PUBLISHER: Team17 Digital
GENRE: City Builder – Strategy – Simulation
PLATFORM: PS4 (Also on PC & XB1)
RELEASE DATE: July 25th, 2017
City Building games are a genre that we don’t see get released much on the consoles. I suppose it’s mainly due to the common mindset that this genre is better played with a mouse and keyboard. So how does Aven Colony fare on a console using a controller? Let’s take a look!
Aven Colony was released simultaneously on all platforms, which would seem that the control scheme was developed with console players in mind. The developers definitely took the time to make sure that not only did the game look stunning, but that it was playable for any gamer using their preferred method of controls.
The game starts you out giving you a brief overview. As the Governor of humanity’s first colony outside the solar system, you are tasked with successfully creating a thriving colony of settlers in various different locations on the planet Aven Prime.
When you load up the game you are given the option to play through the Campaign or go straight to Sandbox Mode. Choosing the campaign starts you off with a few tutorials that get you used to the controls and features, but these can be skipped if you prefer to just jump in. The campaigns start off with simple goals and progressively add more for you to accomplish in order to successfully colonize the various locations. The campaign consists of nine different locations with only two unlocked at first and the others unlocking as you progress. There are also seven difficulties to choose from which makes this the perfect chance to try your hand at a genre you may not be familiar with.
The game strikes a superb balance of structure and freedom, giving the player the opportunity to build up their colony the way they want. As one of your advisor reminds you, the tasks you are given are just suggestions for completing the main goal. Now managing and building the colony are not the only things you have to do. At a certain point in the game you are introduced to Creeps which will attack your colony at various intervals. You will need to fend them off with defensive structures and careful placement. You will also be introduced to expeditions in which you are able to locate artifacts, rescue colonists, combat Creeps, and even do supply runs.
The world of Aven Colony is stunning and beautiful. From the depth and unique look of every building to the colors of the various areas of the planet. Not only is this a plus to the game, but it can also be a hindrance to the performance of the game. At times the game will experience some performance stuttering when too many buildings are crammed into the same area. This is not a game breaking issue, but it does take away from the beauty of the game.
Between all of the building, defending, and management of tasks to complete, you also have to make sure that your colonists are happy and healthy. From making sure they have drinkable water, various types of food, places to have fun, breathable air, and employment, you need to make sure that your colonists think you are doing a great job as governor come referendum time.
Aven Colony is overall one of the best sci-fi city building games I have played in quite some time! The game can be played casually for an hour a day or played for several hours a day with there always being plenty to do. It’s a relaxing and entertaining experience whether you are playing through the story campaign or sandbox mode. The game offers just the right amount of complexity in the management of your colony, but leaves you with the feeling of satisfaction when you have accomplished your goal of building a large sustainable colony.
I recommend this game to lovers of the city building, strategy, and management game genres. This game is also a great starting place for people who have been interested in this type of game, but afraid to try out this genre.
The game is fun and has plenty of replayability! I give Aven Colony a solid 9/10!
A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review
Tiffany "CeissaDesiste" Toms
Long time female gamer who has been playing all genres since the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 days. Freelance Graphic Artist, Web Designer, Beta Tester, and studied one year of Game Design. I play games on PC, PS4, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, 3DS, Xbox 360, PSVita, and Android. Freelance Writer, Reviewer, and News Editor/Asst. Director for Anjel Syndicate since the site launched! Part time employee of a major video game retailer.