If you, like myself have been bitten by the colony sandbox bug that is Rimworld and are looking for something similar to play. You have come to the right place. We are going to run through 10 of the best games that are similar to Rimworld and talk a little about what kind of gameplay you can expect from them.
What kind of game is Rimworld?
Rimworld, is a sci-fi colony simulator. The game uses resource management, colonist moods and a series of events to generate a story. A great deal of the game, including the maps of each playthrough is generated depending on map seeds much like Minecraft. This ensures an insane amount of replayability and unique storytelling. The many systems in the game including, weapons, temperature and sickness systems along with general hunger seem to be simple enough on the surface. But throw in a couple of raids and cold snaps and you will soon find out this is not a colony building game for the feint of hearted. I reviewed Rimworld here.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the list of the best 10 games that are like Rimworld.
1. Oxygen Not Included
Oxygen not included shares a lot of gameplay mechanics similar to Rimworld. You have a group of colonist just trying to survive on a foreign land. One thing that separates them is that Oxygen Not Included (ONI for short), is mainly about surviving the elements and harnessing unknown space technologies to thrive. The game, unlike Riwmorld’s bird’s eye view camera, is played completely in 2D like a side-scrolling game. The game has gas and liquid systems also in place. Along with trying to build a thriving base on an unknown would you will also have to overcome psychological barriers with your crew, (known as duplicants). The game shares that addictive element which makes Rimworld great with one Steam user sharing “It is hard for new players to stay alive when first started. But once you know more about the details then it’s really hard to pull yourself away from the game. Very recommended “.
Oxygen Not Included holds an overall score of 96% positive on Steam and is worth checking out if you like Rimworld for the systems and simulation it provides.
2. Prison Architect
On the surface Prison Architect looks a lot like Rimworld. The art style will seem very familiar if you’ve played Rimworld. The pawns, the buildings and the art style all seem to look pretty similar. The gameplay however, isn’t. In Prison Architect you are, you guessed it, an architect for the prison system. You must manage the prisoners and areas to run a successful prison. That means hiring wardens, ordering supplies to build new areas and looking out for escape attempts from your prisoners. The game also has an extra mode separate from the campaign and sandbox building modes called ‘escape mode’. Here you will take control of a prisoner currently inside a player-created prison and attempt to escape. The game has a 91% positive score on Steam and goes on sale very often! So Wishlist it if you want to get a great deal. (At the time of writing it is 75% off, at 6.24 Euros.)
Frostpunk describes itself as a society survival game. The game focuses a lot on resource management and mixes in your colonies growth with a survival element. The setting of the game is that all of Earth has been frozen over and you are trying to maintain the last surviving city. You can create laws for your bastion, in an attempt to keep the city alive. Sometimes it will take some very harsh decision making to keep the city alive. You can shape your city however you want and attempt to survive the frozen wasteland in Frostpunk. The game has a 90% positive store on Steam and a variety of modes added to the game to add play time.
Kenshi is a cRPG from indie developer Lo-Fi games. It is a self published game that spend many years in the Steam early access program like Rimworld. The game focuses less on building a colony and managing resources and more time telling a story of survival. The world in Kenshi is unusually hard. Danger waits for your characters literally at every corner of the map. From giant spider bug creatures, to racist religious fanatics basically everything in Kenshi wants to kill you. If shares similarities to Rimworld in the way that you are just a part of the living world. It is a simulation where you can try things out and make your mark on the world. It features a squad based system, where you can recruit more characters to your squad and you can build your own outpost or town. You are even able to farm and become self sustaining but like Rimworld, you will have to look out for raids once you get well established. I have written a full review of Kenshi available here. The game holds a positive review score of 94% on Steam and has an amount of replayability so similar to Rimworld that i just had to add it to the list.
Embark is another colony survival simulator game similar to Rimworld. Unlike Rimworld however, the game has 3d semi-realistic graphics. Those that aren’t a huge fan of Rimworld’s graphical design but enjoy the simulation and gameplay elements may enjoy Embark. Although the game still is in Early Access a lot of the major systems are already there and it does run well on my system. (Laptop 16GB RAM 960M Graphics).
There really isn’t a better way to describe the vision of Embark but to use it’s Steam description. “Inspired by the deep simulation of Dwarf Fortress, the open world survival of Minecraft, and the social interactions of The Sims. Embark is a colony management game with a focus on complex simulation in a huge living 3D world.” The gameplay elements are like Rimworld with a larger focus on colonist’s feeling and relationships. You will have to fulfill their needs ‘think The Sims’, rather than just building a mass colony and letting them get by. Having played Embark for a while, I personally enjoy it, especially the fact is has multiple Z levels. I am excited to see where Embark goes and hope that the devs continue to improve a on the great foundation that is already there. Embark has a 67% positive review score on Steam.
6. Space Haven
Space Haven is a game that borrows elements from Rimworld and throws it into a new setting and with a few new features to boot. A lot of the reviews describe it as ‘Rimworld in space’. It has a completely different art style to Rimworld, with a focus on a more pixelated retro feel. As in Rimworld, the NPCs in Space Haven have their own skills, and traits. Some will enjoy building and fixing things, some will get hungrier quicker and some will be more inclined to run away when the fighting starts. You can fully customize and build your spaceship (or space station), tile by tile and build to your hearts content. Be aware though, Space Haven can be a bit of a grind. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! You will find yourself struggling for the first few hours in the game, like most colony survivals you will take a while to get your foot in there door and get your ship and crew really moving. Space Haven has an 87% positive review score on Steam and is currently still in early access.
7. Founders Fortune
Founders Fortune is a village builder which just celebrated the full release of their game. It had been in early access on Steam previously and has a generally positive review score. This one is more of a fantasy setting and less about intense survival simulation. One of the main draws of Founders Fortune is the village building aspect of the game, though that isn’t all. Like Rimworld, Founders Fortune has a group of villagers for you to look after which have their own thoughts, feelings, relationships and wishes. You will need to find a balance between setting up your dream village and trying to fulfil the wishes of your villagers. They can even make their own families and have children. The graphics are quite vibrant and nice, but don’t let the cute characters fool you! Founders Fortune can be a difficult game and hard to get off the ground. You will more than likely see a few of your towns fall before you figure out some good strategies to keep them going.
8. Dwarf Fortress
Now just hear me out. Normally i would not recommend Dwarf Fortress to anyone interested in new games because, 1: The game has an incredibly steep learning curve. No I really mean it. The game still uses ASCII graphics. Meaning when you first start it up you will just be greeted with a huge wall of symbols you won’t understand. 2: The game’s UI and controls are incredibly complicated when you first start out. No, really. The game is terribly difficult to get into but once you do, my god is it wonderful. It is one of those once in a lifetime games where truly anything can happen. Every system and action in the game is text based which leaves an incredible amount of things that can happen in the game. The simulation in Dwarf Fortress is completely unparalleled. Once you get going in Dwarf Fortress you will have some amazing stories, to tell. Even if most of them end in your fortress going under thanks to a cat. Dwarf Fortress may be difficult to master but the creators are releasing a Steam version of the game that will include real graphics for the uninitiated. Plus the old version of the game is available totally for free on the Bay 12 games website linked above.
That wraps up our list of 8 games to play if you like Rimworld. If you have any other suggestions or anything you think that we missed leave a comment down below.