By Taylor Rodriguez
Stranded on a desolate planet, you find yourself alone with the wreckage of your spaceship, a service pistol and a meager amount of ammo. Crawling, chitinous creatures attack you soon after landing, skittering towards you with gnashing bites and razor claws. It’s up to you to defend yourself and build your way back to space before you are taken out by alien life.
“Factorio” is a factory production and real-time strategy game developed by Czech studio, Wube Software. As the lone survivor of an emergency crash, you must take your knowledge of simple machines and raw materials processing and somehow turn that into a successful escape from this planet.
Originally announced through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in 2013, “Factorio” has garnered a large, supportive and loyal fanbase throughout the years. I mean, the r/Factorio subreddit has over 220 thousand active users discussing play styles and production blueprints for the game.
After four years of early access testing, development and redesign, “Factorio” was fully released on Steam earlier this year. But, is this game right for you? Here are a few reasons why I enjoy it and why I think “Factorio” is a great game.
I think the game has a great understanding of micromanagement and progression so that each little achievement and advancement of yours feels like a big success.
In other survival games like “Minecraft,” “Rust,” or “Terraria,” you start by gathering base resources to progress and become stronger. “Factorio” operates similarly and some basic resources include stone, coal and various ores like iron and copper.
These ores can then be melted and reshaped into plates through the use of a stone furnace. The plates are then used to make anything ranging from conveyor belts for factory automation or craft simple electronics for more advanced machinery. Did I mention you have to research to rediscover how to build a space rocket?
“Factorio” presents its next challenge with its technology tree. As you develop, you need to make more and more complex science research materials. With monsters constantly attacking you as you pollute the planet, you need to work fast before getting overrun by enemies. As the name of the game suggests, you need to build a factory.
Automation is this game’s greatest asset and best feature. Factory automation is where the boys are separated from the men and the cavemen are separated from the scientists. Jokes aside, the level of automation and production required to have an efficient factory require time, planning and a decent amount of thinking if you want to be successful.
The game provides you with a large collection of logistical transporters that allow you to send resources through various machines from one side of the map to the other.
Often, players refer to their factories as “spaghetti,” seeing as they usually end up as a mess of conveyor belts resembling the delicious Italian dish.
Step by step, you create various parts of your rocket. Every step you achieve makes your success feel even more worthwhile.
Another reason why I love “Factorio” is that it creates a great atmosphere of urgency.
As soon as you load into your first game, you are met with a sci-fi soundtrack filled with urgency and curiosity. If you are curious about what I mean, click below to listen to the soundtrack.
Most of the tracks fit the “barren wasteland” vibe that you get from the game. The composer of the soundtrack, Daniel James Taylor, explained how he got the futuristic ambiance for the soundtrack on his website.
Taylor said, “All the music and sound effects were composed, created, mixed and mastered by myself. The soundtrack consists of over 75 minutes of original music and world ambiance. There are over 230 sound effects for the game. In the beginning, I would not have believed that I would have stood in fields at night to record wind in the trees, burnt fence panels, recorded lawnmower engines and recorded shop security shutters opening and closing, it’s been a revelation!”
Lastly, I think “Factorio” can provide hours of fun for you and your friends if you enjoy this survival game genre. There are great stories online of people getting this game, or other games, for themselves and a loved one or family member. It usually results in a wholesome bonding experience.
Like myself, others have spent dozens, hundreds, even thousands of hours playing this game. It falls into the category of endless indie fun, with a real-time strategy component and a great ambiance that keeps you invested in your time spent playing.
I would strongly recommend this game to anyone willing to give it a chance. It may seem like a brainbuster at times, but with the help of google and the r/Factorio subreddit, there isn’t anything you can’t solve.
I would give Factorio a 10/10 for its sense of meaningful progression, the complex and stunning ambiance of this futuristic sci-fi world and the replay value of a $30 game. This labor of love deserves more credit than it is given.