June 8, 2015 2:05 AM | Lena LeRay
Crest, from Eat Create Sleep, is a minimalist god game in which the player can only issue commandments for their followers to interpret. Commandments are written in groups of symbols and only so many can be in affect at any time. How well or poorly those commandments serve the people will affect not only the health and growth of the population but also how receptive they are of future commandments.
The game allows players to speed up time in the way of simulators so they don't have to wait too long to see the effects of the commandments issued. This is good, because the only other thing the player can do besides writing commandments is observe the people and environment to try and balance their needs with an environment that changes, getting rainier and drier by seasons and possibly gaining or losing lakes and the like. All the environments are procedurally generated and procedurally modified over time.
Crest is currently in early access because the developers want feedback from players. I think that's a good thing, because as of this writing (June 2015), the interface definitely needs some work. There are shortcut keys for simulation speed, but not for opening/closing the commandment list and commandment writing windows. The commandment writing window and zooming in and out don't work right if the mouse cursor is over a town. The player has to be zoomed to exactly the right distance and centered over the town to get details about the population as a whole and then zoom in even further (making it impossible to watch what's going on outside of town) to get more details. There doesn't seem to be any reason not to implement mouseover tooltips for getting that information.
As of now, a single game session lasts no more than 15-30 minutes and can't be saved. Eat Create Sleep is aiming for a 1-2 hour session time for the finished game and they have a list of features to add which will fill that out, starting with implementing save files. The developers also seem to be very active in engaging their early access community. They publish development updates every week.
Crest currently costs $4.99 and is predicted to cost about $10 when it launches fully. If the game sounds interesting to you, then it may be worth getting now and is definitely worth keeping an eye on. They do have a good start. It just needs more polish and content.
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