The desire to play god is one that we all have experienced at some point or the other in our lives. The power to create your very own worlds in your own image is certainly an alluring proposition. Perhaps, this is why the God simulation genre of video games is practically as old as modern gaming itself, having burst into the mainstream consciousness with 1989’s Populous. Of course, the genre is no longer nearly as popular as it once was but has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years with high-profile releases such as ‘Godus’ and ‘Cities: Skylines’.
Amidst this renewed enthusiasm to play god comes indie studio Crytivo Games’ ‘The Universim’, currently in Steam Early Access after a fairly successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that raised over $387,000 back in April 2014. Read on to find out everything we know about this modern take on the classic God simulation formula.
What to Expect From The Universim?
‘The Universim’ is an indie God simulation/planet management game presented from a top down perspective that can be zoomed into the most micro elements of a planet, or zoomed out into deep space. You take on the role of a powerful deity of a planet that starts out with only two people, also referred to as “Nuggets” by the game. As the God of Nuggets, you must guide them through development across the ages, from the Stone Age in the beginning, through the Modern Age and finally into the Space Age.
The Steam page for the game describes it as follows: “Jump straight into managing your own planets as you guide a civilization through the ages. Build the ultimate empire in The Universim, a new breed of God Game in development by Crytivo”
At the start of a new playthrough during the Stone Age, the player must help build basic shelters for the Nuggets and discover fire. As civilization progresses through time and evolves, so do the buildings and nugget society. The structure of the infrastructure consists of an epicenter around which the rest of the buildings are erected. While some buildings such as simple housing units are built automatically, more crucial structures such as power plants and farms must be hand placed by the player.
The planets in the world of ‘The Universim’ are dynamic and organic, which means that everything you do affects the planet in a tangible manner. The fully featured weather system brings about ever changing seasons and unique challenges with them. Development slows down to a crawl during the winter, and natural disaster events such as forest fires and meteor strikes can wreak havoc among the ranks of the Nuggets.
Of course, Nuggets, much like us humans, do not require once in a blue moon disaster events to inflict near apocalyptic destruction upon their civilization; they can do that quite well themselves. Since your Nuggets all function independently, they will often make decisions you do not agree with such as going to war. However, you certainly can attempt to dissuade them from their foolhardy endeavors.
As a God, your primary responsibilities will include the management of valuable resources essential to the survival of the Nuggets – food, clothing, water, electricity and more. Here you get to choose between being a benevolent deity by choosing to help them by accelerating development, surviving long winters and coping with natural disasters.
While you do not directly control your subjects’ actions, you can assuredly steer their fates via two major elements – Power and Wrath. Power is the currency which allows you to affect the physical world and exercise your many powers such as telekinesis, healing and reconstruction, inducing romantic attraction among Nuggets and much more. You gain power when assigned tasks are completed successfully. On the other hand, Wrath is produced when Nuggets fail to complete certain tasks. You can use the accumulated Wrath to wreak havoc upon them in order to scare the Nuggets into obedience.
Once your Nuggets reach the Space Age, ‘The Universim’ opens up and starts to earn its namesake. Given enough time and a sufficient level of technological progress, you can now colonize and harvest resources from any of the numerous randomly generated planets across the game world. Some of these planets will even feature their own indigenous life forms, who may react in a friendly or belligerent manner to your advances.
‘The Universim’ is developed on Crytivo’s custom Prometheus Engine, which is a modified version of Unreal Engine 4.
The Universim Developers: Who Are the People Behind It?
‘The Universim’ is developed and published by San Diego based American video game development studio Crytivo Games. Crytivo is best known for publishing the farm simulator game ‘Farm Folks’.
The Universim Release Date: When And Where Can I Play it?
Development on ‘The Universim’ began over five years ago in April 2014 after a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The game saw an initial release on the Steam Early Access platform on August 29, 2018. The game is in a fully playable state already, but more features and mechanics are constantly being added.
The game is currently playable on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Linux. A dedicated port for consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is a distinct possibility sometime in 2021 or later.
The Universim Trailer
You can watch the trailer for ‘The Universim’ right here:
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