If Valentine's Day hasn't already had its merry way with you, leave it to free games to get you in a good mood this weekend. In this case it's 1997's Dungeon Keeper and the fine folks at GOG.com who have stepped up to put a—hopefully—devilish grin on your face. The classic dungeon management game is free to download there through 10:59 GMT Sunday.
Of course, Simon Roth has already given the world early access to his colony-building sci-fi god game Maia over on his site, but pretty soon we'll be able to access it by clicking some buttons in our Steam windows instead. Maia flew through Steam Greenlight like a greased Scotsman a couple of months ago, but the in-development game won't be on the Steam store until December 3rd, as revealed yesterday in a Kickstarter update. This will give Roth time to get Maia into a suitable state, ahead of the fresh player injection.
22 Cans' Godus will soon have a beta, as announced by chief Godus-botherer Peter Molyneux, who in a refreshing change was not trapped inside an onion-like cube at the time. (As far as I know, anyway.) September 13th is the date to mark on your calender/tap into your iphone/scratch onto the asylum walls with your bare fingernails, and Steam Early Access will be the place to buy your way in - for $19.99, £14.99 or €18.99.
Simon Roth's sci-fi survival game Maia continues to astound; in this showcase for the latest alpha version (0.32), Roth demonstrates base building, a process that promises to be regularly interrupted/made better by the addition of meteorite strikes and tremors. In a later update this will cause your colony's staff to temporarily cease working (wusses) in order to shield themselves against the planet Maia's primal rumblings. It's a terrifically atmospheric, beautifully lens flary video, and another sign that Roth's game is headed down the right track.
Black & White’s high concept could have been an @petermolydeux tweet: ‘You’re an all-seeing deity who’s followed around by a devoted chimp that shares all of your powers but none of your reasoning or judgement.’
The popularity of the Peter Molyneux parody account is down to the developer’s penchant for ‘imagine if’ statements like this one. In the years prior to its release, Black & White was sold as a revolutionary new kind of game: a world that doubles as a personality test, a measure of character that would reflect you personally.
It's safe to assume that Maia creator Simon Roth has a love of old sci-fi. It's written all over this latest trailer for his colony building god-game: dark synths, creeping psychological dread, pixelated chickens. Okay, maybe not that last one. Even at this stage in development, there's a clear enough emergence of theme, style and simulation, that the game is now attempting to build a new home on Steam Greenlight.
After just over six months of collected Android and iOS owners inexplicably tapping at a giant cube, 22 Cans have finally revealed what's inside the box. Turns out Curiosity hadn't caught a quantum cat, or Gwyneth Paltrow's decapitated head, or any other unlikely guess. Instead, it held a mini-Molyneux, with a message to the winner about their ultimate prize. And unlike Curiosity itself, that prize will have an impact on PC gamers - at least, it will for those backers of 22 Cans' upcoming Godus.
The thing about humans is, you try and do something nice for them, and then they throw it back in your face by raising an army and going to war. Even innocent things, like building a bakery so they don't starve, will result in more soldiers prowling the floating island you watch over. Well, at least they can defend themselves from bandits... No, wait, they're charging head-first into a big Greek mythological monstrosity. The other thing about humans is they're kind of dumb.
That's what you'll have to deal with in Skyward Collapse, the turn-based 4X god game from AI War developer Arcen Games. You play as The Creator, who is attempting to help two warring civilizations thrive, without letting either get advanced enough to wipe out their rival. It's an interesting twist on the god 'em up genre, and it's out now through Steam and the developer's website.
We're a terrible species. One moment we're happily enjoying the care and nurturing of a giant tree god; the next, without warning, someone suggests: "Guys! What if we killed everything?" And so begins a new era of violence and shouting. In 2D god game Reus it's your job to prod humanity in the direction of progress just enough that we don't succumb to our murderous instincts. Good luck with that.
Hypothetical: If you were a giant, ancient crab imbued with godlike powers, how would you respond to your followers taking up arms against their very creator? If you responded with "cake," sorry. If you responded with "pound a town-shaped crater where they used to live," congratulations! You're ready for Reus, the indie god game coming up from developer Abbey Games that has you keeping an eye on the affairs of mortals while crafting a world to your whim.
It's all well and good for Kickstarter to become the new home of the god game, but if you're a fan of the genre, you're probably not relishing the long wait for games like Maia or 22 Cans' Project GODUS. Luckily, there's a retro tribute you can play right now.
This trailer for Reprisal shows off the world terraforming, elemental spellcasting and tribal commanding of the adorable pixelated homage to Peter Molyneux's genre defining Populous.
Last month, Ubisoft said they would patch their online-at-startup-DRM out of From Dust and now RockPaperShotgun are reporting that they have made good on their promise. The next time you fire the game up on Steam it should update and sync up your savegames with the Ubisoft servers. Rejoice!
Previously gamers would have to be online and connect to the Ubisoft servers when they started From Dust, although they could disconnect and continue as normal afterwards.
The DRM was one of many issues with From Dust's launch, if you want our verdict on the game itself, read our From Dust review.
Ubisoft have decided to remove From Dust's controversial DRM system that requires players to be online whenever the game is launched.
A post from Ubisoft on their forums, spotted on Eurogamer, says that a patch will arrive in approximately two weeks to remove the start up authentication procedure. They say that the development time is needed to ensure that players' game saves, currently stored on Ubisoft's servers, are relocated to users' hard drives before the servers are switched off.
"Once the patch is ready, players who already have the game will automatically receive the update on their next login and subsequent game sessions will be 100 per cent offline," reads the forum post.
Three weeks ago, Ubisoft insisted that their god game, From Dust would "not require a permanent online connection" to play. RPS also spotted a forum post from a Ubisoft employee who wrote that From Dust will have "a one time only activation. After which you will be able to play the game offline."
After a last minute delay, From Dust is finally out, and while it doesn't require a constant internet connection, you will need to be hooked up to the web to launch the game. RPS note that the Ubisoft forum post has since been changed to say "'From Dust' requires an internet connection when you start the game."
From Dust is singleplayer only, but its copy protection requires you to be online at all times – if you’re disconnected, the game pauses and won’t let you save. I’m telling you this now because it’s ridiculous, and so I can move on to talking about the game.
Update: Re-tested, and this has changed since this review was written - the game no longer kicks you out if your connection is lost. You do need to be online to start the game, though. (Thanks John).
I’ve never played anything quite like it. It’s a game about sculpting landscape by sucking up swirls of lava, water and earth and trickling them into rivers and ridges to protect your masked tribe. It’s extraordinary, exhausting, spectacular, and frequently no fun at all.
Ubisoft have confirmed to VG247 that their recently delayed god game, From Dust "will not require a permanent online connection to play in single-player mode.”
This week, we learned that Driver: San Francisco will have Ubisoft's always-online DRM system. The From Dust Steam entry does list the Ubisoft Online Service as third party DRM, but it looks as though it's a less stringent version.
Ubisoft told us yesterday that they see their DRM system as "a success," saying that it's led to “a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection.”
The new trailer for god game, From Dust, is supposed to celebrate the game's launch. Sadly, the PC version has been delayed for a few weeks, but we can still gawp at the lovely terrain morphing powers on show. From Dust lets you pick up a ball of lava and blob it around the landscape like a child wielding a very dangerous paintbrush.
The objective is to help a loyal tribe to safety, but the griefing potential is enormous. We know it's possible to raise a sand bridge to let your tribe cross some water, but is it possible to create a world-sized deathtrap full of sinkholes and deadly lava pits? It's probably the first thing we'll try to make when From Dust comes out on August 17.
Gorgeous new god game, From Dust was due to come out tomorrow, but the giant hand of Ubisoft has plunged down from the heavens and flicked the release further into the future. Ubisoft told Joystiq that the PC version will now ship on August 17.
This is especially annoying because the XBox Live release is still on track for this week. From Dust was to be the highlight in a slim month of PC releases. Now it's coming out within a week of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Still, it looks fantastic. Check out the developer diary above for a look at the spectacular terrain moulding tools.
Ubisoft's enigmatic god game, From Dust, will be out on PC on July 27. Among other things, the game lets you grab a ball of lava from a volcano and use it to gently rub new terrain into existence. You can also use it to blow up weird bulbous plants to release torrents of water, or just drop it on some peasants if you're feeling vindictive. The aim is to guide a tribe across the landscape by beating that landscape into a new shape using your godly will.
The terrain deformation and water technology look amazing, but will there be enough of a game there to make all that mass destruction worthwhile? We'll find out om a few weeks. VG247 report that From Dust will hit Steam and the Ubisoft store at the budget price of $19.95. You'll find more info on the official From Dust site.
2011's E3 is proving to be bountiful for fans of the word 'dust'. Hot on the heels of CCP's Dust 514, Ubisoft's From Dust is a god game, something in the mould of one of Peter Molyneux's world-shaping titles: Populous, and Black and White. It's also stylised and beautiful - something you might expect from the mind of Eric Chahi. From Dust tasks you with shaping the world around a tribe of mask-faced humanoids in an attempt to keep them safe from the rampaging elements. And yes, it looks like you can forgo all that nicety and just drop flaming chunks of rock on their villages. You cackling madman.