Imagine Earth

Genre: Simulation / Strategy / Colony Builder
Developer: Serious Brothers
Gamemode: Singleplayer

A city-builder on distant planets. You are space colony manager and build on a triangle grid a colony and resource buildings to cover your citizens needs. You need to watch that your people like the surrounding, don't place a sawmill or coal mine next to the town or your citizens will be unhappy. There is a demo for this game on steam and we recommend to try that one out.

The tutorial starts out on a pretty small planet and you'll have to earn money to build all you'll need. As in other city builders you'll get taxes from your people, but it seems that the more recourse buildings you place, the less income you'll generate. You'll need energy, food, wood and stone in the beginning and later on other things like gold for example.

For a small fee you can move your buildings anywhere else and if you placed something not in a perfect way you might need to do that. To send drones out for harvesting minerals, wood or some rare plants or just to put out fires you'll need to build warehouses. Those will be very fast filled. You may not cut down all forests because the land will turn into a desert soon by it. The game has some serious ecological aspects to it. You will have to watch pollution and do some land reclamation. If you hover over one of the plots you'll get in the lower left corner shown which resources are available.

If you run out of money your mentor will advice you to sell some stocks of your colony, but you will need to buy those shares back. If your storages get full you can not harvest anything any more with your drones to make space for new buildings. You can only destroy resources then. There is a speed up button on the top right corner to speed the game up, but it still goes so slow, that it leaves you with a lot of waiting for generating money to expand your colony and if you tab out of the window the game just stops, so that you can't do anything asides.

The graphic is very nice, but the music is very monotonous, shallow and repetitive. I did not really enjoy the demo much, because I had constantly (even in the easiest gameplay version) fires and putting them out by the drones reduced my money all the time. By this it got a waiting game for me. Someone compared it to watching paint dry, gave me a laugh, but wasn't that wrong. I could also not figure out how to research any technologies. The interesting aspect in the game is that you get challenged to decide if you develop rather some technical improvements or aim for some social and lifestyle progress. something like do I want a new park for my people for recreation or do I need a reactor to produce energy. Unfortunately my game did not even get saved although I did hit the save button several times.

We recommend: If you like such colonization games, try the demo to decide if it is your cup of tea!