I’ve been itching for the next awesome city builder for awhile now, while at the same time, being stubborn about not wanting to learn a new city builder, which might explain why Aven Colony has been sitting in my library, untouched, since last October.
Sadly, at least for me, I don’t think Aven Colony is going to be the next great city builder.
To be fair, I’ve only given it about 90 minutes, which was enough to get through two SUPER basic tutorials and – I think – the first mission. I say that I think I got through it because there’s no big “You Did It” screen, but somewhere along the many many goals it threw at me, I managed to unlock the next scenario. Which implies to me that I beat it, but it was still tossing MORE objectives at me, so I’m really not sure.
And I think that – in a nutshell – is my issue with it. Give me a final goal, and let me figure out how to get there. There were a few curveballs, like, when out of seemingly nowhere, everyone started complaining about air quality, but I understand how these games work well enough that I frequently completed missions before they were even given to me. I know I need more food, more housing, more power. I now 100% understand what people mean when they complain about too much hand-holding, geez.
I’ll probably play another couple of scenarios, because it wasn’t completely un-fun, it just didn’t blow me away, and I assume the further I get into the game, the more challenge there will be in trying to manage all the systems. Aven Colony has some really neat ideas, but sadly, most of them are recycled from other games.
For the $10 I spent, I don’t feel like my gaming dollars were wasted, but I don’t expect I’ll put oodles of hours into it either. Maybe I just haven’t reached the point yet where everything clicks, and it feels amazing to get everything balanced just right. Maybe it’d be more enjoyable if I hadn’t been playing city builders since Caesar 3.