I like city building Sims, the way you get to play God and send destruction down upon your people; very old testament. But in this game, you can only influence the one goings of your civilization, and you really do want them to survive as it is your legacy as a God that lives through these people. Once your civilization dies out, that’s it. You are no longer a God, you’re just some dude that no one listens to. How terrible for you. How the mighty have fallen.
The way you influence your people is very enjoyable. It uses context. You only know a certain number of words, or how to refer to things. So, you have to work out what you want to say. For instance, if you wanted to make a commandment that was “go forth and multiply” you couldn’t. At least not in a single commandment. For the “go forth” section you would have to give a place that will affect which people hear this commandment. My starting village was in the savanna so that was the first thing I had to pick, the first of three I should add. The second, is the verb, destroy, disturb, produce and a few others. In this instance, I wanted to explore, the coast? Why not I thought “People of the Savanna, explore the coast, plot your island.” Now for the “and multiple” part. Simple, “People of the Savanna, produce Babies.” The phrasing was slightly odd, but it did the trick.
This was a wonderful system to try and master. As the game progress, more villages pop up and you have to try and make them believe in you too, but they all have different wants and needs. Keeping everyone happy seems like an impossible task, so you just focus on keeping your religion, and faith in you alive. I played this for quite some time, but I could see that, after a point, I was fighting a losing battle. The gullible belief in me was eking away, slowly but surely. I took this as a sign to stop playing the game. Perhaps this sign came from an almighty deity, or perhaps I was just not very good at the game; we may never know.
Lucky, while you are playing you also have some help. When a villager dies, they can become an advisor for that village. You are able to travel down and speak to them in the depths and find out what their village needs, likes or wants. And while you're down there, you might want to pop along and have a chat with the chronicler. A friendly, if somewhat skeletal chap, who tells you what has been happening. So, if you want to wander off and make a cup of tea, and come back to find your villages at war with each other you can find out why. I suppose that this could also be useful for trying to spot trends. As they say, “all of this has happened before. And all of this will happen again.”
I can’t really comment on the music, as it cut out after my visit to the underworld. What I heard was very nice though. So, instead, let’s talk about the game's appearance. It suited the style of game play. The way you create the commandments with the hieroglyphs and the visible polygons on the models works well. It had a slightly, not cartoony but not quite animated style about it which I really liked. The ocean looks amazing. It is in a completely different style from the rest of the Villages and island animals; and although I didn’t get to see any fishing, I have a slight obsession about fishing in games especially fishing mini games, I can imagine that the boats bobbing on the ocean look great too.
Overall I would recommend that you keep an eye on this one. So far, it has some solid ideas, which I think will grow into a more rounded and complete game. The primary selling point is the game play; the way you can only influence the outcome, not directly intervene which makes for a more changeling type of God sim. You can visit the store page on steam here. Add it to your follow list, and let’s see where this takes us.