The Universim Looks Like Everything I Want From A God Game

Who knew you could get so emotional from watching a Kickstarter video? I certainly didn't. But then I looked at the first few minutes of the pitch for this new god game Universim and, well, just check the thing out and see for yourself:


Developed by the young and relatively unknown indie studio Crytivo Games, Universim looks like all the best parts of the the stunning 2011 god game From Dust, and then some. As explained in the pitch video and related materials on the Kickstarter page, the game begins in a primordial stage of evolution and continues until humans (or whatever they may be in Universim's fiction) take to the stars in search of their creator—i.e., you, the god-like deity doing your best to control the path of development and progress.

What I like about ideas like the ones Universim proposes and From Dust expressed so beautifully is that a good god game, despite whatever connotations the genre's name might raise, is almost the exact opposite of the power fantasy so many other kinds of games deliver. Managing things like climate conditions, poverty, and pestilence is tough work. Trying to control such phenomena from a distance is a clumsy endeavor. And in a game like From Dust, your best intentions mean absolutely nothing if you don't end up saving the people at the end of the day. Being god, in other words, is a much less thrilling endeavor than it might seem—particularly when your actions can provoke the ire of the very subjects you're trying to help.

The Universim sounds like it's taking this idea to a whole new level. As you grow past the stone age era of the game, Crytivo emphasizes that the outcomes will become less and less predictable. Wars and epidemics will break out. Aliens will invade. Your (often) helpless subjects will journey from planet to planet with no idea of what to expect. All of this is little more than hype at this point, of course, but given how few god games there are these days I can't help but get more than a little excited when I see a developer who seems to be hitting all the right notes.

Watch the video up top, and if you like what you see check out the game's new Kickstarter page here.

via Kill Screen

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Freddie DeBoer

I'm getting Spore flashbacks.