The Universim is trying to perform a big task: Bring the God Sim into the modern era. Naturally, I am apprehensive, as the last attempt at this was Godus: an honest failure if there ever was one. But I’m willing to forgive, to move on from being cheated if the premise is strong and the mechanics work well.
So how does Universim plan to do this? By taking the established mechanics and interpolating modern feature we consider standard. You all enjoy picking up and throwing your people around, now do so with a physics engine, meaning you can launch those poor atheists into space. A step has been taken from Breath of the Wild, with the systems working organically around each other. You also get a little Civilization in there too, with the technological span of this game going from prehistoric to postmodern.
A lot of this means that the Nuggets (that is the name of your people) tend to run themselves and your input is very little. Your main input is to slowly provide development to them in the form of research and place structures or disasters in their wake. Research starts very simple, each taking time to research over resources, and add incremental benefits such as buffs or more overt benefits such as buildings or structures. You get to place things around freeform, and you will need to keep certain structures close together.
The alpha preview I have, only allows me to reach pre-medieval times sadly so I cannot comment of the full length of the system. But for what I have played the system is quite a robust one. The lack of personal input is somewhat dismaying, as a lot of the work is background and you really are only stepping in outside of research and building when someone is ill or you want to mess up a Nugget’s day.
My first attempt went horribly wrong, naturally. I built up a solid colony near a lake, thinking that would help with my water needs. But with all the citizens drinking from one pond, the lake started losing fish as we were using all the water. My second attempt went a lot better, but I accidentally threw too many of the dead into space and my people got angry with me.
Now, these are funny, true; but it also shows the system is working as intended and means that while early on you can think very simplistically, later you will be required to plan and prepare. This is a solid learning curve and one which gives you plenty of time to get your bearings. The tutorial does a good job of starting you off also, but going in blind can be quite fun, particularly with your godly abilities.
Now naturally I won’t be scoring a preview, but The Universim is definitely up the right alley for those of you yearning for a solid God Sim or strategy game. Enough technicality to allow strategy to your development, enough RNG to make the runs unique and enough satisfaction in committing apocalyptic events to make you smile like the child you were playing Black and White. It is taking some smart steps forward, and looks to make playing God fun again beyond the obvious torturing of your worshippers.
Bookmark the game on Steam here