What kind of god would you be? The helpful sort, aiding your little worshippers, healing them, interfering in their lives in the hopes of bringing positive change? Or a wrathful god, punishing the wicked and lazy? In The Universim, a god game now in Early Access (opens in new tab), I'm inadvertently playing both roles. I'm trying to help, really, but each time I place my godly hand upon the world and its tiny citizens, I just make things worse.
The Universim begins on a planet containing two little people, or 'nuggets' as they're called. They set about chopping down trees and mining resources, which is quite frankly a relief if you've been playing survival games because it's just nice to see someone else doing all of the repetitive chores while you sit back and watch.
You can help out, though. You're a god, so you can use one of your powers, telekinesis, to lift things, like trees and rocks, to make the construction of the nugget's little buildings faster. At least in theory.
Why are they so scared? I'm just a godly being, uprooting a tree with divine power, then brutally smashing it to pieces in their construction site. They need wood, and I provide wood. Yet they flee in terror instead of getting down on their tiny, simulated knees and thanking me. It's not exactly making me feel appreciated.
In fact, the only reason there are so many little nuggets on this planet is from my divine intervention. Another godly power is one that makes the little nuggets thirsty for each other, at which point they run into a hut and bang, producing one or more other little nuggets. Without my love spell, there would only be two nuggets fleeing in terror, instead of eight.
Back to telekinesis, though. Nuggets aren't the only lifeform on the planet, there are all sorts of animals as well. I try to helpfully transport some into my nugget's village, thinking maybe they'll hunt them or tame them or something. I doesn't go well.
Along with the mammoth I tried to place gently but wound up murdering, you can see the bloody remains of a bear I'd flung into the village. I'm not quite sure what I'm doing wrong, but maybe I just need more practice at being a god. Speaking of remains, one of my nuggets dies while I'm out on some other part of the planet trying (unsuccessfully) to pick up a whale, and the body is lying in the middle of town.
I find it a bit morbid with the lifeless body of the nugget just lying there, and it doesn't appear as if my nuggets have figured out what to do with their dead yet. (There's a lengthy tech tree, and my people are still somewhere in the stone age, and they can't even cook yet so cannibalism isn't an option). So, I try lifting the corpse with my telekinesis power to put it, I dunno, somewhere in the woods or in the ocean or on top of a mountain. Gently... gently...
Well! That wasn't helpful at all. Two other nuggets who had been humping in a nearby hut walk out, stare in what I assume is abject horror, and then walk away, probably with deep-seated psychological issues that will never let them achieve arousal again. As a god, my little nuggets now know me as one who flings trees and dead animals around and mutilates corpses. I'm dreading reading whatever bible is written, once they've learned how to write.
I finally discover something useful to do, which is healing. Anytime any nugget has the slightest injury or illness, I fly over and heal them. Their buildings slowly deteriorate and I can heal the buildings, too. I begin to feel helpful and accepted as their god. At one point, yes, I do accidentally pick up a nugget with telekinesis, and yes, while he's in my godly hand I zoom my view far away from the planet, and yes, the nugget does asphyxiate to death in space as a result. But that was a mistake. That was a little whoopsie.
That doesn't need to go into the bible.
The Universim, so far, is pretty cute when I'm not horribly and inadvertently destroying the lives of the little people depending on my help. Plans for its future include guiding the little civilization into the space age, with skyscrapers and rockets and the colonization of other planets. Currently, in Early Access, you can advance as far as the end of the medieval era (opens in new tab). If I don't get better at using telekinesis, though, I'm not sure my little nuggets will make it there.