Countless games are released on Steam every year, and often times the more high-profile ones receive just as many reviews. Now that 2018 has come to a close, Steam ranking sites Steam 250 and SteamDB have crowned the top user-rated game of the year, RimWorld. The news was announced through Twitter via Tynan Sylvester, the lead designer for the game. With an impressive 36,780 votes and an 8.66 overall score, RimWorld managed to beat out other award-winning powerhouses such as Celeste, Dead Cells, and Return of the Obra Dinn.
RimWorld is the #1 top player-reviewed game on Steam for 2018! From all categories.
Thanks so much to all those who took the time write a review, and to the whole community. I hope to keep serving you well.
— Tynan Sylvester (@TynanSylvester) December 31, 2018
RimWorld was a project with a rather long development life, from a successful Kickstarter campaign and early access in November of 2013, all the way to the full game releasing this past October. For those unfamiliar with the title, the game is a 2D, top-down sci-fi colony simulation, with focus on construction and management. Similar to the infamously difficult Dwarf Fortress, RimWorld puts players in charge of a group of colonists that each have individual personalities, attributes, backstory, and conditions, among other traits. In fact, almost every part of their bodies can be damaged as well, making gameplay management both refreshing and unique, with high replay value.
One of the most unique aspects of the colony simulation lies in its AI storyteller mechanic. In-game events are generated automatically via the AI, so playthroughs are more than likely going to be different each time. This form of injecting randomness into preconceived patterns ultimately leads to addicting gameplay and refreshing storylines that players can enjoy again and again.
With incredible detail, unique game mechanics, and great value for what they pay for, it’s clear why RimWorld has become a fan favorite amongst Steam users. Also interesting to note is that the list is primarily front-loaded with indie games, with the first real AAA studio title being Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy at #32. The strongest AAA titles year to year have traditionally been console exclusives, but to see multiplatform big-budget games do so poorly in ratings on Steam does raise some questions about the state of ports and the quality of said titles.
Ludeon Studios’ RimWorld is available on the Steam store for Windows PC, Mac, and Linux.