The next RimWorld expansion adds a hefty dose of Lovecraftian terror

The next RimWorld expansion adds a hefty dose of Lovecraftian terror

I’ve fallen in love with sci-fi colony management RimWorld, which is unparalleled at creating wild stories through random gameplay events. RimWorld has a few expansion packs, adding things like royalty, religion, gene-editing, and child rearing to the game. Today, Ludeon Studios announced a new expansion pack is on the way, and it’s going to be the scariest one yet: Anomaly.

Anomaly’s content begins once the colonists “accidentally provoke a mad superintelligence,” according to the release blog. “From then on, madness manifests: Monstrous creatures, mind-bending mysteries, infiltrating parasites, and sanity-shredding phenomena that twist the whole world around you.”

RimWorld is already a fairly horrifying game but less in a supernatural or paranormal way, and more in being a showcase of man’s inhumanity to man. It’s a game where you can harvest organs and menace your slave population by putting dead bodies in terrifying cages, after all. But Anomaly looks much more focused on providing an external horror threat that your colonists must band together to survive, a la The Thing.

A colony in RimWorld, showing the player’s medical facilities and corpse storage rooms. It’s a grim scene, with an eerie light over the colony. Image: Ludeon Studios

Ludeon shared some tantalizing scenarios that the player may encounter during a playthrough, and I’m already excited at the possibility of encountering the beautiful cube. I crave cube. The rest of the scenarios are chock full of classic sci-fi and horror inspiration.

At night, hear the screeching of a psychically-invisible hunter that feeds on human souls. Build proximity alarms to detect when it’s near, but you can only fight it when it chooses to reveal itself. Chip away at its health every time it returns, and collect and study chunks of its flesh. Turn the tables, become the hunter and kill it where it lives.

A massive flesh creature is growing across the landscape, consuming and covering the whole map with a quivering mass of meat. It defends itself with beasts and acid. Fight it to get samples of its nervous system, then study them until you can venture to its heart and kill it for good.

A parasite has mind-controlled some of your colonists – but who? They pretend to be human as they work to infest others. Track evidence, imprison, interrogate, and medically test people to find out who is infested before it’s too late.

A pulsating obelisk crash-lands near your base. You can try to suppress its filthy energy, but the obelisk may lash out and violently mutate your people, copy them endlessly, or abduct them to an endless gray maze.

Your colonists become obsessed with a beautiful golden cube, one by one. They build statues of the cube. They worship the cube. They love the cube.

A corpse arrives that looks exactly like one of your colonists – and seems to follow them. No matter what you do, the corpse returns…

And many more weird and horrifying events!

While I’m a little sad that my current, heavily modded RimWorld run is coming to an end, I’m already excited to start a new colony doomed by terrifying obelisks and sneaky mind-controlling parasites. Lareon also teased new monsters — and facilities in which the player can study them.

Anomaly is due to release alongside update 1.5 “in one month,” according to a tweet from RimWorld creator Tynan Sylvester.