So here I am, waiting, and at the peril of the state of Missouri. See, I can’t start my new job until I have--in my hands--a physical copy of my new license from them. Total drag, but what can you do? So in the interim, I am looking to kill some time, to not spend a ton of money...and mayyyybe to feel like I actually have some kind of power. I've got a computer and time--let's try out this new god game and see if I can get some power.
Enter Godus. Though still in beta, the sophomore release from 22cans, and their first title on the PC and Mac, aims to “make gaming meaningful.”
22cans debut title, Curiosity, garnered much media attention last winter. Their “what’s inside the cube” campaign, where mobile users simply clicked on a cube to reveal an unknown item located at the center, ended a few months ago. Prior to that, the person who removed the last piece was awarded a unique prize: the ability to decide the rules for the game. Along with near omnipotence within Godus, the winner also will receive a portion of each in-game purchase.
It was at this point, the mention of in-game purchases, where my faith in the game began to waiver. However, I decided to try the game anyway. 20 large--made payable to Steam. Hey, us mac gamers are often limited in our choices, though it is getting better, but i digress.
Maybe it was because I am typically a console gamer. Or maybe it was because I was distracted. Who knows. Either way, I could not figure out how to start the game. Hence, how I was able to take in the uniqueness of the initial setup of the game. The opening scene is of a lush island landscape littered with palm trees, rocks and rubble. Initially, your Adam and Eve are chipping away at large rock in the center of your very small kingdom. When you click on the rock it breaks, and your followers begin to believe in you.
Aha! It was too easy.
From this point forward in Godus you must collect the belief of your followers, indicated by pink bubbles on screen. Your first followers will build a house upon the newly cleared land. Once the new house is up, you will get an idea of how the game is about to “go down.” Soon, a pink bubble will appear over the house. Clicking a pink bubble will add belief, which is indicated in the bottom left corner of the screen. Belief, generated over time by each homestead, is used to basically do each action in the game, ranging from shaping your kingdom to striking it with a meteor. (It appears gems, an in-game purchase item, will eventually be available as a 2nd form of currency.)
Inside of their houses, your followers will go forth and multiply. You will know when “the deed is done,” as your followers will raise a flag in their yard to symbolize the offspring are ready to abandon the homestead and build a new place. Clicking the flag will present you with a new believer who will look for any nearby plots of land upon which to build a home. It is your responsibility to clear land for your followers. This can be cumbersome at times, especially early on when you are only able to move one layer of land (or sea) at a time. Eventually, however, it does get easier, but it does still manage to get old over time.
After clearing trees, breaking rocks, and shaping the earth for a bit, I then stumbled upon what I thought was a pile of festering garbage. I noticed it was half buried so I uncovered it noticed it looked like a chest. When clicked upon, the chest opened and a card appeared. Oooooh.
Once one collects enough Godus cards, new buildings, actions, and other in-game abilities are at your beck and call. You can create a champion fighter, create a settlement at which all of the nearby belief is gathered at a centralized location, and much more. Your believers also may build bigger buildings as you collect cards, which have higher belief caps.
Rinse and repeat.
The game is live 24/7, so you will regenerate belief while you are sleeping, working, or just living your real, non-omnipotent life.
If you can’t tell, the game ends up feeling like a lot of the “pay-to-play” games that can be found on most mobile devices. You might want to start looking for a new mouse--you will do a ton of clicking. A TON of clicking.
Additionally, if you like games with objectives this one is not for you. I found myself playing about 10 hours in the first two days just to find out “what happens next.” This was fun for a while, and it still is, just not as much.
The graphics for this game are extremely vibrant, colorful, and unlike anything I have ever seen. But, they are not groundbreaking by any means. Well, actually, you can break, move and create ground. But metaphorically, they aren't anything special. Essentially, it feels like a souped-up version of mobile graphics. I do, however, like how the layers are different colors, affording you the opportunity to get in touch with your creative side. I have even heard there are some easter eggs hidden throughout the game, but haven't played enough to find any of them. Of note, the game has made my computer run quite hot.
There is also a mission-based part of the game, called "events," in which you will compete in a head-to-head arena-style format against a computer-based opponent. I do wonder if this will ever end up as a multiplayer mode. This seems like the aspect of the game that will take it over the top, and take it to an intriguing next level. These events, where you must either mine more gems than the opponent, or raize their empire and kill all of their believers is, by far, the most fun I have had while playing the game. You get several cards each time your successfully complete one of these.
All-in-all, one must still consider that the game is in beta. In its current state, the developers openly admit that the game is only about 40% complete. This alone excites me. As is, the game can be laggy at times, and has closed on me about a half-dozen other times. The one thing they are missing, to me, is more power. Humans crave power just like the rich crave money: one can never have enough. The simple fact that I have to wait to collect meat and flint from treasure chests bothers me. You are supposed to be a god. However, the game definitely has some promise and I cannot wait to see how this project turns out; they are headed in the right direction. The game has infinite possibilities. I simply hope they give us access to many, many more of them.
I only briefly got into the game minecraft, but to me it feels like a similar, yet totally unique game. If you like Minecraft, this game definitely should be on your radar. I would also think that this game would appeal to people who like other god-like games such as Empire Earth (Man, I really miss that game) or Age of Empires. The Event mode (not the terrible NBC show by the same name) of this game feels somewhat like these latter two titles.
The open-beta is available on PC and Mac and can be purchased through Steam for $20 USD. Early-access backers will get access to this beta version as well as any additional updates to the game, including the finished, and hopefully polished, product. The game is also slated to be released on Android and iOS. I suggest you give it a try, if for nothing more than your own Curiosity.