Today it’s about Crest. No, not the toothpaste, the religion simulation game.
In Crest, you wake up to find yourself in control of a world with creatures which resemble you and who consider you to be their god. You get to create (very simplified) commands and watch as the people follow (or not) what you have said. The game has a couple of control panels for the creation of your commands and to check on the status of various elements. Commands stack, so contrary commands may confuse your followers.
Another handy button/control will bring up your Chronicler. He keeps a spiral shaped record of every command and major event in your world, which you can use to review how well your commands worked out over time. Mostly you get to watch the people in your world as they go about their lives. They can decide to do what you commanded or go off and do their own thing. There are dialogue balloons which indicate which way each person leans (follower or not). If people are unhappy or just not listening, you can try a new command. However, you will need enough “influence” points to create the command. Influence points will replenish over time.
If you are playing and experience a program bug, Crest has a built-in bug report button. Unfortunately, it wasn’t bugs that made the game less enjoyable for me.
There are control panels and status panels you can pull up in the game to do and monitor things, but the text (where it exists) is too small to read clearly, especially with the pixilated graphics. Some of the control buttons are also a bit small, and there is no text when you hover your cursor over them to help the player find what they want.
The world the game generated when I started has three islands. There is a small map in the bottom right corner of the screen which shows you “everywhere.” You can use this map to click on a spot and change your field of view, but the targeting is almost random and not easy to control. Sometimes the people look like they are building something (swinging a hammer), and there are banging sounds; unfortunately, the audio and video are way out of synch. Besides, it looks like they are swinging a hammer at empty space.
One last gripe is this: for such “primitive” looking graphics, Crest is a bit of a battery hog.
So Here It Is:
Crest is currently available on Steam for $10.99 but I’m not sure it’s worth it. While the graphics can be forgiven as “stylistic,” they really just look blocky to point of trying too hard to look different. There are also several annoying idiosyncrasies which add up to an unpleasant gaming experience. Progress is glacially slow and the controls are not very user friendly. Just as the representation of the society at the start of the game, Crest is a very primitive world sim. Sadly, this one will get a caveat emptor rather than a ludere hanc ludum.
Genre: Strategy / God game
Developer: Eat Create Sleep
Minimum Requirements: OS X v10.7, 3 Ghz processor, 4 GB RAM, 1 GB hard drive, 1 GB VRAM and shader model 2.0 compatible.
Availability: Now on Steam