Coming from the developer of Curiosity, Godus lets you take the role of a god with the ability to alter the earth beneath your people’s feet. By helping your tribe grow you are rewarded by their faith, which grants you more powers to further aid them. But will the game’s free-to-play hooks break the illusion of godliness, or simply offer another way for you to demonstrate your power?
You've got the whole world in your hands
Your first task starting Godus is to manipulate the landscape to rescue a pair of drowning islanders. Touching the desired layer of earth allows you to drag and expand the selected spot in whatever manner you desire, providing there is something underneath to support its weight. Thus, rescuing the struggling mortals only requires you to place one figure on a nearby beach to drag it towards them.
After performing this minor miracle the rescuees begin to worship you, and through their belief your powers increase. This growth is best exemplified by your ability to influence the landscape. Initially you can only interact with the soil around sea level, but as your followers grow in number you become able to reduce even the highest mountains to molehills.
You must manage your minions to encourage their expansion. Ordering them to undertake a job has them trudge tirelessly towards the desired location and set to work. Completion of tasks is dictated by timers which can be sped up through in-app purchases. If you are unwilling to invest then you may find progress slow going at times, but this doesn't stop you sculpting the landscape for future expansion. It’s a small addition to the free-to-play formula, but one that keeps you involved.
In addition to the world building is the Voyage of Discovery. Here there are a selection of islands that function like puzzles, with you trying to get your followers to a temple within the allowed time limit by manipulating the world around them to make bridges or fence off dangers.
The world at your finger tips
Godus's interface is easy to grasp, with a selection of swipes and taps controlling everything from gathering belief orbs to setting villagers to work. By far the most common action is the geographical manipulation, which has you touching strata of the earth to drag them individually into place.
Unfortunately, I found the simplicity of this interface to be its downfall with the different layers of environment regularly proving hard to accurately distinguish between with my imprecise fingers. This often had me pulling around the wrong piece of the map before needing to reverse my action and try to execute the desired alteration a second time. This was not a massive issue, but when working against the clock on the Voyage of Discovery missions it did become problematic.
All things bright and beautiful
Viewed from high above, Godus’s world is a charming place to be. The different colors given to each layer of the environment provides a distinctive look akin to a 3D puzzle. Despite all of the alterations you make to the island, this style guarantees that the overall visual cohesion is never lost.
The tiny computer people that populate your virtual domain are also very endearing. Telling them to undertake tasks is met by cheerful affirmatives, with further joyous cheers going up once a goal is met. While out on the puzzle-like Voyage of Discovery missions, they also whistle along to the upbeat tune that accompanies the action.
It is this kind of lightheartedness that runs through the whole experience. There is never a dark moment to your time as ruler, with even their deaths met by the same jolly tone.
Close to godliness
Making any god game free-to-play was going to be a challenge. Given the fact that the very nature of the game is about making you feel all powerful, by definition any roadblocks to the experience were going to feel artificially limiting. Luckily, Godus manages to sidestep this issue by always giving you enough godlily duties to perform. This ensures that, even while waiting for your hapless mortals to build a hut, you never feel your omnipotence fading.