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Have You Played... From Dust?

The hand of God

The god game genre hasn't had many breakout hits, and it's hard to argue From Dust is one of 'em. But despite a load of hoo-ha about DRM when this first released on PC, back in 2011, it's probably the most meditative god games I've ever played. You're not omnipotent, you see. You don't actually have a lot of powers. You can move sand around like nobody's business, though.

It becomes mostly a game about clever terraforming. Your little flock of believers need to get to different places, and you can facilitate that. You can move the earth in a very literal sense, by picking it up and dumping it somewhere else. It feels more like you're doing small miracles than in e.g. Black & White, where you can throw people onto your flaming prayer altar.

From dust is also quite hard, because of how limited your miracle workings are. Sometimes when you scoop up a load of sand, a big natural spring is revealed, and threatens to wash away your whole village if you don't cover it back up again, or build a makeshift dam. It made me think of the Terry Pratchett book Small Gods. No bad thing there.

About the Author
Alice Bell avatar

Alice Bell

Deputy Editor

Small person powered by tea and books; RPS's dep ed since 2018. Send her etymological facts and cool horror or puzzle games.

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