PlayStation 4
Game Info:

Aven Colony
Developed by: Mothership Entertainment
Published by: Team 17
Released: 25 July 2017
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Genre: City Building, Strategy Video Game
ESRB: E for 10+ (Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Blood)
Number of players: 1
Price: $29.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Team 17 for sending us a review copy of the game.

Note: This review is based on the PS4 Pro version and might not look, sound, and perform the same on other consoles and PC.

When you think of most city building games you may think of Sim City or City Skylines. However, Mothership Entertainment has brought gamers the same experience not just on one planet, but many planets with varying landscape, atmospheres, and more. If you enjoy Science Fiction and wished somebody would bring a city building game on vast worlds then you got your wish with Aven Colony.

You are a governor of a remote colony. Your job is to turn a very small colony into a thriving and successful very large one. As governor you are trying to appease your colonists with work, safety, entertainment, and purpose. The very small colony you govern needs to be cared for by expanding, repairing and discovering resources. As you grow you will be given objectives that will reward you with a variety of items to help you as you expand.

Aven Colony

Strong Points: Aven Colony is simply a treat to play. Beautiful graphics. Top notch sound design.
Weak Points: Tutorial is very well needed to master controls and colony construction.
Moral Warnings: Foul language from time to time. Mild Blood. Scary science fiction creatures and fantasy violence.

Growing your colony and making sure your population is happy and safe is an ongoing mission that will never end (well unless you're fired or your colony is destroyed). Every building can be upgraded to enhance its abilities. If you add a Drone Police for example it can be upgraded so that you can have more drones policing a certain coverage area. I really enjoyed the upgrading of my facilities and residential buildings even if it seemed to never end.

As you build your colony you need to keep in mind things like air quality, drone building repair coverage, drone police coverage, distance for colonists to travel to work, and more. I found myself always checking on air quality and placed air vents all around my colony. Another thing that I kept in mind was making sure that my colonists didn't have to walk extremely far to either work or an entertainment area (bar and grill, park, VR center, and retail shopping).

Aven Colony has other things you need to keep in mind that could cause problems for your colony. There are alien life forms and weather changes that are not pleasant for your colonists. I found myself creating an over abundance of windmills and solar panels so that my colony would have enough power to survive a winter. I also created a geothermal generator which helped produce electricity for my colony, but also blocked the geothermal vent it was placed on from sending a plume of nasty toxic cloud in my colony's direction.

The game has really great graphics that will surprise you. From the sun reflections on the buildings and world vegetation to the way the buildings are designed. You know when a developer is really enjoying what they're working on when everything in the game is so well crafted. I loved how each building felt in a way uniquely designed that made it stand out from the other buildings. The windmills in my opinion are just the most iconic in the game. I tried to place where needed, and where I thought they looked cool. The drones might not seem well crafted until you zoom in and then you think "WOW" this developer really cares about every item in the game. Heck even the farms are well designed and look special.

Aven Colony
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 90%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 82%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

In regards to sound quality it is top notch. I loved the ambient sound of each planet and the variety of sounds in the colony. For example when a lightning storm happened it could be heard throughout my 7.1 surround sound. If your colonists were not happy you could hear them protesting in the area of your colony they were protesting at. I also really enjoyed that when you start up the game a narrator talks to you and guides you on your training missions. Also quest givers have a voiceover as well which is a nice touch.

You think a city building game with its controls designed for a mouse and keyboard would be a chore to transfer over to console, but not here. I used the tutorial missions to help me get a handle on the controls and did it without a problem. The developer again went the extra mile to make sure the controls were not in the way of having fun; thank you Mothership Entertainment.

The only negative I would say that other gamers will be complaining about is that if you want to know how to play the game and use the controls you will need to go through the tutorial missions to get a fuller understanding of both (I always do the tutorials of any games that offer them so I can play the game more effectively).

The game is very solid and well ported to consoles. I do wish that the game would have 1 to 4 player co op mode so I could play with my friends or a random group of gamers. Hopefully Mothership Entertainment could add this as a free update or if they make a sequel, bring it online and add couch Co-op to Aven Colony 2. For PS4 and PS Vita owners there is remote play which is a big plus.

The foul language in the game wasn't a very common occurrence, however the word "jack*ss" is said in the game. The blood is very mild as the rating suggests. Like many RTS games, this one allows for your colonists to starve which will cause them to simply fall to the ground and lay there. I would recommend this for teenagers and above, but not for small children because of the fantasy violence and scary alien creatures, and what I mentioned earlier.

I had a fun time playing this game and look forward to diving back in to make more colonies and see what other great surprises the game has in store for me.

About the Author

Robert Hamilton

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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