What the F...actorio?

Blast off with this review of Factorio!

  • May 24, 2018
  • by RedW1dow

Welp! I did it again. I found another game to be addicted too.

Factorio has reached out and grasped onto my quite short attention span and has not seemed to want to let go. I had heard and seen videos of people saying that it is a game that would consume you. I had also heard the same about many games. None of the other games caught my attention. I decided to risk $30 and got it on a whim. It has been more than worth it. It was enough that I bought a second copy for a cousin to join me. Brown W1dow and Red W1dow were now spending hours on one game. But what is Factorio and why did it latch on so tightly?

The best way i can describe what factorio is about is that it is a resource-management, process- improvement, process-automation, survival game. But Red, aren’t you describing Minecraft? It is similar to Minecraft but BETTER! The goal in Minecraft, overall, is to get enough resources and material to build a portal to the Ender Dragon and defeat him. You have to fight off enemies at night to survive and make sure none of your stuff gets destroyed and you have Redstone and Rails to help automate some of the processes. In Factorio, you have been stranded in an alien planet. Your main goal is build a Rocket Ship and blast out of there. You get there by getting enough resources, materials, AND research to build said ship. There are a few types of enemies that attack you and you have various ways to automate your entire operation. That is where the similarities end.

On default settings, you start with a bit of iron, a burner drill, a stone furnace, a gun, and some magazines. The first thing you can, and should do, is build a pickaxe. If you pull up your map you will be able to see resources available that are nearby. The map will only show a starting section and will expand if you go out and explore or build radars (more on radars later!). The most common things are Water, Coal, Iron, Copper, and Stone. Those 5 things will normally spawn relatively near each other. Every new game will spawn differently. Normally, the first thing would be to find coal and iron. You need coal to run the drill and the furnace. You can mine with the pickaxe but it is quite slow. Each resource block has a set number of that resource that can be mined. This is where the resource-management and process-automation start. You set the drill down and start mining iron. You can then get coal manually until you have enough to run the current drill for it to give you enough iron to build another burner drill. You can also build belts, arms, and chests to help automate the mining of resources. But keep in mind that you have to watch your pollution and known enemy areas. The enemies are not fond of pollution and will attempt to destroy it. Just keep mining Iron to build turrets and automate your defense system.

That’s just about the first 10 minutes. Once you have a solid grasp of the mining process and enough iron, you can go find a body of water and lay down some pumps, pipes, boilers, and steam engines in order to get Electricity. The boilers need a constant supply of coal to create steam for the steam engines. The next thing to find is copper and stone. Stone is used in furnaces and for laying down paths that increase your movement speed. Once you have all that going, your automation capabilities will expand. You can use electricity to run machines that are more efficient BUT you have to balance your Steam Engines’ output with how many devices you are running. Once you have copper and iron resources, you can build a Lab and special potions for it. This will allow you to run Research into better methods and new capabilities. Doing Research takes a certain amount of time and a certain amount of different types of potions. Research will give you the ability to create logistics devices that will build things for you, better arms that work faster or filter what it grabs, circuits that use deduction to work, logistic networks that use automated robots, oil pumps and refineries to build plastic, fuel, and lubrication for devices such as engines, improvement modules, and trains, and build nuclear items and so much more! So with research you now have to find oil fields and uranium deposits. So much to do!!!!

The sub-goal is to build an automated system that will do as much for you as possible. The whole time you do that you will also be thinking about ways to improve your process or troubleshoot why systems are not working like they are supposed to.

The idea is so simple yet so complex and flexible that every game will be a different experience. Playing alone is amazing and solving all the issues is a great way to exercise your brain. Add a second, third, fourth, or 255th person and now you have to coordinate a team to reach the end goal. My only gripe is that getting Multiplayer to work without a server was a mission in itself but once working, it never fails. FYI, use the Evolve system to get it working if you are not on a LAN.

Overall, the game is a fantastic buy for all types of gamers. Updates are constantly being pushed and improvements are being added all the time. To top it off, this isn’t even the final build of the game. It is still in Early Access and when i started it was already in version 0.16. It is currently on 0.16.44 and it has definitely been worth a measly $30 compared to the amount of entertainment and hours I’ve already invested in it.

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