This post is a part of Blaugust 2016!
While everyone else is being hyped for No Man’s Sky (which I’m undecided on buying this weekend or not), I just got access to the first Alpha build of a game I backed in a Kickstarter in 2014, The Universim. I double checked the forum before starting to write this, and the game doesn’t have an NDA, so I decided to talk about my first impressions of a very early look at this God-game.
If you were disappointed by the direction that Godus went, this game may be one to keep on your radar. It’s quite far from being finished, just having entered Alpha for backers, but I was impressed by the level of detail I already see in the game. It’s a mixture of a number of God-games I’ve enjoyed from the past, and they’ve really nailed the aesthetics and humor already.
I came in knowing nothing at all about this game, but the tutorial system was top grade. It walked me through what each feature was (even if the feature wasn’t yet available), and was in-depth and well-written. Sometimes it bordered on a little too much information, but I walked away understanding what I needed to know to play the game. So, it did what it set out to do.
As a god in this world, you care for a race of cute little peoples called Nuggets. Each Nugget has a name, stats, happiness, a home, a significant other, children, etc. The hour or so I spent with the game, I did feel a bit of attachment to these Nuggets.
There’s a bit of Sim City in that you need to build things… such as a water pump to extract water from a lake (which does deplete over time it seems). And then you must build a well for your Nuggets to actually drink the water from. You can also build a reservoir to store excess water for the future. So buildings interact in a way that you’d expect.
There’s already a fully working weather and season systems, which I was most impressed by. I found the thunderstorms especially cool for some reason.
While I played, I noticed that the temperature was getting colder. Then, gradually, snow began to fall and change the landscape, much to my delight.
I watched as the nearby pond iced over! What a neat little detail I didn’t expect.
And yet, further to the south, I watched as the snowy land transitioned away due to the fact a desert biome was there. Very cool!
I also found it neat that if you happen to zoom in or out through clouds or rain, the precipitation shows on top and bottom corners of the screen. I tried to take a screenshot of this, but it’s so much better in person.
The only thing that takes some getting used to is the curved planet aesthetic. It’s somewhat like the Animal Crossing that had a curved world in that you eventually tune it out. I also wish I could zoom in to see my Nuggets a bit better. But those are just tiny little nit-picks that don’t bother me much.
There were only a few buildings available at this point, including things like a farm and a witch doctor hut (healer). With the farm, you can choose what crops you plant and assign up to three Nuggets to be a farmer.
My understanding is, somewhat like Civ or Spore, your Nugget society will eventually evolve into more advanced communities with higher forms of technology. Currently, only the stone age is available, but what I’ve played shows a lot of promise.
I haven’t been watching this game’s development as much as I should have (being a backer), but now I’m sure looking forward to seeing this game grow in the future!