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Critic Reviews for The Colonists
At least in terms of content, The Colonists has plenty for you to do. There's a campaign made up 14 missions — essentially tasking you with colonising different locations. Meanwhile, sandbox mode lets you choose a map, tweak various gameplay settings, and play however you like. We especially enjoyed messing around in the latter once the campaign had shown us the ropes, and taking things at our own pace.
The Colonists wasn’t perfect nor was it the most user-friendly, but the city-building objective of the game was met and a thoroughly enjoyable experience was presented to all types of players, making this an easy game to boot up for anyone looking to strategize in an environment that moves at a comfortable pace.
The Colonists is a great game overall. It simplifies the 4X strategy genre down into a charming and chilled experience with adorable little robots that make watching your civilization thrive all the more enchanting. Its problems on the Switch come from a lack of mouse and keyboard inputs and some rather vague (or buggy) mechanics that could do with further explaining for novices and newcomers alike.
While the game brought over many features from the PC version, there are some that are missing. Those expecting a map editor will be disappointed to find it absent, as are the procedurally generated maps that offer a lot of replayability for PC players. The latter means there's no Frontier mode either for players to compete against each other. Despite this, The Colonists offers hours of entertainment for those wanting a relaxing, simplified experience and those wanting to speed run their way through all manner of variables to a perfect colony.
As much as I loved my first few hours with The Colonists, it did, unfortunately, wear out its welcome after a while. The technology tree, while expansive, is also quite linear – most missions will have players eventually congregating towards the same end game resources. The different maps do provide some strategic depth, but even then the game is low on new ideas by the end of the thirteen missions. While a random-map option would have been nice, I’ve had all the enjoyment I think I’m ever going to get with this game. It’s great while it lasts, but I would have loved for the developers to further explore the idea of complex resource trees in a more open-ended way.