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

“[A godlike] card game. [You] create a new world and can play cards until the apocalypse comes. [How] far will your civilization come? [Will] they create a church […] or maybe escape their imminent end in a rocket? […] [Fulfill] their wishes to gain faith which you need to play cards[.]”

In the god simulation game “simmiland” you do not rule over mankind as an allmighty entity, as your action possibilities 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 you can play the cards that you hold in your hands to summon their effects: Changing the weather, crushing objects into more handable elements, creating trees, plants, minerals, animals or even humans, helping your followers 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 a plain field will turn it into a swamp, sometimes even a tundra. When you try to create a plant on plain fields, you will create some healthy wheat. In a tundra however, just unusable brambles can be grown. On the other hand, summoning a meteor may sound like a horribly dangerous idea, which could kill off every lifeform in a certain radius and turn everything into a dusty desert, but you may also reveal 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, humanity can discover something new about the world: Inspecting a burning tree? That information can be used to build an oven. The chicken dropped a feather? That could be used to write stuff down. Also, this hot lava just gave me an idea.

The intelligence of your followers is a primary factor for possible discoveries, though. New knowledge often bases on old one, and sometimes your worshippers are just not ready yet. This core mechanic gets reflected perfectly by the twenty-seven achievements that you can try to collect, too. One of my personal favorites is the one called “Nerds”. Here, you have to establish an average intelligence quotient of two hundred points. Do you know what will cap the intelligence in “simmiland”? Building a church. [PLAY]