Game Review: Factorio

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments

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)


  2. I second the recommendation for @SatisfactoryAF.

    You might also enjoy Automation Empire.



  3. Ever played OpenTTD? 🙂

    Disclosure: I work on it, as does one of the Factorio devs.

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