Aven Colony Review

With what seems to be a shortage of simulation/ city-building titles this generation, proving that they’re more proficient with a mouse and keyboard, 2017 seems to be the year that we’re getting an influx of them. But does Aven Colony have what it takes to keep you managing your city, or in this case – colony?

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In this sci-fi city-builder, taking place light years from Earth on a similar planet known as Aven Prime, it’s up to the player to build a colony for the settlers and maintain the colonists happiness. Manage a variety of resources including food & water, electricity and even oxygen levels. Nanites are the primary resource for building and upgrading all structures you’ll need to keep your colony afloat. A good city-building game isn’t complete without its fair share of disasters, and Aven Colony certainly has them, albeit more futuristic disasters including lightning strikes, shard storms and alien infestations. Tackling these disasters are no easy task as you’ll need to be well-prepared before they happen, however not all disasters are natural as your colonists may start to rebel against you and your government that you’ve created (Yes, expect plenty of referendums for that inevitable Brexit) if you’re not keeping some form of law and order within your colony. There are numerous policies for you to adjust, each having advantages and disadvantages for the settlement. You could go as far as being a dictator for your colony but the morale will soon shoot down causing your colonists to get ill or even want to emigrate.

There are several different difficulties to try out in Campaign ranging from ‘Cakewalk’ to ‘Insane’. The difficulty will affect the amount of resources at your disposal, mission completion rewards and the severity of environmental events. The campaign contains ten levels to put you through the paces but don’t let that deter you away as each campaign mission could take you anywhere between 2-4 hours to complete, depending on the speed you use when advancing time. Each campaign offers an abundant of optional objectives but aren’t required in order to complete. You could potentially do your own thing as these objectives act more as a guide to help and assist you with the various scenarios that you’ll encounter, but completing them will grant you with resource rewards, some offering you a choice of resource as a reward. The other game mode available is sandbox mode and is simply just that. Build your colony with no restrictions but the natural disasters and rebellion will still exist so it’s not all peaches and cream.

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The controls are intuitive and simple, but with this being what it is, it’s easy to become too complex with HUD’s and menu’s in games of this genre but thankfully the trigger on your controller are your best friends for navigating around the menus. Left trigger pulls up all your management tools such as trade options to allow you to trade food and other resources with nearby cargo ships or assign employment to your colonists. Right trigger brings up your build tools allowing you to build anything from residential housing for your colonists to stay in to nightclubs and restaurants for them to chill and take a break. Of course, you’ll also be required to build necessities such as mining structures, farms and power plants.

With an abundant of choices at your disposal, developing your colony never becomes a dull moment. You can even zoom in on your colony and watch surveillance footage as your colonists go about doing their day-to-day work. Nice. This title is worthy of the genre and a refreshing change to the over-used modern-day setting.

Aven Colony is available to download from the Xbox Store on 25th July, priced at £24.99.

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