If you’ve ever wanted to harness the power of industrialization, Factorio Definitely the game for you. Trapped in a strange alien world, you must find a way to survive and escape from this place using the vestiges of technology left by the first people here, as well as the creations of yourself. This is a factory simulation with a sci-fi aesthetic and just a bit of exploration mixed in. What started out as simple builds turned into one of the most engaging management simulations we’ve played.
It’s been over two years since Factorio first landed on PC, and the Switch version offers a very similar experience to the original. There are lots of different machines to craft, outputs to look at, and there’s always the danger of deadly aliens to keep you on your toes. It’s one of the best balanced behaviors we’ve come across in the management sim genre, although there are some issues around how the port plays on Nintendo’s console.
For instance, sometimes the dialogue is obscured by the pointer’s instructions on the left side of the screen, which causes us to miss important information about our next target. The problem is less common in Docked mode due to the larger screen, but Handheld mode caused us some disappointment. Another problem with this console port was the difficulty of selecting a single item during our sometimes chaotic factory setup. The joystick does not provide the precision of the keyboard and mouse. Touchscreens are supported, although we found it to be rather imprecise outside of the menus, perhaps partly due to our suboptimal layout. Despite that, we sometimes have difficulty identifying specific items.
Other issues, such as the initial title screen taking surprisingly long to load, are less frequent and don’t get in the way of a very solid and engaging game. Factorio’s open-world nature means you’ll spend most of your time finding the perfect factory layout. Having a goal in mind, which can be as simple as building a defensive perimeter to creating a rocket ship to allow you to escape the planet, is key to moving forward. However, even the best laid out systems will need to be upgraded as new technology becomes available, so you’ll be constantly changing and replacing outdated systems as you go on.
There’s some really wild tech available for players to research and build on in Factorio. From simple carousels to mobile death robots, everything has a purpose. Most of the items are to protect your industrialized area or to speed up production of the parts you need to complete research and materials packages. As you increase your production rate, your factory will create increasing amounts of pollution, which will cause local wildlife to evolve faster into something better that could kill you. It quickly becomes a race against time, trying to master your industry fast enough to escape the planet without being wiped out by the increasingly powerful and aggressive monsters on your doorstep. .
The Freeplay mode in Factorio simply puts you on a large, randomly generated map with a limited supply. You have to start building your new home from scratch, generating electricity and materials while keeping yourself safe. We’ve found that making sure you can defend yourself, with plenty of ammo for turrets and guns, is the best course of action, but there’s no real way to progress in the game and it will take you a few minutes. ten hours to complete a gameplay.
If Freeplay feels a bit overwhelming or purposeless for you, then you can try some of the challenges the game offers. These missions range from timed missions with a limited amount of space available to build to to races with other players to build their first rocket. Some of these look like extended tutorials but for players who have invested dozens of hours in the game, they can be a fun way to incorporate the usual recipe.
The multiplayer section in Factorio allows you to join your friends’ games they’re playing, or invite random players to their own games, although we did have some problems getting multiplayer play works during the time we used it before launch. We were frequently disconnected from the server when participating in public games, but when we found an online game that was stable enough to join, we were happy to keep up with their progress. The fact that there is cross-play with PC users means that some of these players’ games have gone through hundreds of hours, with elaborate systems set up to help them escape the world. The cooperative focus of multiplayer means everyone is working towards the same goal, passing notes back and forth via text chat and giving tips on how to design a common factory.
It is easy to see how much time and effort people have invested here. The tutorial alone took at least five hours to play through. Holding your hand doesn’t do much, just gives you a vague direction to proceed to the next stage. We died a few times in the game’s tutorials simply because we invested resources in harvesting the wrong materials early and ran out of ammo for our weapons at a critical juncture.
The music and images here are quite simple but effective. Sometimes, the music will be cut off completely and you are left with the background noise of the factory to maintain your company, which is surprisingly calming. As simple as the picture, you will feel very satisfied when you watch your defenses open fire against the approach of alien attackers or witness a swarm of hoverbots delivering products from end to end. the other end of your territory.
Despite some minor issues with the layout on the Switch, Factorio still does what it set out to do in this port. It’s a fun, deeply complex game with dozens of hours of playtime before you start tackling challenging maps or multiplayer. If you want a more hands-on management sim than most and will give you almost endless content, this is one of the best apps out there.
Like the gears in the engine, everything in Factorio has a purpose. There are very few extra features here but what is included in this factory management sim does its job superbly. While there are some issues with the Switch port layout and controls, these are minor issues in an otherwise excellent game that will have you obsessing over the best possible layout for your factory or want to keep playing to see what the next research tree will unlock.