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Watch us play space strategy game Aven Colony

Urban planning game is set on hostile planets

Aven Colony is a city-planning game set on various colonies in space. I played the game last week. You can see my impressions in the video above.

Due out on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One on July 25, Aven Colony is developed by Austin-based Mothership Entertainment and is being published by Team 17.

As with most such games, survival, growth and the happiness of the people are the central tasks. In the campaign's early missions, I learned all about the various tools that I needed to use to build my city.

Generally, these are mining colonies in which raw materials are used to build life-sustaining buildings like farms and water pumps, as well as trade centers, immigration centers, police stations and retail malls.

Space also throws up some of its own problems, like giant worms and spore plagues, all of which require advanced buildings. As in other space colony strategy games like RimWorld and PlanetBase, natural occurrences bring their own problems. In Aven Colony they come in the form of regular seasonal changes, rather than random storms. Winter is a time for tightening belts, while summer is useful for restocking food supplies.

The cities are strung together with tunnels, which need to be managed for the benefit of growing populations. Social policies can be used to manage dropping morale, or diminishing resources.

I found it to be a pleasant strategy game, and I'm curious to find out more when the game arrives. City building games — from the SimCity series to Cities: Skylines — are best when they pose unexpected problems based on the player's own style of play. Look out for Polygon’s review later this month.

The next level of puzzles.

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