Lemmings, Pikmin, and Lovecraftian elder gods is an odd mix, but it somehow works in the demo I just played. God’s Gift, by the worryingly named Seventeen Uncles, is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter to grow into a full game. It’s a platform puzzler with dark intent – as a tentacled servitor to an alien god, you are invincible but the purple-robed human cultists following you are not. They need to be carefully shepherded, and only sacrificed on blood-altars when you absolutely need a little divine, flesh-warping help. Grab the demo here, and check out the trailer below.
While your giant floating eyeball is impressive, there’s not much you can do physically to help your little cultist minions in God’s Gift. However, you can convince them to sacrifice themselves on the altars of strange alien gods, granting you a stock of Lemmings-like transformation powers to use on them. Warp one briefly into a charging hell-beast to break through a wall, or winged Cthulhoid monster in order to flap past a barrier. Every cultist is simultaneously a resource and a liability, and they do need to be kept safe, until such time as they can be used properly.
God’s Gift does a surprisingly great job of making its worlds feel alien. Your level selection hub is a cathedral on Earth (built to honour you, of course), but the environments you need to lead your cult through are weird in all the right ways. Castle-topped floating islands, ancient ziggurats and some strange flora and fauna. Not everything is trying to kill you, either – see the alien priest in the trailer above – but some things need to be puzzled around, or fought through using the right cultist transformations. I’ve yet to complete the demo, but it’s five levels long, including a boss.
Interestingly, the demo also contains a bare-bones level editor, although the developers note that it’s the least finished part of the package right now. Still, it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d want to see in a game like this, and I hope the final game (if it gets made) includes some kind of level sharing, too. The God’s Gift Kickstarter is only seeking to raise £7,500, although it’s still some ways off after two days. I’ve got my tentacles crossed for this one – it’s imaginative, weird and and fun even in this early stage, and while gruesome, some of those little animations are impressive.