From Dust revives god game genre ... for some

Rock Paper Shotgun's Alec Meer offers his first impressions of From Dust, Eric Chahi's god game. Unfortunately, it sounds more Black and White than Populous.
I want a different, or at least more dramatic game to the one that is in front of me, which means I’m offering absolutely worthless criticism when I call for those things. I suspect I won’t be alone, of course, From Dust may well prove a victim of its players’ expectations – because it’s made by the guy who made the revered Another World, because it appeared to be the long awaited return of god games in the Populous vein and, frankly, because the likes of Minecraft, Terraria and Wurm Online mean we’re starting to become rather accustomed to supreme levels of sandbox construction/destruction
Other early reviews are more positive, but it is, as they say, a mixed bag. Impressions: From Dust [RPS]


  1. Honestly, after seeing a video and listening to the designer spending most of his time speaking about fluid flow I think it’s more like Wetrix than anything else.

  2. It sounds to me like what had the potential to be a really interesting narrativist/simulationist experience has been subverted by cramming in gamist mechanics where they weren’t needed.  Levels … goals … puzzles … sigh.

    There’s more to play than overcoming challenges.

    1. It wouldn’t, because the PC version isn’t out for another month. Surprised? It’s okay, Ubisoft only announced it two days before the game came out for 360.

      In a more serious and less vindictive PC gaming master race tone, is Parallels anything like WINE? If so, I should think it would.

    1. What does that leave nowadays? Honestly what do you play? Not being snarky just curious.

      1. A) Sandbox games. Doing a fun thing with Minecraft where I design crazy stuff, give the saved games to my friends, and let them blow things up. B) FPS are still fun for me (I don’t know why, the genre is pretty tired.) C) I occasionally play EQ and DAoC. No grinding because characters are years old and max equipped (or I buy whatever I need). I am also a crafting geek. D) Puzzle games or “let’s screw with physics” games, mostly indie titles.

      2. As fxq suggests, indie titles are the answer. DRM tends to be a non-issue, and you only have to deal with micro and grinding if that’s your passion and you’re seeking it out–otherwise, there’s an amazing variety of products out there no matter what your personal tastes are, and they tend to be a great value.

        A few cheap PC titles I’m enjoying right now: Magicka, AI War Fleet Command, Dungeons of Dredmor, Jamestown, Terraria.

  3. The game sound very interesting to me.  While it had man flaws, I still had a blast with Black and White.

    1. What if I love playing a god..but am kind of tired of the tribal setting?

      Good question. Could it be fun to play a god in a science fiction setting where nobody believes in you?

      In any case, it doesn’t matter to me whether this is a cool game or not. I’ve heard it has Ubisoft’s hated always-online DRM.

  4. I love the idea of a working, not all powerful god.  Granted, it might not be what people are looking for, but I’m psyched to play it.

  5. “I’m offering absolutely worthless criticism”-Alec Meer
    that’s about the most accurate description of that article.  I just played through 75% of the campaign and I would have to say that the game is a very enjoyable and relaxing puzzle game with multiple ways to solve the puzzles.  Just sit back and enjoy some of the random minutia. Like when a villager suddenly decides the best way to deliver his knowledge to the next village is by suicidally running around the edge of an erupting volcano. I will have to agree with Alec Meer on one point. The game is not Populous.  and it’s not titled Populous. And I don’t think anyone called it Populous..All well.

  6. What I want in this sort of game is to balance a system into dynamic stability. Then look upon it and say that it is good. I don’t want to run around saving the game units from destruction by random disasters. (I turn off disasters in Sim City.)

  7. Well I downloaded it last night, but have yet to give it a try.  Can’t wait to dive in when I get home.

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