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This may be a little long winded, not sure. Either way I need to explain a few things first to get my point across. Also Note: Please don't respond with "Then don't buy Early Access!" I know its a risk. It's a risk I happily took with Universim, sometimes that risk pays off, sometimes not, but an avid lover of games myself, even if a game ends up not being what I hoped it'd be. It's fine.

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I originally got into Universim well before it came to steam. I came upon it in its first few weeks of being available to pre order, and get into the very early alpha tests. It's a game from what was promised of growing your "nugget" civilization from the earliest caveman like era' to the space age and beyond colonizing other planets.

 

It sounded very much like Spore. A game that has had nothing like it since, where you grow a civilization to the stars, and interact with aliens, colonize other planets, etc. that wasn't a 4x game.

 

I was, and still am very excited for that aspect.

 

Here is where my concerns start to kick in though... I saw the post about the 14 or so month development plan to release. I looked at the trello's roadmap to release, etc. and I'm comparing it to what we have in the game now.

 

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At the moment the "ages" promised of going through them to space age is.. well.. disappointing to me to say the least. Going from one "Age" to another is literally plopping down 3 buildings and tada.. you're onto the next age as soon as you wait for the 5 minutes of tech to catch up.. There isn't anything to it. Nothing interesting or interactive, or even really challenging or engaging. The size of the nuggets/buildings kind of plays into this. If they were smaller, and you could have hundreds more per say, you could really get a nice little civilization going and things could get a little more hectic and interesting, but I digress.

 

Going back to the Spore example, Spore does have a rather minimal/boring part as well, which is when you reach the point of having a city, at this point you're literally just plopping down buildings and fighting silly little wars with nearby cities on the planet. Nothing too it, and it's really rather dull. However, when you hit the space age game in Spore things REALLY kick off again.. You not only find, interact, and even fight other alien races, but you're exploring and discovering worlds to colonize, and even terraforming, picking up plants and animals to populate your original planet with, hell you can even color, and change your original planet too if you choose, and evolve your Spore civilization.. While I don't expect to be able to do all of that in Universim, it does bring me to my point.

 

What exactly is the end game about?

 

For Spore that's when the game really started, when you have tons of options and things to do at any given time.

 

For Universim, I have no idea. There is nothing really explained or shown on the Roadmap besides more buildings.. Is that all we can do? Find a new planet and start plopping down more buildings?

 

Will there be unique new buildings depending on the biome of the planet? the hazards? I don't see anything of that nature either.

 

What about interactions with aliens? How deep will that be? Or will it be as simple as the meteors? Silly little thing they give you and that's it?

This is where the sum of my fears for the future of the game come from. The "Depth" of the game right now leaves much to be desired, but I am hoping it blossoms like Spore did in "End Game" where everything you do really happens then, and opens up to you. However, if what's listed on the Trello, and what we've heard so far is the extent of the plans.. I don't see end game reaching the stars any more exciting than finding a new planet and plopping more nuggets on it cuz "Reasons"...

 

I don't see any plans for new types of resources, or resources only on specific planets. I don't see reasons for needing that either. The "depth" is simply not there in the roadmap, or anything discussed or shown by the developers.

 

So I come to the forums to ask the developers.

 

 

 

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Well with the lack of comments on this thread, not even one from an admin, and the well seemingly "dead" forums anyway I had to give a negative review. I wish I could of given it a mixed review, as I don't think it should be fully negative, but stupid steam voting limitations I had too.

There's too many questionable things for end game, and far too lack luster of mechanics early on to justify the game mechanics. I really do hope I can switch this to positive on release though.

 

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This review is more of a "be careful when buying". I'd highly suggest holding off until the game is fully released. 

-Is it a bad game? absolutely not for what it currently has for an "Early Access". 

- Is it everything it claims to be? ....Questionable. 

When I originally pre ordered it, the game said you start with "nuggets" these cute little creature/human like things and as their "creator" or "God" you can help influence them with your powers, help or hinder them as they grow through the ages of stoneman, into medieval into modern day, and eventually watching them reach the stars and colonize other planets. 

Awesome right? It sounds much like Spore (Except without the early building your creature thing). I was (and still am) excited to see if it can reach that point. 

So why the down vote? 

1) God Powers and pacing

These powers feel more like a gimmick to keep you occupied as your nuggets slog through the "Ages". Whether you're a benevolent or "evil" god really doesn't matter all in all. Yes you're nuggets will either "love" or "fear" you but nothing meaningful comes from it. Comparing say Black and White game where you also play as a God, being good or evil had a big impact on how your civilization grew, whether they became war like, or peaceful or somewhere in between, and even to how the buildings looked. This has none of that. 

So while its a fun mechanic, you can literally play without once ever having too, needing too, or even well.. desiring too interfere or do anything. 

Are their plans for making this mechanic more deep? No. No there doesn't seem to be, as their roadmap does not mention anything more about it. They consider this "feature complete" except for maybe adding more interesting but otherwise useless powers. 

2) The "Ages" and gameplay pacing..

Are, completely boring and lacking... Each "Age" adds about.. maybe 2-3 new buildings... That's it.. most of them are just resource buildings. So you're just watching a whole lot of nothing, and managing a whole lot of nothing.. Just plopping down new farms, and water resevoirs when you need it... that's it... nothing else really of value to mention.. 

I wouldn't even consider a "lack" of something to be worth mentioning for an Early Access, and I'm usually very lenient and forgiving for Early Access's but due to the "14 month release" date, and the fact that every age is like this up to the modern age that we now have in the game.. Means this pacing is exactly what the developers want.. Which is highly disappointing.. and worrying. 

What interesitng things will there be to do in the Space Age? Spore you could cultivate planets, fight aliens, build spaceships, mine planets for rarer resources, and all types of stuff. This game doesn't appear to be considering any of this, and the developers are very quiet about it, so who knows. 


3) Tech Tree

The tech tree is great, and fun. Unfortunately the rest of the game falls apart around it. You also go through the tech very very quickly. 

4) Roadmap in general is lacking

They want to complete this game in the next 14 months or so... This game still feels very Early Alpha for what it has, which has me worried. THe pacing and amount of buildings is... eh... Not a whole lot to do. 

Their are "rival" villages, but they are easy to just wipe out right away with god powers, or even if you leave them.. the interaction is so minimal and un interesting they aren't worth mentioning. 

The only thing on the Road Map right now is adding planets, and colonization and aliens... that's it.. Which again has me worried.. What is "End Game" going to be? It doesn't seem to be anything. Just plop down more boring farms and water pumps on other planets. GG?.... It hardly screams "fun and interesting" or even engaging... 

So be careful when buying, and I'd highly suggest waiting until release and watching some youtube videos of it before diving into this game.

 

 

 

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