We take the colony sim genre into the near future, onto a lush planet where humans are making their first foothold. Characters and alien wildlife are brought to life through a rigorous simulation, making the game a tug-of-war between humans and nature on an alien planet.
User reviews: Mixed (63 reviews) - 61% of the 63 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 26, 2014

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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?

“We launched the game on Early Access in March 2014 to help finance the game’s development and to involve players in the process. The time immediately after was spent on getting the core mechanics finished and stable, as well as developing better UI feedback to the player about what the simulation was doing. Basically improving usability and playability.

Now that we have this work mostly done, we focus on bringing many more interesting gameplay features in, and with the help of players we can make sure that the game realizes its full potential.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We will stay in Early Access until all of the fundamentals are in place and we feel that we have delivered a solid product. After that we will sell the game as completed - however, we hope to continue improving and expanding the game long after it's been released from Early Access.”

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

“The full version will be a well rounded game offering even deeper gameplay and replayability. The scenarios will be more finely tuned to provide a suitable challenge at any selected difficulty level.

Early Access: Planned features

During the Early Access phase we wish to develop most of the following features. But our plans could change, depending on the feedback we get and the resources we have:

  • Modding support (maps, scenarios, game data)
  • Save game functionality -DEPLOYED!
  • Languages (community provided translations)
  • Many more scenarios -SEVERAL ADDED!
  • Creatures can feed on food items and carcasses -DEPLOYED!
  • Research
  • Diseases / treatment
  • More animations / effects -MANY ADDED!
  • Interface graphics polished -DEPLOYED!

There will be more and deeper gameplay features, for instance trade and diplomacy. Construction options will include electrical power, more buildings as well as building improvements.

Possible features in the long term (after Early Access)

We would like to provide Mac / Linux support at some point.

See our website for a list of features that we might develop in the future:

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The game is fully playable and offers many hours of gameplay in scenarios, sandbox maps and tutorial. It has a polished UI, a robust AI, a functioning alien ecology system, lots of crafting and a sturdy combat system.”

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

“Yes, the price of the full game will be higher and we will also raise the price during EA as more features are added. So jump in now!”

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

“We regularly visit our forum to read and comment on feedback from players, and many times it influences the development path. Feedback is valuable for us when we discuss which road to take in the dev team.”
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Recommended By Curators

"Showed at Gamescom 2014 - Colonizing planets never felt so good."
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Recent updates View all (48)

November 18 Various fixes

A new version was just released on the test branch. These are the changes:

- Correction to examine and find prey actions so that detection bonuses are only active inside the zone, not on the way there.
- Correction to attainable status on the production screen
- Fixed bug in producing trimmed branches
- Correction so music will resume after saving

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November 16 Guns, Pickles and Steel

Hello everyone - the new version is now up on both the default and the test branch!
This update comes from our wish to see what it really requires to move up the technological ladder - how would our human settlers on the Tau Ceti planet pull themselves up from drudgery and animal attacks if they were to start from scratch after an event happened that cut them off from electricity and trade.
We sat out to make well-researched crafting chains which lift the colony up, inch by inch.
At the same time, we've made significant improvements to the UI, making sure that it's possible to plan this movement up the tech ladder.


-We have increased the realism involved in crafting blackpowder guns from the ground up. This crafting chain now includes metal lathe, gold furnace, realistic smithies, toolboxes and steelmaking all the way up to rifle/musket/musketoon. (On Fields of Tau Ceti)

-New processes ensure that your food won't rot as quickly: Drying+salting, pickling, fermentation. Making vinegar.

-Clay pots and jars are needed for pickling and other processes with a liquid involved.

-See a more detailed description of the new crafting in THIS FORUM POST

Many processes such as fermentation, baking and tapping sap will now finish on their own. Once a colonist has started it, he can move on to do something else while the process completes itself.

-All weapons have been rebalanced to make weapon damage more predictable and less random.
-Sentries (robot machine gun turrets) introduced on Twinkler Island. You can salvage a machine gun sentry and make a spray gun sentry or a shotgun sentry (using the shotgun which appears on Hard difficulty).

On Fields of Tau Ceti, you can now choose a versatile starting group who are well equipped and have fewer scavengers/dangers nearby.

The screen formerly called Inventory now has many filtering and sorting options. See this video for a demonstration/tutorial of the new features:
-Tracking. Up to 5 different items can be 'tracked'. The player can display input/output or tools involved in the recipes for that item.
-Many filters can be added to help find objects with particular properties.

-Display options:
1. Show only objects that are Available at the moment
2. Show objects that are Available or Attainable (based on the resources that have been discovered)
3. Show ALL items and structures in the game (encyclopedia)

-A filter button can display items that are attainable by salvaging components.
-Each object now has the amount button divided in 3: available/being produced/part of something.
-Building of structures is now also done from the Production Manager.

-The player can now keep track of resources that have been found in the surroundings by using the Resource Display. The resources will show up as dots on the mini-map and can also be displayed on the game area by clicking the SCAN button.

We have once again improved the performance of the game, allowing for even more agents (animals and characters) as well as larger maps. The improvements are:
-Hierarchical pathfinding (using the high level map representation to create waypoints) in order to reduce CPU usage.
- All map representations (terrain, threat and discomfort) are divided into sectors. The sectors are added and removed dynamically to reduce memory usage. The terrain map is now its own layer that is shared by all agents/factions. Their specific threat maps get added on top. The separation into sectors and layers is also done for the high level representation.
This optimization should fix the out of memory crash on the large maps.

We will continue to work on the nuts and bolts of tech advancement and are also implementing the migration mechanic now. Meanwhile, we begin moving to a new, substantial system: The colony's opinion. We want the settlers' opinions to directly affect what the player is permitted to do. We are currently designing this, so stay tuned for a dev update!

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“What I most like so far is that the survivors chat to each other, quipping or showing agitation...”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“I. Want. This!”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“...an interesting and novel game that aims to make you think and often succeeds.”

About This Game

We take the colony sim genre into the near future, onto a lush planet where humans are making their first foothold. Characters and alien wildlife are brought to life through a rigorous simulation and the game plays out as a tug-of-war between humans and nature on a planet full of opportunities and dangers.
Understanding the alien environment is crucial - discovered resources and crafting options enable you to adapt when food gets scarce, equipment breaks and alien animals attack.

Your role / indirect control
In this game you will not feel like a commander issuing orders, because the settlers have no command chain but rely on voting if they disagree. You will get the sense that you're part of the community, organizing your group’s decisions, not bossing them around. You do this by using the Pioneer Planning Unit, an instrument issued by the Tau Ceti Mission. You will feel like a member of the group, sharing their victories and failures.

The game takes place in a realistic sci-fi setting, in a plausible future without Faster-than-Light travel.
The year is 2238 and Earth’s first and only interstellar colonization ship has reached the end goal of its 100 year journey – a terran planet in the Tau Ceti star system. 2100 humans will now make this planet their new home. There are no additional supplies or reinforcements coming in - they must make do with what they brought and what they can find.


Sandbox maps and scenarios
In various scenarios and maps we explore the history of the planet's colonization. We continually develop new scenarios with different objectives and features.

Fields of Tau Ceti is a sandbox map that takes place in a primitive future centuries after planetfall. You begin with a community equipped for either hunting, farming or fishing and work off the land. Apart from an old robot, the people use predominantly simple technology, such as smithing, small scale farming and black powder.

Muckroot Research Station is a sandbox map where a group of scientists explore an unknown biome. (Work in progress)

Twinkler Island is a scenario with a team of planet explorers that have crash-landed on an island. There will be attacks by pack predators, the so-called “twinklers” which emerge from the caves littering the island. To repel them you can construct ranged weapons and build fences, but to permanently end the threat you must locate their nests and come up with a way to clear them out.

Castaways is a tutorial scenario that teaches you the game as you guide a group of stranded sailors to find food, fight 'bush dragons' and build a signal pyre on top of an island.

-The maps and scenarios are hand-made with randomization of starting location, number of resources, camp members, enemies etc.


Known bugs/issues:
This is a management game with indirect control, which means that you're not supposed to directly command a character to carry out a task. But, if ordered tasks are not being carried out, (the characters are just standing around) and you don't know why, then it's either a bug or a feedback problem (the game should explain the reason to you). We take these issues very seriously and will work to address them whenever they show up.


System Requirements

    • OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
    • Graphics: DirectX 10 capable graphics card
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 280 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
Early Access Review
super slow updates and communication with the community is minimum, sad really as the game looks nice, bugs from day one are still present, avoid until the devs sort there heads out.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
27.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 5
Early Access Review
This game shows a lot of potential, it's on the right path but at the moment it's lacking a lot of content and feels really buggy during combat and task orders seems bugged also.

However the atmosphere the game and it's music creates is perfect in my opinion.
All this game needs is to fix bugs, add more content and some dandy polish work.

Waiting for a decent update then i will continue the review.
Best to wait before buying for now, unless you feel you would like to support the dev's like i did.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
44.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Early Access Review
Lovely, if you enjoy the feeling of surviving off the land and whatever resources it can give, coupled with some resource and personnel management. Currently in progress, but looking rather promising.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
Early Access Review
It's a good game for what it has and a good idea, but it updates incredibly slowly and doesn't seems like it'll fulfill it's potential. Wouldn't recommend until and if it's more fleshed out.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
Early Access Review
Great music, cool novel control design, and enticing atmospheres. It's sort of like an RTS inverted. Development has brought the game to a point where there's a decent amount of content, for an early development game. What's there is a good experience, and promises a lot more to come.
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