Bite Sized Reviews: Trappist

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Bite Sized Reviews: Trappist

One downside to seeing many games released every day is attention. Some games get a ton of it, while many others lack the coverage they otherwise deserve. As my mother likes to say, I ‘only got one pair of hands’, so it is a challenge working out what games to prioritize.

It’s exciting digging through the underlooked hidden gems! We’re officially in summer here in the UK, which means humid weather and small brick houses. Excuse my British complaints about the weather! I’ve got a lot of reviews upcoming here on SG. While my work over at SteamDeckHQ takes priority, I love what I’m doing here. The Steam Summer Sale starts in a couple of weeks, so I’ll happily delve through my massive wishlist and see what I can pick up.

That brings me to Trappist, a colony sim that needs more attention. Trappist is quite the endearing little game, the work of solo developer Sirrah. The colony sim market is pretty competitive. Most of my recent reviews feature them in some shape, and it seems I’m not tired of them yet. That’s a good thing because Trappist packs serious quality in a tidy 15$ package. I’m not far into the story campaign yet, but I’ve played enough to get a feel of the mechanics and the gameplay loop. So far, I’m impressed!

Following the traditional evacuation of Earth after it becomes a wasteland, your happy little Ark full of colonists arrives in the Trappist-1 system, 40.7 light years away from the Sol system. Naturally, these colonists from Earth want to get their feet wet on new planets, and that is where you come in. There’s a lot of dialogue alongside interactive tutorials to learn the mechanics, and the lore in-game is surprisingly meaty for the genre. As someone interested in narrative, I enjoy checking out stories in my games, and Trappist combines the threat of interstellar travel with comfortable gameplay well.

At its heart, Trappist is a space colony simulator, and it throws a lot at the player to manage despite its humble design. Managing the Ark, surveying planets to locate good landing sites for colonies, bringing citizens down onto the planets and building settlements are all part of the gameplay loop. The colony management has all the basics. Buildings need power to sustain their production, while colonists need food and water to avoid dying horribly. It also helps building houses to keep them safe.

The usual colony sim gubbins are all here, and I appreciate how Sirrah approached the management systems. Buildings are put down instantly while resource production requires little micromanagement. Making sure your colonists survive can be tricky at first, especially early on when you’re relying on ferrying resources from the Ark to each colony, but things get easier. Trade logistics are automated once you have a couple of colonies going. It reminds me of the excellent Slipways in how they both minimize fuss, although this has a more organic city management design.

Honestly? Trappist does a lot of things well. The graphics, while simple, still look nice, especially the planets. It runs on very modest hardware without trouble, and it is relaxing to play while still offering enough challenge. The colony management doesn’t waste time, either, so it doesn’t feel like you’re spending ages micromanaging a thousand colonists’ needs instead of focusing on the gameplay. A recent patch also added controller support, and I’ve had fun testing it on the Steam Deck. The only irritating thing I found was that it was occasionally problematic when clicking on a planet colony, but that might be a problem with my keybindings rather than an issue with the game.

While Trappist is technically complete, it is still in active development with more in the pipeline. It might not be the longest, deepest, or most engaging colony sim out there, but the full package on offer is solid. With so many games released and in development, time is a resource that can’t be ignored. I’m more cautious now about what games I decide ‘this is for me right now’ while putting others into a backlog library if I’m not willing to engage with it for the moment. I’m happy to say that Trappist joins my ‘To finish’ list.

You can buy Trappist on Steam for $14.99. If you’re in the mood for a comfortable colony sim that’s still challenging with a good story, Trappist might just be what you are looking for.

Comfortable gameplay while still offering enough options and challenges to make it engagingMain story is not particularly long (but still fine. New Game Plus options add extra replayability)
The story is pretty solid!I sometimes have trouble with the controls
Despite its minimalist take on citybuilding, there’s more than enough meat in this sandwich
Great performance even on low hardware (and Steam Deck playable!)

About the Author

TheThousandScarAuthor/Blogger/Cartographer/Streamer/Narrative Game Writer/I play far too many games. |

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