the world just to kill them, and flying enemies is a serious struggle without a gun, which brings me to an annoyance: the melee weapons are worthless here. They only stab in front of you, and colonists are absolutely terrible at using them; whereas flying enemies will confuse them greatly, and they will literally spend all night jumping to get them or getting themselves killed. It’s sometimes really frustrating micromanaging colonists, but I really liked having some people with me to help survive and thrive on these hostile planets. It really shows where the work is put in when I saw the well-animated reload animations for guns.
The slightly irritating problem was that the tutorial wasn’t quite detailed enough for me, only explaining the absolute basics. You can press F1 to ask Buddy, the NPC who spawns with you, for info and advice for what to do, but I didn’t find this very helpful; however, it did get me started on what I needed to do.
The world is not friendly, though, and will barely care if you’re just starting out. Without armour, you die very fast, making you drop all your items and forcing you to retrieve them from where you died. Three hours into my playthrough, a rather large raider group attacked my colony and killed most of my colonists and me. I thought doors would've kept them out but nope! Actually, raiders can shoot out blocks. After killing them (and three deaths), I only had one colonist left. A devastating loss that forced me to turn on Peaceful Mode so I could assess the damage, loot the bodies, and then go recruiting. I even lost the tutorial NPC, who had a dedicated item that would let me teleport to him. Luckily, even if he dies, you can still press F1 for help.
Is it fair? Well, while the raiders started off small with one person, it quickly added more people with subsequent attacks. Getting a light machine gun from one of the bodies wasn’t enough to save my colonists. Is it fun, though? Well… at that moment, absolutely not, but in hindsight, it is actually really cool. Still, I would’ve preferred if the game gave me a little more time to build up my resources and defences before throwing me into the deep end. Some other fun events during my playtime included an escape pod dropping right on my base, destroying a building and part of my farm right before a blizzard (twice) and dying and respawning as a completely different person. I still don’t know how that happened.
And, to put emphasis on this, I was still on the first planet, barely getting used to the systems. Yeah, maybe these random events should be less random. However, do note that I was playing a pre-release build, so maybe it's different from the full game, and that I was just encountering very weird glitches. Still, I didn’t run into anything like frame drops, and the only thing I found bothersome about the performance was the slightly long loading time I had to wait out when selecting a file to play.
Overall, Farworld Pioneers is a pretty good game with some fun mechanics and systems to play around with, but various little annoyances, like glitches and punishing random events, put a damper on my enjoyment. It all works and provides unique experiences and stories, and it might be much better playing with friends, but to me, however, it just feels unfair where every two steps forward, you’re forced one step back. Still, I want to keep playing and see where else it goes.
Farworld Pioneers (Reviewed on Windows)
Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.
Farworld Pioneers takes elements of Terraria and RimWorld and turns it into a fun game. However, be warned, it will not hold your hand for very long and push you off a cliff before you’re ready.