Godus Beta - First Impressions

If I see "Tap an see lost Follower" one more time there's gonna be hell to pay

I'm a Godus Kickstarter backer, mainly because I'm a fan of Peter Molyneux's work, despite his habit of hyping games to ridiculous heights. While the game (albeit in an unfinished state) has been available to play for quite awhile now, I've refrained from playing it as I prefer playing games in a completed state; excessive bugs could potentially ruin my first impression of the game and just as it is with meeting new people, first impressions count! There's also the fact that the game pre-release might be quite different to the final product.

So why did I take the plunge and check out Godus? Well after posting the Godus trailer below:

I received feedback from a friend in the form of another video - a video posted in September that criticised Godus and derided it as a "pay-to-win mobile game" or at least something along those lines. I wanted to experience the current build of Godus myself to see if these criticisms still held true.

One of the major criticisms in the video was how everything required multiple clicks to do. Anyone who has watched the video can breathe a little bit easier now though since 22cans have implemented a means of selecting multiple objects while holding down the mouse button.

Anyway, besides that, how have my first 3 hours of playing the Godus beta been like?

What I like

  • Graphics: Yes the graphics are quite basic with a low polygon count but I actually like the clean, crisp art style.
  • Gameplay: From what I've played so far, the game is a very relaxing, casual kind of game - well most of the time anyway.

What I don't like

  • Graphics: While I like the art-style I did experience some weird artifact issues every so often. Thankfully they went away if I scrolled around for awhile. Obviously something that needs to be fixed come final release.
  • Mobile target platform: A lot of the actions in the game are done with clicking and holding, or holding and dragging, which means its target platform is the mobile. While this isn't so bad in itself it does mean sub-standard controls for PC players, I mean why can't you just drag a box to select multiple things? Why must you hold and drag the so-called "leash" to tag each of the things?
  • Pay-to-win?: There were some rumours and various posts about Godus becoming "pay-to-win" towards the end of last year. Apparently, users could use gems to hurry things up and gems could be purchased with real money. The video by NERD3 above confirms the sighting of this gems feature. This doesn't seem to exist anymore - or at least I haven't encountered it in the beta yet. There's still that lingering worry though if it will make it to final release and if it does, if it will be play-to-win or simply something that is used for cosmetic purchases.
  • Gameplay: You don't really do much in the game besides clearing land for expansion, teching up your civilization and collecting faith (so you can clear more land for expansion). Admittedly, I haven't come across any human players yet so it remains to be seen if it makes things more interesting. It also doesn't help that the pacing in the game is so damn slow. I believe this is why they added the extra feature of using your followers to go on Voyages (which is very similar to the game Lemmings). If you didn't have this mini-game while waiting for stuff to happen back at your civilization, it'd be rather boring.
  • Stability: I know this is a beta but it has to be said that I'm receiving Crashes-to-Desktop every 30 minutes or so. Choicest Games contributor, Choona, who is also playing Godus isn't having the same issue. I discovered that the whenever I have an APPCRASH report it refers to a DLL used by the Marmalade Simulator (which I guess is the engine being used by Godus). I discovered this thread that has a few users mentioning that Marmalade doesn't run very well on AMD cards. It can't be a coincidence that Choona runs an NVIDIA card and I run an AMD. Hopefully this is something else that will be investigated prior to release.
  • Pathfinding AI: Just as it was in another god game, From Dust, followers often get stuck in the terrain and you'll be alerted about it everytime it happens. Needless to say, it gets very annoying.


I'd be cautious about investing in Godus at the moment. The game definitely has potential (just like a lot of Peter Molyneux's games) but the uncertainty around the micro-transaction model and how the late game pans out means I can't recommend this game, at least not yet. Expect a review after it's finally released!