Maia is a colony building game set in the not-so-distant future. Your colonists make planetfall on a hostile world and you must ensure their survival and their safety, constructing their off-world habitat from almost nothing and sheltering them from a dangerous, often deadly environment.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (12 reviews) - 50% of the 12 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mixed (555 reviews) - 47% of the 555 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 3, 2013

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Hi! Thanks for checking out our early access release of Maia. Alpha access gives us the unique opportunity to work with the community and craft the game together. Maia is a game with unprecedented complexity, and developing features directly with our players allows us to refine these intricate game systems to create a world that really feels alive.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We want to keep development hurtling forwards at a steady rate and plan to release update builds once a month as the game progresses. (You'll often see smaller updates go out sooner as we push out important fixes as soon as we have tested them.)

We just released 0.55! After that we will be releasing the campaign, extra single player maps and full modding tools over the coming months, whilst refining the game and adding greater depth to the content.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We plan for the full version of the game will have a complete single player campaign as well as the current sandbox mode. The campaign will last between 10-18 hours, depending on the player, but we expect the sandbox mode and additional single player maps (and of course mods) to give the player potentially endless replayability.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The game is still very deep in development, so many things might be broken. Sometimes in a rather amusing manner, sometimes... less so. The current sandbox build (0.55) has the core game play of colony building, colonist interaction and base simulation, the best is still to come.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We have priced the game at a reasonable price to avoid people impulse buying the game in it's early state. Once the campaign is in, and the community feels that we have hit the right level of quality, we will be raising the price by around 10% to reflect it.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We try to read every forum post and email sent to us and work hard to consider and incorporate peoples feedback into the game.

You can follow updates and give us feedback on the game via Twitter on @Maia and on forums.maiagame.com. IRC users can join us on #maiagame on Quakenet. If you want to talk directly to me, the developer, I am @Simoroth on Twitter!”
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Recent updates View all (19)

July 12

Update 0.57 - Theme: Hospital

This large update heightens the detail and complexity of the game's human body simulation with a series of conditions and diseases, which must be diagnosed and treated. It also features a new emergency air system, body storage unit, dozens of fixes and much more...

Here's Simon playing the latest build:

https://youtu.be/12V4me3FVUo

Medical Update
Colonists can now get a exciting variety of diseases, mental illnesses and conditions!


Colonists develop medical issues from hundreds of factors in the simulation. They may show their illness through action or cryptically through an email. In order to properly diagnose them however, a medical scanner or a skilled doctor is required.



Once a colonist is diagnosed they will require treatment. The diagnosed colonist can receive prescribed medicine from the new dispenser unit and rest and recuperate on a 'meat trolley' until fully healed. Researching the local ecology can provide new technologies and medicines to speed up treatments.



Possible Health Issues

Compound Fractures
Colonists caught in earthquakes, cave ins and explosions may develop fractured limbs, which cause them to walk with a limp until cured. This puts a serious crimp on the colony’s interpretative dance sessions.

Depression
High amounts of stress and poor social activity can lead to colonists becoming depressed and lacking in energy. Antidepressants and a change in environment can help perk them up.

High Blood Pressure
High stress and frustration can lead to blood pressure issues. This is best treated with ACE inhibitors, soothing lighting and avoiding any discussion of the current political situation.

Vitamin Deficiency
If your colonists diet is not well balanced they can develop fatigue, dizziness and tingling in the hands and feet. Perhaps consider growing something other than just potatoes.

Muscle Fatigue
Although character building, too much hard manual labour can lead to colonists developing muscle fatigue, hampering their ability to help around the base. Building repair robots can help alleviate the strain on these fragile fleshy meatbags.

Gastric Distress
Eating raw food can cause severe gastric distress. This can cause serious fatigue and dehydration issues for your colonists. Watch out for them using the bathroom too much, they probably need treatment. You would too if you ate a whole chicken raw.

Renal Failure
One of two conditions that can potentially outright kill your colonists, Renal Failure is caused by a contaminated water supply or sustained untreated Vitamin Deficiency. None of Maia’s colonists are registered organ donors, so this is best treated early.

Irradiation
The other deadly condition, poor reactor maintenance or getting caught in cosmic rays can prove fatal to colonists. There is no chance of irradiated colonists developing superpowers, please stop trying to make this happen.

Body Storage Unit


Several colonists have complained about having to keep bodybags next to their rations in the storage room. The body storage unit holds onto the corpses a little more hygienically and without harming the sanity of your team.

Colonists Keep Warm
Colonists now gather around objects that produce heat to try and warm themselves up and stave off hypothermia.

Emergency Air System
This new system gradually generates a store of oxygen and nitrogen. In the event of a sudden loss of atmosphere the mixture can be immediately released, providing a short burst of breathable air and offering colonists time for an orderly evacuation or a short retrospective on the life choices that lead them to this moment.



Colonists Emails
Colonists now voice their opinion on your food supplies, with a wide range of emails ranging from “yum, enough for seconds” to “oh god we’re going to die”. Colonists with skills relating to food production can give better estimates.




Change log:
  • Colonists can now get off the bed on the opposite side to how they got on.
  • The colony manifest has been updated to include more information on food and rations.
  • Hydroponic plant growers now give estimates on the amount of food energy in the growing plants, to help players plan their production.
  • Earthquakes can now damage items so much they catch fire.
  • The room menu now uses the new GUI added for object placement in 0.56.
  • Colonists using the toilet is now properly simulated. Previously they used it whenever they didn’t have anything better to do.
  • Several new Infotips added and many spelling mistakes fixed.
  • Colonist water intake rebalanced and better simulated. They will use more water now.
  • Added console commands for causing a solar flare.
  • Object spawning limiters fixed. No more infinite jungles and deadly chicken explosions.
  • Avian feeder action fixed. Previously colonists were running around it in circles.
  • Fix for objects advertising needs with no actions available, wasting colonists' time by tricking them with something that was not really on offer.
  • Colonist inventory size for food is now limited. Pushing them to share what they have taken instead of starving their team to death.
  • Colonists no longer starve to death because they'd rather complain about being too hungry to eat because it was easier to complain and die.
  • Fatigue rebalanced, better linked to colonists activity. Bed usage more consistent.
  • Several interaction points modified on problematic objects.
  • Colonists take much more kJ from ration packs.
  • Ration packs kJ increased.
  • Path finding fixes.
  • Repetitive object usuage fixed. Specifically with ration packs and food stations.
  • Missions rebalanced to reflect new food usage.
  • Deprioritised food production when it’s not needed.
  • Second tier research is now prioritised a little higher.
  • Reduction for bored colonist eating, hunger better simulated.
  • Added the ability for colonists to request several more objects and rooms in their emails.
  • Many new sounds added and some older ones tweaked.

Update 0.58 is fast approaching. For this we’ll be focusing on the campaign and even more bug fixing. To see live development head over to https://dev.maiagame.com/.

We hope you enjoy this update, please let us know what you think over on the Maia forums or on Twitter.

9 comments Read more

June 9

Update 0.56: The Fixer

This updates focuses on deepening the gameplay experience with improvements to many core mechanics and user interface. We've worked using your feedback to fix all the small issues and to make the game much more accessible, engaging and fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiNDgdrLfn4

Smart Stockpiling

Colonists can now stockpile building materials on the shelves in the storage room. Allowing you to manually build up reserves for future expansion and also keep your base neat and tidy.

Food Preparation Station

No longer will colonists have to crouch on the storage room floor to consume their necessary nutrients. The preparation station allows hungry colonists to get their meals ready in a better, more sanitary environment. It also allows for fast automated processing and stockpiling of crops and meat, allowing for larger more efficient bases.

UI Changes

A new object cycler has been added to improve the object placement interface. Allowing you to quickly select the items you want to build. Interaction points on nearby items will also fade in and out to better illustrate the most efficient ways to place items in crowded rooms.

Email and notification information has been added as well as several new notification and GUI sounds.
Text will appear at the top of the screen to let you know what type of message is being received.Many new mouse over infotips have been added and several older ones improved for clarity and humour.



Change list:
  • Greater email complexity and feedback from colonists regarding rooms and base equipment.
  • Colonists can no longer gorge themselves repeatedly at the ration packs.
  • Object destruction needs balanced to take into account more than building materials.
  • Fossils are now taken to storage and are now destroyable by colonists.
  • The Spathiphyllum plant can now be found in the game. They have also been balanced for atmosphere generation and aesthetic properties.
  • Landers and Microwave towers can now be removed as intended.
  • Objects have improved visuals when being placed and cycled through.
  • Pausing the game now stops the countdown timer.
  • Megacephalalgia now stay dead.
  • Several IMP pathfinding issues fixed.
  • Interaction points interference detection improved.
  • Many game and UI sounds tweaked and improved.
  • Broccoli deletion crash fix.
  • Several instability issues have been solved.
  • Starting materials fix.
  • Black Screen crash fixed for a few cases.
  • Entity name changes.
  • Spalling and, grammar chunges.
  • Fix for several mouse over issues.
  • Object destruction issues fixed. If an object is destroyed it’s parent object is too.
  • Parent objects now get marked for destruction by their children.
  • Fix for multipart objects not having shadows.
  • Fix for offset in pathfinding room physics mesh intersections, this should fix many bugs including walking through door frames.
  • Fix for "base" being said instead of the correct room in announcements.
  • Fix for inaccuracy in wall readouts in small rooms.
  • Wall heater tweaks, build priority now better linked to the temperature at the position of the heater.
  • Gameworld cleanup improved on loading.
  • Removed redundant shaders and optimised loading
  • Several Memory issues fixed.
  • Memory buffer fixes.
  • Support for variable refresh rates for Gsync and Freesync monitors.
  • Code base modernisation to C++11 and C++14 standards.
We're looking forward to update 0.57 which we're already working on.The update will focus on sicknesses, diagnosis, treatment and first aid. To see live development head over to dev.maiagame.com.

We hope you enjoy this update, please let us know what you think over on the Maia forums or on Twitter @Maia.

6 comments Read more
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About This Game

About This Game


Maia is a strange and hostile alien world, toxic to humans, yet lush with new life. Your mission is to colonise this poison eden, survive it's dangers and establish humanity's first foothold in the stars. Created by independent developer Simon Roth, Maia is a space colony simulation game about surviving and thriving on another world.

Build your Base


Burrow into Maia's mineral rich crust to build and manage a complex base that fulfills your colonist's needs. They'll need somewhere to sleep, somewhere to build and a steady supply of food, water and energy.

An Enormous Procedurally-Generated World


Twelve light years from earth, the planet 3452C[Maia] circles Tau Ceti. Its atmosphere is toxic, its surface is ravaged by solar flares and meteor blasts and its unstable crust is constantly shifted by earthquakes. Nevertheless, it is theoretically habitable. Explore Maia through a series of vast procedurally generated mission areas, each one up to 2km by 2km in size.

Challenge Yourself


In addition to the sandbox mode players can take on four specific missions, with more to come in updates. Deal with an influx of refugees from a stricken space station in Cassiopeia, survive the perpetual night of arctic winter in The Twilight Zone, study Maia's local ecosystem in SN1572 and begin to terraform the planet in the shadow of an active volcano in Stratospheric Sulphates.

Research and Learn from the Planet to Survive


Maia is a hard science fiction game based on real or extrapolated technology. Some of the colonist's tools have been brought with them, but others must be fabricated from what they can find. Once your base is up and running colonists can begin to study the native environment researching new ways to use the flora and fauna of Maia to their advantage.

Dangerous Atmosphere


Maia's atmosphere is toxic to humans, so to keep safe you'll need carefully manage the atmosphere around your base with well placed airlocks, atmosphere generators, heaters and air vents. Air flow and heat circulation are realistically simulated, emulating the deadly challenge of surviving on an alien world.

Advanced Colonists AI


In Maia you don't have direct control of your colonists, they operate on their own initiative, fulfilling their wants and needs. You'll need to take care of both their bodies and minds if you want any of them to survive.

An Army of Robots


Colonising an alien world isn't something humanity can do alone, instead they've created robotic helpers to do the jobs they don't want to. The I.M.P. robot digs through Maia's crust and collects useful minerals, while the Utility Repair Robot takes care of all that routine maintenance humans can't be bothered with.

First Person Mode


Experience Maia through the eyes of your pet robots. Assume direct control and explore your base in first person, directly interacting with it by performing your robotic tasks. Become part of the world you've built.

Genetically Engineered Super Chickens


To survive, your colonists will need to create and manage new sources of food, thus the people of Earth designed the genetically engineered super chicken, the Uberhuhn. With enough time and diligent research you can even begin to collect and herd the native wildlife of Maia. Unfortunately most of it tastes terrible.

Custom Engine


Maia runs on a custom game engine made by independant developer Simon Roth. It is used exclusively in Maia and is purpose built specifically to support this game.

Immersive Soundtrack

Maia's immersive sci-fi soundtrack adapts and responds to in game events, ensuring it always reflects the mood of the game.

The Inspiration

Maia was inspired by games such as Dungeon Keeper, Theme Hospital and The Sims. It mixes strategy, management and construction with dark gallows humour about the many dangers of an alien world. Maia also draws from the retro future style of 1970s sci-fi.

To Come

  • A full story driven campaign, several hours long.
  • More rooms, and new base management systems.
  • Multiple bases.
  • More indigenous life forms and a functioning food chain.
  • Somewhat sassy computers.
  • Realistic water and lava simulation.
  • Cats with bee suits.

Get Involved


One of the great things about early access is being able to have players follow along with the game’s creation. This immediate feedback is extremely valuable to the games development. You can see our updates and give us feedback on the game via Twitter or our Development Blog. If you need some help with getting started in the game, you can check out our guides, head over to the official wiki or sign up to the forum.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Intel Core i3-3250 or AMD 6350
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 260 or ATI 5770 - or equivilent with 1GB VRAM
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel i5-3570K or AMD FX 8350
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 470 or ATI 5870 - or equivilent with 2GB VRAM
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mavericks
    • Processor: Intel i5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon HD 6750M
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mavericks
    • Processor: Intel i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia 650M
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: 64 bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i3-3250 or AMD 6350
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 260 or ATI 5770 - or equivilent with 1GB VRAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 3.2 support is required.
    Recommended:
    • OS: 64 bit
    • Processor: Intel i5-3570K or AMD FX 8350
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 470 or ATI 5870 - or equivilent with 2GB VRAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 3.2 support is required.
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (12 reviews)
Overall:
Mixed (555 reviews)
Recently Posted
Wisq
( 8.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 25
Unless you really like frustration and lack of information as to why things aren't working, I'd steer clear of this for now.

Maia's concept basically takes Dwarf Fortress and puts it into space, on another planet. That's both a good and a bad thing.

Like DF, you decide what needs to get done, and the colonists go off and do that on their own, with no direct control. Unlike DF, if a colonist is unable to do something, you don't actually get any sort of message as to why — it just doesn't get done.

Like DF, it's being built by a solo developer, who is focusing way more on adding new features than on fixing bugs, even old or important ones. Unlike DF, those bugs aren't things like "military training isn't working" — they're game-breaking things like "none of my colonists will go outside to make a wind turbine to generate power for the atmosphere generators, so they all die due to lack of oxygen".

Even once you get through the first few steps and get a real colony going, it's only a matter of time before colonists just up and decide they can't do some critical thing and they'd all prefer to die, and you don't get any indication why.

My suggestion to the developer would be: Even if it's not part of your vision on how the final game will look — for now, give us some debugging tools! Even if they're off by default, we need some way to show us what our colonists are up to, what tasks need doing, why they aren't being done, how priorities work, etc. For one, it's just too frustrating to play without those right now; and two, they would enable us to give you actually helpful bug reports, instead of just vague statements like "nobody would go outside so they all died".

Sadly, my experience playing Maia for several hours today was basically the same as my experience back in 2014. A ton of stuff has been added, but the game feels exactly as inscrutable and unplayable now as it did back then. I love the concept, I hope it becomes a great game someday, and I appreciate the difficulties a solo developer faces on a project of this size, but I can't base a review on hope and speculation.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
blasterknight
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 20
While not fully set, it is regularly updating.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Apollo
( 8.3 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 14
I like the concept of this game, survival at some remote outpost trying to get by with as litle as possible.
However, the game has some issues to work out when it comes to start, placement, construction and pace.

Start:
It seems they have already managed to build a base, out of nothing. Rooms cost nothing to build and take a split second.
material is magically turned into portable solar panels,.

Placement:
Sometimes I cannot remove room blocks, they light up but when I try to cancel them they won't go away. New game...


Construction:
Seems they like to construct solar panels more than they like to construct the windmills, the flare happens nearly immidiatly at random game and they all die because of power problems even though I have instructed them to build windmills and there is sufficient material left.

Pace:
Time feel its a litle bit fast, when I have made up my mind of where I want everything and instructed to robot to make room for base they have already died in some way, either lack of air or freezing to death.




Helpful? Yes No Funny
FlexibleDogma
( 19.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 13
I've owned the game since 2013, I think the premise is a good one. But the developer keeps adding new things and the basics still don't work. I check it out for a bit after each patch, and it still has some of the same problems it's had since I bought it. Maybe in a few years it'll be fun, but it isn't now.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
❋Guildam❋
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 12
One thing is for a game to be in Alpha or Beta state and whatever comes before those states it should be nicknamed Maia....
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Orr
( 12.4 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 12
I'm very positive that even though the full release is taking quite some time, that you won't have to worry about him pulling a Peter Molyneux on us.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jorczyk
( 31.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 12
The basic gameplay mechanics need to be reworked. I have a room full of chickens and another full of hydroponics, yet the idiot colonists starve to death instead of either loading food into the food preparation station or producing any of the ordered ration packs. Very disheartening to play for a few hours only to be ruined by AI stupidity.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cute LazorKitten
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 9
This Game is not finished. It will take time. It is one guy working on it. When i bought this a long time before it was on steam i knew it was going to take a long time until it is finished. But i don't mind. (not like a lot of other ea games that i wasted money on) This game, i am sure of it, will be finished one day. And it will be great! The Dev is very commited and every update improves the game more and more. I enjoy coming back to it.
people complain about the lack of content and bug and that it takes too long ... again it is ONE guy and it's a bloody alpha ... so don't buy if u want a finished product ... but buy if u like to support a commited dev and an awesome game, that u can enjoy somewhere in the future!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PlateTerminator, The Shadow#363
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 6
As long as the devs keep updating it frequently, you can't really not reccomend the game, though I do have an issue, here's how my most recent run went.

>Get space heaters and ♥♥♥♥, charge, etc
>Nobody is making food.exe
>why the...
>Plants not growing, light and space heater present
>This didn't happen before
>People run out of food before they run out of water
>Check food maker-thing, nobody is using it
>40% of the colonist population dies from starvation instantly
>ragequit.exe
>logic could not be found

Though the game has really stunning graphics, and is extremely fun.

So long as it works. I reccomend getting it on sale or waiting a little bit longer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
suppa
( 3.7 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 28
The sheer amount of bugs keep this game from being playable. Will revisit in the future but for now I have to shelf it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
31.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 12
The basic gameplay mechanics need to be reworked. I have a room full of chickens and another full of hydroponics, yet the idiot colonists starve to death instead of either loading food into the food preparation station or producing any of the ordered ration packs. Very disheartening to play for a few hours only to be ruined by AI stupidity.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 6
As long as the devs keep updating it frequently, you can't really not reccomend the game, though I do have an issue, here's how my most recent run went.

>Get space heaters and ♥♥♥♥, charge, etc
>Nobody is making food.exe
>why the...
>Plants not growing, light and space heater present
>This didn't happen before
>People run out of food before they run out of water
>Check food maker-thing, nobody is using it
>40% of the colonist population dies from starvation instantly
>ragequit.exe
>logic could not be found

Though the game has really stunning graphics, and is extremely fun.

So long as it works. I reccomend getting it on sale or waiting a little bit longer.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
19.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 13
I've owned the game since 2013, I think the premise is a good one. But the developer keeps adding new things and the basics still don't work. I check it out for a bit after each patch, and it still has some of the same problems it's had since I bought it. Maybe in a few years it'll be fun, but it isn't now.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 28
The sheer amount of bugs keep this game from being playable. Will revisit in the future but for now I have to shelf it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 9
This Game is not finished. It will take time. It is one guy working on it. When i bought this a long time before it was on steam i knew it was going to take a long time until it is finished. But i don't mind. (not like a lot of other ea games that i wasted money on) This game, i am sure of it, will be finished one day. And it will be great! The Dev is very commited and every update improves the game more and more. I enjoy coming back to it.
people complain about the lack of content and bug and that it takes too long ... again it is ONE guy and it's a bloody alpha ... so don't buy if u want a finished product ... but buy if u like to support a commited dev and an awesome game, that u can enjoy somewhere in the future!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 14
I like the concept of this game, survival at some remote outpost trying to get by with as litle as possible.
However, the game has some issues to work out when it comes to start, placement, construction and pace.

Start:
It seems they have already managed to build a base, out of nothing. Rooms cost nothing to build and take a split second.
material is magically turned into portable solar panels,.

Placement:
Sometimes I cannot remove room blocks, they light up but when I try to cancel them they won't go away. New game...


Construction:
Seems they like to construct solar panels more than they like to construct the windmills, the flare happens nearly immidiatly at random game and they all die because of power problems even though I have instructed them to build windmills and there is sufficient material left.

Pace:
Time feel its a litle bit fast, when I have made up my mind of where I want everything and instructed to robot to make room for base they have already died in some way, either lack of air or freezing to death.




Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
147 of 183 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 5, 2015
Early access review of build 0.47. Ignore the steam playtime; I bought this outside of steam at 0.3x.

It's not often I write a negative review, especially of early access games - either it's too soon to tell, or the game is so bad that Jim Sterling will deal with it. Maia, though, I want to warn people off, for now.

Maia should not be in early access at this time, and it certainly should not have a ticket price of $25. This is an alpha stage game, with serious, fundamental flaws that need to be worked on before this can be an enjoyable beta experience.

Maia is a colony builder, like Spacebase DF9 or Rimworld. It takes the Towns approach of letting you set tasks and build spaces but not directly control the colonists. With good AI and balanced priorities this works well; without it, you get issues as with Towns. Maia is somewhere in between: the AI isn't very good, but there is so little going on in the gameworld that it's just about good enough, unless you do something weird.

Graphically I like Maia. It's got a 1980s styrofoam-and-foil aesthetic, with big-head robots and Space: 1999 jumpsuits. The graphics are very unpolished, but this game I think qualifies as alpha at this stage, so that will come.

The UI is just so bad. It is clunky, awkward to use, with unintuitive keybindings, an absence of necessary information in the overlay, no easy way to check what your colonists are doing, and an annoying over-sensitivity to screen scrolling when you're trying to get the obnoxious and imprecise mouse cursor over the icons. Drawing rooms is a chore, which is an issue when that is pretty much the only thing you can currently do in the game.

It's also very poorly optimised. Running on min settings, with a mid-range computer in excess of the recommended specs, I get memory crashes, terrible frame rate issues, and periodic freezing as the game tries to calculate something. I've spent a lot of time on forums trying to find ways to address these issues at my end, with no luck; I'm not the only person with this experience. A certain level of poor optimisation is to be expected with early access, but not to the degree where it derails your playing.

Development is okay. I feel like they should be further along than they are at this point. For over a half a million dollars in funding and a year and a half since the first playable build, it should be further along than this. I think Maia, Towns, DF9 et al illustrate one central truth about town-management games: they take time to develop. If you over-promise, you get DF9; if you rush and then run out of hype, you get Folk Tale; if you don't nail the AI, you get Towns. Dwarf Fortress didn't happen overnight; without having to worry about graphics or platform integration that game took years to get to anything like a quality gaming experience.

And that's principally why I am warning against Maia. For a well-funded game to be charging $25 for an early access build that isn't optimised, isn't visually polished, doesn't have basic features, lacks solid AI, and is without the diversity of content you need for a game in this genre, that's not a good investment. I accept that an early access game will be content-light, will have areas needing to be polished, but when a colony-manager after this much work still doesn't have basic UI, AI and optimisation sorted out, they are going to have no chance of adding more content without bringing the game crashing down.

I want this game to succeed, but they don't need more money, and you don't need the current experience of Maia. Give them until the end of the year, see where they're at then; they will either have fixed these issues by overhauling basically the core of the game, or it will have gone the way of Folk Tale. Either way you'll have your answer.
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182 of 242 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 6, 2013
Do not buy this. I regret Maia more than any other useless, unplayable purchase in the dark history of Early Access. Maia is absolutely beneath what's acceptable to release as an EA game. It does not even meet the minimum bar of quality for paid alphas.

As of this updated review, you're still paying for an extremely limited demo sandbox where you can place objects and watch animations happen. The setting can't decide whether it wants to be a realistic simulator (vital statistics on each colonist, food/water/atmosphere required for survival) or a complete joke (giant fuzzy extraterrestrial life).

User interface design is not good, and it's difficult to tell what each control does. The current main controls for Maia are a series of badly documented hotkeys. One of the only good new features: you can skip the tutorial now.

But if you take one thing away from this review: the bugs are show-stoppingly bad. I've experienced sudden framerate slowdowns on both Mac and PC, as well as crashes-to-desktop for no discernable reason. The colonist and robot AI will get stuck in walls or stand next to piles of rubble on no notice. There appears to be very little QA before each release, and minimal progress in fixing the crash bugs since I wrote my last review in 2013 December.

June 2015 Update: It still sucks. I'm not even going to sugar-coat this. It crashes and freezes even more than it did last year, and there's still no resource management or objectives to speak of. They literally just added more framerate-drop-inducing wildlife.

Maia isn't worth paying for and probably never will be. I used to think something good might come of it eventually, but after more than a year and a half I've lost all hope.
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165 of 219 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 4, 2013
Looks very promising early access game, plays very much like Prison Architect and Dungeon Keeper 2 combined. However, it is still very early early access. Even the most basic stuff worked only half the time, my colonists just disappeared for no reason, and after about 15 minutes, 3 of them got stuck in... well, nothing. If you are one of us suckers who can't resists another game that could be like Dwarf Fortress lite, go ahead and buy this game, but not yet. It's still in early alpha, and while it looks pretty, there's really no game yet.
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174 of 234 people (74%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 6, 2014
Don't get me wrong; this is a great game...

Or should I say, WILL be a great game.

As I've seen in many reviews, this game is full of potential, but it is really too early to do anything. There are nearly no features, and progress is slow although on its way.
The price is a well too steep considering how early it is in development.
There are plenty of great ideas, it is quite original, and I love sandbox games...
but so far I've faced no challenges/purpose to complete tasks (also there are no damned tasks).
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