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Early Access Review: Godus

Godus, currently in Early Access, is an interesting take on the god game.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

Over the weekend, after messing around in Banished  for another couple of hours, I decided that I wanted a game that was a little more… micro-manageable. Boy did I ever find it.

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Godus is a god game that allows you to completely alter the terrain based on how much ‘faith’ you have. As a god, you’ll start with two followers who will populate your small village until it can grow and expand into a huge settlement.

While there are some things that nag me about playing this game, I won’t dock off for them given that this is Early Access. Because of Early Access, this is not a full review, but rather a first impression.

You’re going to click a lot.

Godus is pretty straightforward–as a god, you’re trying to gain as many followers and as much faith as you can. Your faith, determined by your followers and shown by that pink number in the bottom left, is like a currency that you spend on altering terrain. For instance, altering sand (the beige level) is free because it’s fairly easy. However, pushing around the green levels is much harder and costs faith.

love this idea. Being able to create a village that looks exactly the way I want it to is a wonderful way to be a god. You’ll see people come out of their houses and walk around, sit by the water, collect food from the trees, etc. It’s really a very charming experience at first.

However, it can become very frustrating as the game goes on. Contrary to the opening screen that says much of the clicking is being removed by developers, there is still… well, a lot of clicking involved.

Each level of terrain must be moved individually. Let me just put this in perspective…

See all these levels? Yeah, you get to move each and every one of those sea levels in order to create a bridge between that gap. Some of the work is already done for you, but still, given that deeper levels cost faith to manipulate, it can become frustrating.

There is no easy way to do this, which is even more frustrating. There’s no way to highlight all of the levels of terrain because of their individual faith costs. You’re going to have to move each of these levels by themselves–every single time. And yes, there are mountainous regions that will require the same APM (actions per minute). This game makes some excellent practice for Starcraft.


But look at those colors!

Honestly, what drew me to Godus on the Steam Store page was the images. I rarely ever buy Early Access games because I don’t really enjoy spending money on an unfinished product. However, after seeing the video and the very vivid map, I was sold. The annoying APM-centered gameplay can almost be totally forgiven just because of the maps and the sounds.

Sounds? Yeah, there’s no music really (unless you click on something, and then you’ll get a bit of a musical tone). The game is filled with ambient sounds such as rolling waves, chirping birds and trees rustling in the breeze, which eases the stress and frustration of your terrain levels. But there’s no music to speak of–which actually makes it an interesting candidate for that Steam Music thing.

There is this strange mobile vibe…

My boyfriend was watching me play (backseat gaming, if you will), and noted that this title has some very strange mobile aspects to it. It wasn’t until I looked at what he was saying, and saw that he was right. It’s almost as if it was meant to be on the Play Store instead of the Steam Store.

The first thing he noticed was the constant belief-clicking.

While using a touchpad to move terrain would be an enormous pain in my ass, clicking pink bubbles with a mouse is even worse, especially once your village gets to a reputable size. Each bubble must be clicked–though if you really look at it, they would be perfect for tapping on a tablet or phone.

As you upgrade your abodes with cards and stickers (I’ll touch in this in a minute), the time it takes for builders to build these abodes increases. For example, I recently upgraded to the wooden abodes. Pretty neat, right? We aren’t living in filth and squalor anymore.

Too bad it takes twenty, real life minutes for a wooden abode to complete. 20 minutes? Are you kidding me? I paid $20 for this game… why am I being forced into some time-based free-to-play model? Does it want me to get up and walk around? Is this to keep me from playing for too long? God knows.

Well, actually, I don’t (see the joke I made there? See it?).

You’ve got to put stickers on your cards, man

The upgrade mechanic for this game is… well, not quite as strange as this clicking-that-would-be-better-as-tapping vibe. As your population increases, you’ll unlock cards on your timeline that allow for things like movement buffs, abode upgrades, and social features like friendships.

Seems simple, right? Wrong. Some cards require stickers to unlock the benefit. For example, unlocking the Friendship card requires three stickers with the social symbol.

This part felt weird to me. Perhaps a skill tree would work better here, like in Civilization V


Overall, this game seems like it could be fun. Given my ridiculous urge to completely start over if a city doesn’t look just the way I want, this game is an obvious solution since I can literally make the terrain fit my needs.

Once the obsession with clicking is fixed, and if these strange mobile aspects are removed, the game could be a really cool take on city building. I don’t like that I can’t place my own plots for buildings so that everything is neat and organized. I don’t like that I can’t assign jobs other than the three presets. Leashing is awkward and difficult to figure out, especially once I got to settlements. Also, starting over is a bitch.

Early Access Review: Godus
Godus, currently in Early Access, is an interesting take on the god game.

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Katy Hollingsworth
whale biologist.