There's just something so gosh darn appealing about going on a grand adventure in the wilderness while the world is falling apart around you. Frodo did it, Moses did it, and countless out fantasy narratives have played out this way. Please The Gods has you trying to avert famine by retrieving a sacred relic, and it makes the journey a pretty interesting one.
In search of the legendary Sampo, you must commune with your gods, face off dangerous wildlife, and keep yourself healthy and fed. It's a challenging game (bordering on unfair at times), but I had some fun along the way despite my frustration.
Please The Gods Gives You Multiple Approaches
After a brief tutorial, you're kicked out into the world with nary a clue as to where to go. The map for an area simply has one or more paths and icons on it. Icons will represent random encounters like engaging in battle, gathering food, resting at a camp, or some sort of complete mystery. I sometimes found myself embroiled in unexpected combat, not as well-prepared as I would have liked.
These random encounters in Please The Gods will often do one (or both) of two things: give you a random result and/or apply a random status effect. Occasionally, you can acquire a more permanent status effect that will last for anywhere to one battle up to the end of the map.
Speaking of maps, Please The Gods is separated into several distinct zones. These are all-or-nothing prospects: you either survive all the way to the end, or you don't. This is a seriously challenging RPG, and I'm grateful that the developer had the decency to not make you have to start all over again.
Go, Dice Roll!
When it comes to combat, it's all about the dice rolls. Players have to select one of a handful of offensive or defensive powers that will have various different bonuses and penalties for either attacking or defending. These cards can change how many D6s you get to roll and how much of a bonus you get on top of that.
I'm not too hot with calculating probability, and this is where a critical feature is missing. Suppose that an enemy rolled four dice and has an attack of 17; you need to meet or exceed that number to successfully defend and take no damage. The percentage chance of me successfully defending can reliably be calculated, but that information just isn't presented to you.
The random nature of combat and events means that, more often than not, your odds of winning or losing are more about your luck than any strategy on your part. It's not all about how the dice land, but the randomness of the dice rolls are going to be the primary factor that determines whether you win or lose a battle.
It's Seriously Challenging
One of the things that bugged me the most about this game in my two or so hours of play is just how downright stingy it is. Healing at a camp will give you one heart of health and you will often only get one or two of these camps on a route through a map. Buffs from random events (in a game where one or two extra points can completely turn the tide) last only a single battle more often than not. It is, in a word, unforgiving.
Will you like this Please The Gods? If you're the kind of masochist that plays stuff like FTL: Faster Than Light, then yes. If you're looking for an experience that isn't going to make you want to bounce your own head off a brick wall, then probably not.
TechRaptor conducted our Please The Gods Coverage Club on PC via Steam with a copy provided by the developer.