Planitia: Phenomenal Cosmic Power, Itty Bitty Living Space!

June24 Let me just say up front.  I’m a Christian, and I take my faith very seriously.  This review will have nothing to do with my beliefs though, but the reason I said this was because of the next statement I’m going to make.  I don’t really like the name “god” game.  It sounds like it makes light of people’s faith.  I really don’t think it does, but the name sounds like it does.  When #GameDevelopers (on – Starchat irc network) own Anthony Salter, aka Viridian, mentioned he was going to make a god game, it was with a bit of reservation that I decided to test it.  I did this because I felt I wanted to support fellow indie game developers.  Really a “god game” is a genre of games where you get to play like a god, in other words, form worlds as you see fit and create people and civilizations and have them do your bidding.  The game isn’t entirely finished but it’s got most of the elements in it.

What I think of it:  It’s actually a bit of fun if, for nothing else, than to just manipulate the land the way you want.  If this sounds interesting to you click the Read More at the bottom there.  I promise no more silly “after the break” type jokes. 

PlanitiaSS01 Anthony Salter is somewhat of an industry vet.  You can read more about him on his blog.  In 2005 he challenged himself to do an rpg in 40 hours.  He completed his goal and the result is Inaria.  Then later he started a terrain renderer that morphed into a game called Planitia.  This is what I’m reviewing this time.  Anyways I’ve never really played god-games before probably in part because of the genre title (as I just wrote).  However I played a beta of this game a while back and actually had a lot of fun with it.  It had only a few ‘god’ powers back then and now it actually has a whole slew of them.

The goal of the game is to take over your opponent’s village.  To do this you need to make villages, which creates villagers, and then you need to convert some of them to soldiers and open a can of whoopeth-asseth on the enemy village.  So basically you each have a general, and you create soldiers out of villagers.  Mana gives you god-powers, villagers give you mana, villages give you villagers, and flat terrain gives you villages.  Simple as that.  However military units do not give you mana.  So you need to sort of watch your resources.  Basically the god powers control the game.  You have earth quake, and volcano, and lightning.  There are other powers but I wasn’t sure if they all actually did anything.  But essentially you can do everything with earthquake and lightening to the other player.  And modify (flatten) terrain with yours.  The main game play comes from actually taking your general and military units and walking over to the enemy village to kick some butt.

PlanitiaSS02 Controls are a little involved, although not hard.  There are three panels on the side, the military panel, the god power panel, and the control panel which only has exit at the moment.  The military panel let’s you select your general and convert villagers to military units.  You have archers, barbarians, and warriors.  I’m not really sure what each does different but some are effective against certain types of enemy units.  The god power panel, let’s you select the power with left clicking the icon.  Then you simply left click on the terrain to use it.  To move your general select him with the panel button or by left-clicking him directly and then right click anywhere on the screen, then him and all your soldiers will follow him to the destination.  You need to make sure there is a way to get to the enemy by modifying the terrain to form land bridges over water.  You can move the camera with W, A, S, D and Q or E to rotate the camera.  You can also click on a mini map which moves the camera directly there.

The graphics when I had seen them in the beta were pretty basic.  They were ripped from Inaria, which themselves were taken from some free sprites off the net.  Now it seems to have some decent little animated guys that were made for the game.

PlanitiaSS03 I don’t know if this is really much of a review.  The game is pretty fun.  I would suggest you try it.  It’s a real-time strategy game, since I didn’t mention that earlier, and should appeal to the rts fan, however, I am not a particular rts fan, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.  There’s a tutorial in it, a single player mode (you and the computer) and a 4 player lan option.

Name: Planitia

Developer: Viridian

Price: Free

Where you can get it: Here!

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