Everybody loves a good sim game once in a while, and god simulation games are very intriguing. They “massage” our egos, let us unleash our love and wrath on the measly digital creations buzzing beneath our fingertips, begging for mercy. Yet, the niche is largely underestimated by the developers, and a good god sim game is a rarity these days. Let’s take a look at our options.
A famous game from a famous developer, Godus (review) takes things literally. You receive two people – a man and a woman to start your own civilization. You get to send them to work, rest, reproduce, populate more lands, travel, conquest, build more and evolve. If you’re a kind god, they will worship you and submit their love and affection in the form of the pink bubbles that also work as in-game currency. The game is fairly deep and complex, with unlockables, collectibles, a lot of levels and awesome graphics. It does have a noticeable pay to progress element, but is overall a paragon among the god sim games.
Playing god does not always mean you’d be creating something. Destroying and killing is also within god’s powers, and Plague Inc. (review) has you playing as a very ill-tempered god that is so sick with its creations they no longer have the right to live. Be the master-mind behind the most deadly virus, infection or fungus in the history of human kind, and destroy every living man, woman and child on planet. A smart strategy game, Plague Inc. sees you devising a cunning plan that would make your plague go unnoticed while it propagates all over the world, and then invincible as it starts reaping its bloody fruit. You can go really sadist unleashing madness, paranoia, chronic sleeplessness and zombie-like effects as you kill off the humans. A really sociopath game.
Bio Inc. – Biomedical Game
Don’t know which game is more sociopath – Plague Inc. or Bio Inc. (review) Coming from different developers, the two games are very similar in the gameplay mechanics, structure and even UI, but differ in one thing – you get to masterfully murder a single person before he or she turns to doctors. You can name your victim, and unleash a series of the most cruel symptoms of the deadliest diseases. But wait, that’s not all. Bad habits like overeating, smoking, reckless sexual behavior, fear of the medics, paranoia and many more are there to help you. This might be a game Hannibal Lector would enjoy during his stay in that awfully luxurious hospital room if he had an iPad.
Babel Rising 3D
Be the angry and jealous god in Babel Rising, and don’t let the arrogant humans build a tower high enough to reach the heavens. You have a whole arsenal of god’s mighty powers and then some more to help you demolish the structure and terrify the measly peasants. It’s a visually impressive game, if a bit flawed in the IAP department because every god ability has a cooldown timer, and you have to constantly grind the earlier levels to earn that stamina. Why on Earth would god have stamina?
Religion Simulator God Games
Many god sim games are wrapped in the strategy mechanics, and Religion Simulator is no exception. Whether you play god or a very creepy maniac aiming at grandeur, mind control and world domination, your aim is to make your religion the strongest, to dominate the world, to have the most churches, worshipers, power and gold. The globe is divided into the tiles which you have to take over to build temples, have them generate gold for you to use and build more temples. Philosophy is another important aspect beside the strategy. You need to decide whether yours is a religion based on fear, publicity, knowledge or happiness. You get to choose how to punish the disobedient and the non-believers – how is this not a god game? It’s fun, if a bit lacking in depth.
Download from Google Play
An interesting game (review), well worth keeping an eye on. As a god, you take control over the four main aspects in the life formation on a planet – rain, heavy rain, sun, heavy sun. The greatest challenge is to figure out how to measure the four controls to let the life spring on your planet. Once it does, you watch the planet go green and blue, and further on, if you balance the temperature, you will see your people build tall towers, evolve, shoot to the skies, and even colonize the moon. The game needs more features to make it a long-time addiction because as of now it lacks some features that would make it more interactive. And yet, among the planet-building and god sims it’s the one we really hope to see supported and developed further.
If nature is god, and evolution is god’s tool, there is no better game than Sparkle 3 Genesis on mobile (review). It lets you take control over a teeny-tiny microorganism, and evolve it into a beautiful and mighty beast. You swim around an infinite vortex of multilayer ocean, munching on the smaller organisms, completing the quests that give the game a structure, and collecting the evolution points. Eventually, you can spend these points to evolve your little critter. You can make it a carnivorous beats, or a herbivorous but giant swimming butterfly, or you can make it omnivorous and adapt to the environment as you evolve it. A soothing, somewhat slo-mo gameplay will best suit those who like to tend to long-time pet-like games, but with astounding graphics.
One of the most expensive games on the list, This War of Mine (review, tips and tricks) is also the deepest and the most complex. It’s also loaded with morally complicated choices you as a player need to make, and it does put you in the god’s shoes. You are in control of a group of civilians caught in the war conflict. They live in the basements, feed on whatever they can scavenge from the destroyed shops and supermarkets, or destroyed houses. They exchange the little supplies, like ammo and medicines, for food, and vice versa. You need to keep them going despite the depression, suicidal thoughts, constant starvation, cold and lack of sleep. It’s a strategy game, and you never really feel like you win, but if a god can save people, This War of Mine lets you be that god.
Crescent Moon Games, the developer of the original Populous series, made a mobile world building sim Topia. Be the god and create rivers, mountains, oceans and valleys full of lush trees. Populate them with birds and animals, and watch them feed on one another. There are no humans or any sort of civilization or evolution elements, and the animals don’t seem to die, so some species become a challenge to control, but the overall gameplay is fun if the terrain molding is your thing.
One of the most renowned sim games of all times, Sims the free play is addicting and polished, if a bit too demanding on the in-game currency, prices, and IAP side. Other than that, create your perfect family, build your perfect house with a swimming pool, get your sims to marry, have babies, tons of friends, and a very happy life. Or not. You choose.
If you like Minceraft and pixel art, check out The Sandbox. It lets you build blocks of water, soil and stone, grow mountains, plants, give life and craft more advanced elements, and even technologies. With patience, you will gain access to more complex elements like metals and technology, so you will be able to advance further in populating your world with gizmo and organic creations. Don’t let the pixel art mislead you, it’s a very complex and deep game, and a very addicting one for the right player.
A fun go sim, but before you proceed we would like to recommend you to proceed with caution – only the iOS version is receiving the updates while the Android seems to have been abandoned in 2013. If playing god almighty and unleashing your mad love and fury onto the primitive islanders sounds interesting, give it a go. It’s a fun time killer with pygmies, space calamari, achievements and all sorts of nasty things you can do to your subordinates – lift them in the air, terrify them with lightning, give life or death.
Download from Google Play
This spring, Terraform made it to Steam, so there is definitely a solid support and development team that keeps the game updated with new content on a regular basis. If terraforming is what you are looking for in a god game, this is it. It’s basically a strategy puzzler that sees you playing on a turn-by-turn basis as you mold the new planets to make them fit for living. You have over a dozen terraforming tools and over 80 planets to mold for free, with more planet packs available via IAPs. It’s an underrated gem, we encourage you to check it out.
Fallout Shelter is a perfect god sim game where your aim is to make your vault dwellers happy, as much as in Godus, only in a different environment and pretty much after the sad events. Build your safe vaults, invite the dwellers, find them the perfect jobs, let them make families and have babies, send them out to scout for loot, and keep them full, healthy and happy at all times. You should also mind the security as some nasty creatures might attack. Stellar visuals and an addicting gameplay will keep you glued for months on end.
A text-based game, a parody of MMO and all it entails. Namely tedious leveling up and grinding. It’s jam packed with hilarious texts as you receive feedback from your creation, a character that does the playing while your job is to send him some commandments once in a while and relax, reading his musings and progress. It’s a self-aware, somewhat ironic title that dubs itself a “no game,” but if you are looking for a witty and clever god sim that’s free, try out Godville.
That’s it for now, but your suggestions are very welcome, so leave them in the comments below. All things considered, we have yet to see a fully-fledged god sim game loaded with features that would satisfy a large audience. In my humble opinion, the game should entail the terraforming part, the plant and animal forming part, the civilization management part with the war and the peace, the space exploration part, the exodus to the stars or an alien invasion as a punishment, and an option to cast doom and send an ice age to have just a few thousands of men survive and decline to the cavemen state to restart a civilization over again. If you know of a mobile game that entails all that, shoot us a comment!