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a game by Revolutionary Games Studio
Platform: PC (2021)
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 6.7/10 - 6 votes
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See also: Simulator Games, Sandbox Games, Space Games, Games Like Spore

When games are designed and developed, it's usually with a broader audience in mind. After all, publishers want the product to reach as many people in the gaming market as possible. That doesn't seem to be the case with Thrive, though. On the surface, it looks like a basic simulation game. Underneath the hood, the mechanics run far more complex.

Thrive is an early access evolution simulation game that allows players to spawn a species on an alien planet and help them evolve to full fruition. The number of intricacies involved in successfully navigating your cells through the biological labyrinth presents a field of challenge that could either attract or repel a vast number of players. Let's dive into Thrive to find out which one.

Evolution Now

The main allure factor about Thrive is that it is something different. It has all the hallmarks of a game that would stimulate and intrigue the gaming intelligentsia roaming around the forums looking for their next critical victim. The early access development even invites those with programming skills to come and help the development of the game.

That does mean it's likely that Thrive, in the long run, will only appeal to a niche, self-proclaimed elite set of gamers. But we can't deny that the location of mechanics before us to manage your species is fascinating. Gameplay consists of harnessing an organism from a faraway planet and facing a series of puzzles and real-time obstacles to ensure its survival.

Your goal is to develop the microbe into a multi-cellular lifeform that fascinates the universe in its species heritage. However, you won't get that far in early access - it's mainly about the cells right now. You'll grow your organism by battling other cells with some basic microscopic visuals. You'll also read data to forge the best path forward and create biome maps to ensure your cells 'Thrive.'

While excellent in theory, the mechanics do require a bit of head-scratching. They are based on scientific ideas and load the screen with complex models and jargon to manage your cells. But those determined enough will find their way around the game quite quickly. Even if it's just trial and error.

Natural Intelligence

At the moment, Thrive isn't the most straightforward game to pick up and play. However, it's worth exploring the principles of being something different. It will require a more intelligent approach to play. Still, it's not frustrating in the sense that if you're not a biological genius, you have no chance of winning.


Thrive is the more realistic and data-based version of Spore. Though there isn't much in the way of visuals, and it certainly isn't intuitive, it has a lot of potentials. Community feedback and its relatively simple aesthetics should facilitate a lot of content. If they can break the accessibility barrier, there could be an extensive player base on the other side.

Round-Up - Pros & Cons


  • A fantastic concept bound to grip players
  • The mechanics behind evolving your species are engaging
  • Well-thought-out gameplay for organism management


  • Inaccessible to many players due to complex gameplay
  • Visuals are nothing to scream about
  • Unintuitive at first play

Download Thrive


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

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