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:
Overall:
Mixed (557 reviews) - 47% of the 557 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.

13 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
Overall:
Mixed (557 reviews)
Recently Posted
Doggfather Oli
17.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 5
Even after so many years out it is still full of bugs and unplayable. Has so much potential though.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Electro-BLITZ
0.2 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 2
At this point, no im not able to recommend this game.
After a long while, allot still need to be fixed, the devs still add stuff to the game, but they lack at actually fixing issues.
At my screen the game would cost €20.- In my opinion this is way to expensive, the game crashes allot, the A.I fails quite some time resulting in ether getting stuck or causing game breaking moments in your save.

Frequent patches, updates, and changelogs together with a roadmap from the devs are also still lacking.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wisq
8.5 hrs
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
Early Access Review
Posted: July 20
While not fully set, it is regularly updating.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ICE
8.3 hrs
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
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❋
4.2 hrs
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
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
31.3 hrs
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
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
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 2
At this point, no im not able to recommend this game.
After a long while, allot still need to be fixed, the devs still add stuff to the game, but they lack at actually fixing issues.
At my screen the game would cost €20.- In my opinion this is way to expensive, the game crashes allot, the A.I fails quite some time resulting in ether getting stuck or causing game breaking moments in your save.

Frequent patches, updates, and changelogs together with a roadmap from the devs are also still lacking.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
154 of 190 people (81%) 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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185 of 245 people (76%) 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.

Summer 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.

Summer 2016 Update: Still pretty unstable. They finally made time to fix a few bugs.
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175 of 235 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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128 of 166 people (77%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
8.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 28, 2014
Maia shows promise, although in the way of being so little more than a bare-bones engine, that anything is possible in the end. It could be that (judging by the progress speed that makes continental drift seem fast) in half a decade it will evolve into the most amazing colony sim ever. Or not. Who knows?

But at the moment, it's NOT a good use of your money. As was said, it pushes the limit of what is acceptable to release as "early access". It's just a bare-bones graphics engine, with some minimal and BROKEN animations, a non-functional AI, and no save and reload either, so your progress WILL be lost each time you exit.

And by "non-functional AI" I don't mean "might not prioritize right", but as in "doesn't even work, or not for long." Colonist AI routinely craps itself and either stops building anything any more (lucky version) or you just get a colonist going catatonic in the airlock and never moving any more (more usual version.) And when you do get it to work for half an hour, it will prioritize the hilariously wrong thing, like everyone keeping repairing the doors instead of building the air purifier.

Now that might be palatable (not really) in a game where you can direct them around, like in The Sims, and the AI only keeps them alive in between. But here you can't direct them, and the WHOLE premise is that they do their own thing, a broken AI just means a broken game.

Etc.

Really, it has no excuse to be released at this early and dysfunctional stage. It may eventually be worth playing. Save your money for then.

Update for 0.44:

Upon starting the game, I proceeded to place the workshop and dig a small tunnel to one side, and a 4x4 tile hole there. Partially because you NEED minerals, and partially because I needed somewhere to place the hydroponics bay. I must stress that I wasn't digging some grand ballroom hall, and I was mindful that it has plenty of all rock walls on all sides, because I did read the update notes about earthquakes. When that was about half-way dug, the ceiling promptly collapsed, squashing the only digger robot and two of four colonists, who were there to take minerals.

So basically, instead of fixing the existing problems, it just added a random "*BANG* you're dead!" event, the hallmark of incompetent game design. Yippee.

Well, regardless of how you personally feel about that kind of events, to my mind it just further illustrated the point of why shouldn't you buy a game that's not even in alpha yet: you don't know what you're going to get for your money. The kind of gameplay elements that the final mix will have can just as well be what you like, or what you hate, and there's no way to know which it will be, as there doesn't even seem to be any plan.
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165 of 222 people (74%) 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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106 of 135 people (79%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 2, 2015
I just had a look at the 0.49 and regrettably I must say I wouldn't recommend this game. I bought it around 0.47 because it looked so good on paper but here is why you actually shouldn't get it in my opinion, at least in its current state:

- the updates have been increasingly rare
- the updates that it does get add new functionality that seems random while it doesn't improve the (lack of ) core game play
- there is no sense in the game of what you are supposed to be doing - e.g. how much material / food / colonists in total you have. They just added reports on power which is great, but every game like this has an overview window that shows you your resources so that you know what you need to be getting next. That, to me, seems more important than adding weapons, for instance.
- there is no sense of why accidents happen - e.g. all my atmosphere generators exploded all at once - I have no idea why! And the colonists don't seem to care, they just walk around. You would expect major panic if something like this happened in the real life (the game is supposed to be a simulation, right?)

Before you all start accusing me of not knowing what alpha is - I know very well. I'm a dev myself.

In my opinion, the devs here should stop adding more functionality that create more breadth and isntead focus on improving the gamer's experience to create depth. Make a game out of this. Because at the moment, it seems like bunch of functionality stitched together. Give us a reason to play! Experimenting with new features is great, but wears off after you've built everything. The game is not interesting after that. Give us a sense of what we are doing and why we are doing it!
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727 of 1,088 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: December 4, 2013
If you like Sci fi Sandboxer games, this might be for you.
There are some design kinks that need to get worked out tho, and of course it still requires some content. But for all its worth i give it my approval.
Simon, the developer really cares for what his players think about the game and you should totally join their forums as well, to give feedback and get yourself into the process of making this one awesome Sci Fi Game.

Original Text:
Yeah no more early access games for me.
I really love to support Indie game developers (and i did by buying this i guess) But to be fair and honest: This is not even Alpha. This is barely a short demo tops. No menus, no full screen, the game starts right away (by the way those darn messages are WAY too friggin fast!) So in the best interest for this game, which really seems to have potential. Let's wait for late beta i'd say. Do not let your opinion form just right now. By getting this now, you'll probably walk away from it, saying "what rubbish did i got again?" (like me). There is just so much missing that would make it an Alpha right now. I really like to see this evolving. But for now my thump remains down. If the game progresses in an acceptable manner i might rewrite this here and lift the thump.
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100 of 133 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
9.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: November 28, 2014
I love the idea of this game... it also looks really great. The weather effects are awesome. That being said, I have purchase several games in alpha and beta stages. I have been in invite-only beta tests also. I know what to expect and what not to expect from games in early stages, and this one is terrible. The developer clearly has little idea of what he's doing from a procedural point of view. In the time i've owned this game here's what's happened: several patches have been released, but the big problems haven't been resolved... neat new little content has been added, but with the game unplayable it makes little difference. This game is sure to disappoint over and over again. I waited so long to write this review because I wanted to see if some progress would be made, but it hasn't. The worst part of it is that the developer has had to go off steam (on kickstarter) to continue to raise money. Please save yourself the headache of downloading this game. If you do try to play, here are a few tips.
1) Save often. F5 saves and F9 loads... the icons at the top right also save and load, i'll let you try to figure out which is which
2) The AI is always getting stuck in stupid loops or just shutting down. This happens every few minutes like clockwork... you must save, exit the game, and restart it to continue playing.
3) Things don't update like they should... if you mine ore but can't figure out why it isn't being moved to storage... it's probably AI to blame again... another reload should help.
4) Sometimes things stop working inexplicably, If the airlock breaks and cannot be repaired, you must start a new game. some things can be repaired though, so who knows.
5) Always place two doors on rooms... if the door breaks and needs repair, but your people are inside of the room, and the guys outside the room are too tired to do it and the door that's broken leads to the sleeping area... they might decide not to repair it and instead die from lack of sleep... leaving the others trapped inside to starve
6) Just get in the habit of restarting the game every few minutes
7) Don't bother with research, it causes bugs which basically cause the game to crash beyond a certain point... meaning you'll never get past that point without starting yet another new game.
8) Use windows 7 or vista, and make sure you have the latest drivers for your graphics card (and by that I mean have a graphics card that uses newer drivers) The dev doesn't like helping with bugfixing if your computer doesn't use the latest drivers, despite the fact that some older cards (like the ones in my windows 7 machine) have old drivers (even if they are the "most up to date" they are still like 2 years old) and that still others (like on my windows 8 acer machine) require the use of special drivers provided by the OEM which may not be the "latest and greatest".
9) Don't expect too much, this way you won't be disappointed.

Edit: still... don't buy this game. It's on sale, but seriously... you wouldn't play it more than 30 minutes, even if it were free.

UPDATE: 21 May 2015... I'm not sure how it's even possible, but the game is even worse now than it was before.
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54 of 69 people (78%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 24, 2015
Hard to vote this down -- the concept is great, and the team is clever, and dedicated to the project.

One day, this will be an awesome game, but right now -- even as an Alpha -- I honestly feel Maia is too rough, and too early in its development cycle, to appeal to anyone beyond those who are fully committed to the testing and review of something in the earliest of prototypical stages.

Another way to put it? I regret spending money on Maia in its current state -- but I expect I'll be glad of the purchase later on in the Alpha development life cycle.

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