It’s been a while since a major new god-game landed, handing the player the powers of life and death over an evolving civilization. The last notable high-profile one crashed and burned in a deeply spectacular fashion, but that was years ago and it’s not like a single disappointing misfire can sink an entire genre, right? The Universim ran a successful Kickstarter in 2014, then went into an early-alpha stage for a few years before finally breaking out onto Steam’s Early Access today. Yes, it’s taken four years to go from an unfinished state to a more-finished unfinished state, but that’s how game development works.
The people of The Universim need your guidance and a miracle or two to reach their potential and expand to the stars. Civilization starts as nothing more than a couple without even a stone hut to take shelter from the weather, and you act as guide, protector, and taskmaster to guide them past certain extinction. While the game begins in the stone age it will eventually progress into colonizing new planets, but in the current Early Access build the spacefaring age isn’t ready yet and progress stops at the modern age. The current plan calls for about 12-18 months of development in Early Access, and the intro hints at the strangeness waiting out there in the universe once it’s ready to be added. The current version, though, features a beautiful, spherical world that requires a careful balance between the expansion of civilization and overutilization of its resources, but an attentive deity should be able to shepherd its inhabitants past whatever calamities may come its way.