“simmiland” by Sokpop Collective (Aran Koning, Tijmen Tio, Tom van den Boogaart & rubna).

“[A] god-like card game. [Y]ou create a new world and can play cards until the apocalypse comes. [H]ow far will your civilization come? [W]ill they create a church […] or maybe escape their imminent end in a rocket? […] [F]ulfill their wishes to gain faith which you need to play cards[.]”

In the god simulation game “simmiland” you do not play as an allmighty entity which can completely rule over mankind, as your actions are directly linked to the faith that the humans put into you. Whenever they pray to you or when you fulfill their wishes, you will get some action points. With those points you can play the cards that you hold in your hands and summon their effects: Changing the weather, crushing objects into more handable elements, creating trees, plants, minerals, animals or even humans, helping mankind out to discover a new technology or even erase them from the Earth by releasing a horrible plague.

However, each of these actions can have wonderful or dire consequences. For example, making it rain over some plain fields will turn them into a swamp or even a tundra. When you try to create a plant on plain fields, you will create some healthy wheat. In a tundra however, just brambles can be grown, which are not very useful for your little followers. Or maybe you want to summon a meteor? While this represents a dangerous action, which can kill off every life form in a certain radius and turn everything into a dusty desert, you may also reveal rare, valuable resources like gold ores by doing so.

Nearly every card in “simmiland” has potential advantages and disadvantages at the same time, resulting into a beautiful gameplay that invites the players to experiment. A very important card type is the ‘Inspect’ card. By playing this one on the right items in the right circumstances, mankind can discover something new about the world: Inspecting a burning tree? Oh, maybe we can use that information to build an oven! Oh wait, the chicken dropped a feather… We could use this to write stuff down! And this hot lava just gives me an idea…

But like I said, the right circumstances are important – and one main factor is the intelligence of mankind at the time of the potential discovery. New knowledge often bases on another one, and sometimes your worshippers are not ready yet. This core mechanic gets reflected perfectly by the 27 achievements that you can try to collect in “simmiland”, too. One of my personal favorites is the number 26 called ‘Nerds’. Here you have to establish an average intelligence quotient of 200. And do you know what will cap the intelligence of the humans? When they build you a church. Absolutely delightful.