Game Review: Factorio

I am rubbish at video games. I don't have the twitch-reaction speed for shooters, I can never remember what all the buttons do, and I frequently get lost in open-world games. Basically, I'm the opposite of my wife, who will rattle through Dragon-Ages, Mass Effects, Spiders-Men and the like.

Factorio is sort-of-like Sim City. Or Populous. You have an open, discoverable world, full of natural resources. Your job is to plunder those resources and build a space ship to get you off-world.

Factorio is the perfect game for me. It has a slow, gentle pace. There is no death (except when you get run over by your own steam train). The interface is gradually discoverable. There's no punishment for making a mistake. There are no teenagers screaming abuse at you via chat. And, most importantly, you can't look up a walk-through to cheat or find spoilers.

A screen saying I've been killed by a train.

I spent 88 hours building up a factory, tearing down inefficient structures, and reconfiguring my bases for optimal production.

A screen saying I've won.

It works flawlessly on Linux. I don't have a top-of-the-range gaming laptop, but it quite happily threw around hundreds of robots flying around the screen.

In order to make the game more fun (for me) I turned off enemy attacks. The aliens were still present, but didn't attack unless provoked. I left them alone, they left me alone. This also meant I could leave the game running overnight so that I could gather more resources.

A large map.

Buying the game was a slightly odd experience. It cost:

I don't use Steam (because I'm not a big gamer) so I bought it from Humble Bundle. Which gave me a Steam key. Which I had to link to my Steam account. Which I had to link to my Factorio account. Which let me download the Linux binary. Weird!

As the meme goes, video games give me a chance to live out my wildest fantasy; to be given a task and to be able to complete that task.


3 thoughts on “Game Review: Factorio

  1. Based on your review, might be worth looking at Satisfactory, Surviving Mars, Oxygen Not Included or Banished (however, I've got no idea how well they perform on Linux)

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