Crest – Review
Follow Genre: Indirect God Simulator
Developer: Eat Create Sleep
Publisher: Eat Create Sleep
Platform: PC, macOs, SteamOS, Linux
Tested on: PC

Crest – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Narrating, Sound, Artwork
Bad: Complexity, Unclear directives
User Score
6.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Black and White is still an icon in God simulator games (maybe because of the cute pet you raised), but it is quite old now. A more recent one we liked is From Dust, where you shape the earth to overcome several difficulties your tribes are facing. Crest is nothing like that tough – you could safely call this an unique game. Brought to you by Swedish developer Eat Create Sleep, it spent quite some time in Early Access and received many updates and changes on the way.

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Story

The game begins with some very nice cinematic scenes explaining what you are: an omnipresent immortal being capable of influencing the humans living on your lump of dirt. You are not omnipotent however, you can’t directly control the humans and the earth or its animals. Instead, you can only whisper. Whisper commandments to your people, and they will follow you and carry out your acts. But the humans are a freckle people however. They can forget what you told them, or give their own interpretation to your words.

This might cause you to regret your words fast enough. As they have more or less free will, they might also start to do things out of their own which you might not like. So you will need to keep influencing your people by whispering new commandments, revoking old ones and solving the misinterpretations that may arise. The lot of commandments form a faith, and that faith enjoys some followers. Different faiths based on the misinterpretations people made might also attract followers. Followers that follow your commandments in its purest form empower you to unlock new ones, enabling you to further protect and preserve your people and the ecosystem through the ages.

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Graphics

The game uses low poly graphics for the models and the environment. It looks fresh, clear and fine enough to be convincing. The animals look like they come straight from the Madagascar movies! The humans look like a cartoon version of ancient tribesmen, like you would encounter on wall paintings. They use tiny tools and weapons, and live in small huts surrounding a totem pole. Likewise, the environment consists of several (mostly African) environments like steppes, savannas, deserts or dense forests spread over several islands. The trees, rocks and rivers are all in pretty low poly 3D, and are a pleasure to look upon.

The interface is a bit crowded, giving it needs to display all stats, active commandments and the part to create them. Especially that last part is sub-optimal, but it is probably hard to do it much better. The menu is better, and especially the cinematics deserve much praise. The movie clip explaining your origin looks good and is similar to the game’s overall style. Loading times are rather long however, as is saving your game. The menu has a button to report bugs right under the primary actions, which doesn’t instill much confidence…

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Sound

The first music you’ll hear is a nice tribal melody, starting right after launching your game until you arrive at the island you play on. Then you can enjoy the sound mix of nature. Blowing winds and such, and more distant sounds of animals and trees, until you zoom in and hear the lion roar through your speakers when he (they all have manes) fills your screen in close up. It does sound mighty and if you close your eyes you might even pretend that you’re standing in the real savanna for a moment.

The narrator has a good voice, and wherever he is explaining your origin in a calm and clear manner or guiding you to the small tutorial, you wish you could hear his voice more. Maybe to tell you a bedtime story, or more concretely what on earth you should be doing now that the tutorial is done.

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Gameplay

This indirect god simulator is all about you, and the humans under your care. You can influence them by issuing commandments and revoking obsolete ones. A commandment is made up out of three words: a subject (as in: people living in the savannah), a verb indicating the action they should take (mine, harvest, procreate, destroy, …) and an object to whom or what they should apply it (like berries, iron ore veins or lions). This is generalized a bit, so an actions could be interpreted in several ways. The list of active commandments makes your faith, and at all times you can see how many followers each commandment has. You can also revoke them, but adding or revoking commandments requires power.

This power is generated when the population is happy and their needs are fulfilled, requiring you to check for every village what their needs are and then adapt to it. Lastly you will have to control the environment, because commandments or neglect could cause the nature to get disrupted. For instance not keeping in check predators like lions or hyenas could cause them to overpopulate and endanger your tribesmen as well as eat all herbivores, depriving you of a valued food source.

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When you play, you’ll unlock new words that you can use in your commandments, allowing you to give new tasks and make the tribes progress slowly. A tutorial guides you to the initial stages, completing essential tasks like gathering food and procreation and showing you around in the interface. When that is done however, you’re on your own and you end up clueless on what you must do next. The game is like a sandbox, and it takes a lot trial and error to know what the most successful actions are, but this and the lack of clear tasks makes this no game for the impatient.

Conclusion

God sims are fun. Who doesn’t like to play god and rule absolutely over his underlings? This game is quite different however, as it doesn’t give you direct control over your underlings. This is a matter of taste, and it just didn’t appeal to us. It just feels too passive, uncontrolled and in combination with the lack of direction and user interface complexity Crest gives you, you might be passing on this game rather sooner than later. But if you like a less intense game about slowly manipulating a virtual society, Crest might be right up your alley!

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Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Crest - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Sander
Sander


Always having more things to do than time to do them, I like spending several of those precious free hours playing games and rating them.

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