The Colonists Overview

The Colonists Have Arrived

Previously a very well-received PC title, the console release of The Colonists on PS4, Xbox One and Switch was welcome news. Inspired by similar settlement building games like The Settlers and the Anno series, The Colonists puts you in “control of a team of self-replicating robots who have escaped from Earth” and are looking for a new place to live. Why? Well, to fulfill their dream of becoming human and avoid robot slavery.

As they expand and grow their civilization, you’ll be faced with balancing resources and energy as well as fighting enemy settlements that have the same plans of expansion.

(Credit courtesy of Codebyfire)

How Do Robots Colonize?

For a settlement builder, The Colonists is a very accessible game. Not that players can’t delve into it with skill upgrades and additional options on building your community. But compared to other titles, a skill wall isn’t something you’re likely to encounter.

It’s also very reminiscent of Anno games as you need to complete tasks to level up your civilization. You’ll initially start to harvest wood, grow crops, and raise livestock. The latter two will pretty much self-sustain, but you will need to be a little more careful managing your inventory of wood. Without keeping an eye on it, all your growth could halt pretty quickly.

You’ll also need to increase your civilization’s energy level. To gain these higher levels of energy, you’ll have to upgrade your houses by using your research lab. Once they’re upgraded, you will have to make sure that the bots within the houses are satisfied. This will mean giving them various deluxe items like books, bread, and freshly squeezed apple juice. Who knew that robots had such refined tastes and motivations?

Straightforward But Fun

The visual appeal is something you cannot deny. The types of bots doing their tasks (e.g. lumber bots chopping down trees and farming bots harvesting crops) are fun to watch. The fact that they’re automated in performing their duties is an additional plus. It’s relaxing to upgrade and view your bots benefit their society, but in the same vein, not having many branch options to upgrade form can be a turn-off to players seeking more.

Building pathways and the amount of creativity can be a bit limited, which is also a bit frustrating. The combat can be underwhelming against an enemy civilization which consists of tower defense mechanics where you’ll be firing arrows and cannons (that can be upgraded) against your enemy’s towers. These encounters can also be avoided if you decide to choose the non-enemy pathway during your campaign.

More often than not, you will enjoy the low-stress environment whether you’re playing for hours or just 15 minutes.


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Written by Trevor Forrest