Peter Molyneux, designer of Populous and Fable, is no stranger to hype, but with Godus(22cans, iOS, free), a freemium title funded on Kickstarter to the tune of £526,000, he was always going to face an uphill task living up to expectations.
The game puts players in the familiar position of deity to a collection of simple natives, and initially the landscape is manipulated with a swipe of a stubby digit, to either help the people build, or voyage to a new area. Sadly, this is where the first gripe emerges – it should be a fantastically intuitive way to control a god game but it's clumsy and inaccurate, which is all the more frustrating when the ability to minipulate is limited by the amount of "belief" generated by your worshippers.
This is earned over time – a lot of time at the start ,when your tribe is limited in size, unless you're willing to spend some money on the in-app currency, gems (£2.99-£69.99). It's well worth shelling out – because once in control of enough people the belief starts to flow freely, godly powers grow and the grumbles about the awkward controls fade as omnipotence starts to feel like it could be yours.
Rules! (iOS, The Coding Monkeys, £1.49) is simpler – a memory-test game that presents you with a 4x4 grid of numbered squares in which lurk different coloured beasties. Level one has one rule – hit the numbers in descending order. Level two has a second – hit greens – which you do, followed by rule one, until the squares are clear. This continues, piling rule upon rule, until level 11 when new diktats begin. It's a real brain workout – and demonstrates that more complex design does not necessarily make a better game.
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