Colony Sim games allow players to express their creativity better than perhaps any other genre of video games in history. They can keep players occupied for hundreds of hours. In this article, Gurugamer is going to showcase the top 5 best Colony Sim games for low end PC in 2023.

1. Dwarf Fortress

Long ago I had heard about this game and how detailed and intricate it could be, and how you could spend hours upon hours building the massive empire of dwarves only for it to all come crashing down in some spectacular but unforeseen way.

Dwarf Fortress finally gets its much-needed graphics and UI update.

Well, when Dwarf Fortress finally arrived, I'm a bit intimidated by the sheer amount of options it has... mostly because it was not just me that I have to worry about, but a whole community of dwarves. In the case of something like Minecraft, I could dig a whole intricate tunnel and if stuff starts to go bad, I just high-tail it out of there and recover until I can go back and finish it. In Dwarf Fortress though, if stuff starts to go bad, you can't just leave. You are encouraged to deal with adversity and push onward in the name of greatness... or something.

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The complexity of Dwarf Fortress is unparalleled

In a way, it's like role-playing, except you don't have to roll character sheets and you don't really control any of the characters directly. You make decisions about where to mine, what trees to chop down, what to build, what to trade, what to plant, and for everything, there is a season (turn turn turn). You're forced to deal with death, birth, attacks, sickness, madness, and a ton of other things that I have no idea are coming.

2. Rimworld

This game is fantastic if you like building a colony from the ground up, it's very interactive and you'll always have something to do, be it planning a new room for your base, building up defenses, creating a more reliable food source or even raiding enemy factions. At first, it's very daunting as there is a lot to get used to, but each new discovery comes with a new way to experience the game, your story is always your own and it'll never be the same as before, lending this game to nigh-infinite replayability, and that's not even considering mods which are abundant, relatively easy to make yourself and very active.

Rimworld's graphics are simple but intuitive.

The developers constantly revise and improve aspects of the game improving more and more as time passes, even your own ideas may be implemented if they're good additions to the game. The community is one of the best I've seen, where people joke around, share their playthroughs and wacky happenings whilst generally having a good time.

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The game can be pretty chaotic at times.

I recommend this game if you like strategy, tackling positive/negative turn of events, planning things, and sandbox-style survival games. If you're still on the fence about buying the game, watch a 'let's play' video and see the madness that can occur, check out all the mods that are available and imagine the possibilities, it really is a great game.

3. Oxygen Not Included

Oxygen Not Included looks like a cousin of Do not Starve. In plain language this means that the player here gets a hand-drawn, slightly cartoonic style. Accordingly, some animations are designed with a wink, starting with the looks of all asteroid dwellers. A beautiful detail here is the visuals of oxygen: this is slightly bluish visible and it has almost something hypnotic to it when moving through. Incidentally, the same applies to other, less healthy gases.

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The artstyle looks rather wacky

The missing tutorial contributes to a steep learning curve, which is why the first steps are strictly based on the "Learning by Doing" scheme. So it can mean the deaths of many duplicates before the game mechanics of gases, temperatures and good construction are clear. Fortunately, the game gives you exactly the right tools to get you started. Through research, the toolbox can be expanded and that later allows some ingenious tricks.

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A base in Oxygen Not Included

Oxygen Not Included is very charming and leaves no doubt after only a few hours that it is just as complex. Building and expanding a space colony in the midst of an asteroid is quite challenging, also because the interaction of gases, liquids and the generation of energy - and their interactions with each other - is quite sophisticated. Unfortunately, the lack of tutorials makes the training in these systems quite difficult and confusing. So you need to make use of guides and wiki when learning the game.

4. Factorio

Factorio is a game that sneaks up on you. You start out so simple, harvesting some coal and iron, chopping down a tree or two. Then you plonk down a machine that starts mining iron ore for you, and you feed the result into a furnace. You build more machines, then some inserters. More machines, and it becomes easier to link up a few things with conveyor belts.

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Factorio is fun. As simple as that.

Four hours later you look down on a factory system so complex you couldn't have designed it; and yet it grew so gradually, so organically, that at no point you feel overwhelmed. You look at the time - maybe ten more minutes; you want to quickly redesign this bit around your assemblers to fit in another conveyor belt. It would speed up the production of green electronic circuits.

You start out so simple, harvesting some coal and iron, chopping down a tree or two

Three hours later you realize that you should have been in bed for hours, but you can't stop now - you just build a tank and you really want to try it out on that alien base that has been growing way too much. Factorio is fun. As simple as that.

The big twist on the formula that Factorio brings is that it borrows crafting elements now common in modern mainstream games to make the building less a matter of using money to make money, and more about crafting basic resources into usable items. It just so happens that these items are buildings that you build your factory out of. In essence, you're building a factory-building factory, hence the common mantra "the factory must grow".

5. Against the Storm

Unquestionably the best city builder that doesn't have combat in it, IMO.

The developers understood that the most fun part of these city builders is the early phase of building your city up from nothing, getting key production online, being able to feed/house/heat your people, etc. Once you get to a certain point in most city builders, and you get a big sprawling city with all your needs taken care of, it usually gets dull. Unless there is some endgame in sight or some big challenge, like fending off a huge hoard in They are Billions or something, i tend to get bored after a few hours in these sorts of games.

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The graphics look very vibrant and colorful

So they made a game where you play the beginning of a city builder, you are in a race against time to achieve enough goals, fulfill needs, etc. And then you win in a couple of hours. And you do it again. But this time, you get different random buildings, resources, quests, abilities, etc, so you have to find a totally new build order to handle things this time, so it's never the same.
And there are good reasons, both for gameplay and for theme, why you are going to build cities again and again.

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The town in Against The Storm

I think this is the perfect city builder for people who love to play the early part of your city, who want efficiency to matter a lot, to be racing against time, and who want to have to adapt to completely different setups and building availability and create a new build order for each game.

>>> Read more: Top 5 Best Open World RPGs For Low End PC (2023)