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Without any prior knowledge of this game one might assume it could be an agricultural simulator, however From Dust essentially is the answer to Joan Osborne’s only notable song “One of Us”. So what if God was one of us? If you have played one of the many god simulator’s around the internet or even possibly for purchase you might think that he was a cold hearted killer who only found pleasure in electrocuting hobo’s, but that’s not the case with this game. Unfortunately or not, your task in the game is to guard and guide your own personal tribe to designated “totems” in an attempt to mad dash to the portal allowing you to progress to the next level.

The main point of the story being “finding a suitable place for these people to inhabit”, however I find that this clearly cannot be the case since the very first level has no natural disasters of any sort and quite easy for them to want to live in. So what gives? Story however is not vital to this game, although it is a nice deterrent and adds some backdrop for why you (the breath) have the powers you do. In this regard you don’t play god, more so you play an ancestral spirit imbibed with inherit abilities (given the proper totems are inhabited).

So what is the daily dose of “god” like in From Dust you might be asking? Fortunately due to a very non-complex user interface there is not a lot of unnecessary information being thrown at you like you might see in other games (such as abilities or resources). Your primary knowledge is the totems you have inhabited (along with their abilities which can be activated with the corresponding key number), any impending natural disasters (such as tsunami’s or volcanic eruptions), and vegetation (which is a concern for certain objectives but mostly for unlockables).

The way you play the game is simple, you use either your mouse or the WASD keys to move your character (which looks like a golden snake kind of) and you use the left mouse click to pick up resources and right click to drop them. Given this simple gameplay mechanic your objective is also easily comprehendible, but increasingly more difficult to carry through. At the onset of a level you will notice various obstacles for your tribesmen to reach the totems (essentially making the game a kind of pseudo-escort/god game) and you need to use the surrounding resources to correct the problem. For example, say there is a lake between point A and B, then pick up some sand and plop it right on the water to create a sand bridge. When sand won’t work, in later levels try lava to create rock roads or walls or even use water to douse flames and grow agriculture. The beauty of the game is in the varied ways anyone can attempt to solve one problem, all the while having the same objective.

The only real problem with the game is that it is not too long to complete the entire single-player experience (although there are challenge maps) and there is a real difficulty spike near the last third of the game that becomes quite troublesome to overcome. Yet From Dust takes a visually and objectively creative twist on the god game genre and is worth a try.

Note: I played PC version