Let me start by telling you a bit about Factorio. Factorio was released back in 2016 ( well, if you got it from their website, you might have gotten it way before 2014 ) in Steam as early access. It’s a game about automation and ultimately, automating the automation – well not exactly, but you get the point. It’s a base management game – Construction and management simulation to be exact. If it’s your first time seeing the game, it may look “outdated” and to some, unappealing to the eyes, however, the game focuses on mainly it’s game-play rather then it looks. Most updates are on optimization and a lot of “bug” fixes. I say “bug” as it is almost impossible to find bugs if you are just a casual player, I have personally spent almost 1000 hours on the game and I have yet to find any bugs – or at least ones which are noticeable. It’s also one of the most polished game I have yet to see and the developers are actually very active. They also do blogs every Friday known as “Friday Facts” which lets the players know what they have been up to.
Let me start with the core gameplay mechanics, automation and building. The game revolves around making factories which then automate things for you – extremely summarized. This may sound boring or overdone, but the way Factorio does it, it really isn’t. Allow me to explain, Factorio offers many ways of building a base and in many different styles, and you will surely notice this when you start a new save. Every player, new or old, will always learn something from previous saves they have completed or played, be it finding a better way of managing electricity or finding a better way to organize. You may argue that it’s common for games, but it’s really not. Most games often already do the planning for you, this makes some games really linear and often offers little to no replay value. Factorio is also a game where there is really no “right way” of playing, this makes each player’s bases very different from each other and when playing with friends, differences of styles and the unlimited way of playing becomes really obvious.
Other then the core gameplay, the game offers many other things which makes itself really appealing overall. Trains are a great example, if you are just starting out, trains may seem like doing something for NASA or trying to launch a rocket to Mars, but the more you spend time with it, the more you get addicted to using trains. It allows your base to expand in a way that doesn’t cost a lot of resources while being efficient. Setting up remote mines which are miles away from your home-base and having a seamlessly wireless base – belt-less to be exact. I have also never felt so addicted to just watching trains move about.
Another great addition to the game is robots. They help you manage your base – if set up properly – and plays a huge part in switching from early game to mid-game. Robots, like trains, helps in making your base wireless and lifts off a huge burden off your back. They can help you build, move items from chest to chest and repair broken/damaged objects. They are quite expensive during the early game, but once you have started using robots for blueprints and such, you are able to suddenly expand your base much faster. This is usually a tipping point for most saves as it provides you with the resources to build a megabase without the building part.
Lastly, Factorio offers users to be able to program circuits. I will not be going into details as I have personally never gone past basic circuiting but it offers users to be able to do things such as recreate Sandstorm and such. No, I am not joking, have a look:
The game does not really offer a story other then you crash land on an alien planet and you can magically create factories ten times your size by using your hands and hold millions of KG of weight. Jokes aside, the game does not really dive itself too much into the story but offers scenarios. Not too much to talk about, so I will be skipping over the story
Factorio has by far one of the best developers out there. The game has been stuck in Early Access for a very long time, and no, the developers have not given up. They are often seen as a perfectionist, their regular updates and dedication are very noticeable. Although they will be getting out of Early Access this year, even though the game, to many players, was more than ready/stable for release years ago. They are currently reworking the sprites to make them look more modern and increases to their resolutions, but other that, one look at the update logs and you will see constant performance updates and bug fixes. It’s like they are addicted to improving performances and fixing the tiniest of bugs. Aside from their dedication to updates, they also do post blogs informing the players on their changes and what they are up to. This may not sound exciting, but you can barely find other developers who do this type of thing for years.