So Peter Molyneux is at it again. And by "it" I mean making really, really bad games, while promising you the moon.
After setting up his kickstarter to get ♥♥♥♥♥s like me to fund the game, it quickly became obvious that his intention was to add a micro-transaction store to make "gems" purchasable so that you didn't have to wait for eons between tedious button clicks. After enough stink was raised, he has now backtracked and said that he never intended for PC players to have to use the microtransactions. (We did, after all, already pay a healthy sum for this... thing.) Instead, we can now earn our gems in-game by sacrificing our builders.
So for you who have not had the "pleasure" of attempting this poorly designed clickfest, let me sum it up for you:
You move land around one piece, one layer, and one click at a time, taking a significant amount of effort to perform this tedious task, for the purpose of clearing enough area for a builder to place a building. However, this process quickly becomes expensive, and you have to collect "belief" from the buildings by - you guessed it - clicking each individual one. Each building is on a timer, and slowly earns this "belief" that, once earned, you can use to... Move more land.
Sure, there's other "things" in the game, such as collecting "stickers" so you can put them on "cards" so you can eventually get an upgrade that would let you do something like, build bigger buildings that take longer to make belief... Or build buildings on grass instead of sand. Or collect your builders and sacrifice them for gems (you get 1 gem per, you don't have a lot of builders, and it takes them 16 minutes to replenish).
Most recently added to the game is the "sailing" minigame. If you thought the rest of the game sounded pointless, you'll love this one. Your goal is to drop off a handful of "workers" on one side of an island... Then sculpt enough land that they can reach a target on the other side of the island. Enthralling...
I actually muscled my way through the first round of this drivel because you have to get the cards and stickers to advance the game in any way. (Since apparently as a "God" you have some sort of Pokemon fetish.) By the time I got to round 2 (called Mountains and Meteors for those who want to give it a shot) I got through 7 levels quite easily, then hit level 8. Which I'm not even going to bother attempting to finish.
In this level of the minigame, you have to drop meteors (which it's a roll of the dice what they'll do when they hit) in order to wipe out the "giants" and clear a path to the other end of the island. However, the whole system is so buggy that I'd be shocked if anyone ever managed to do it their first run through. (I was using a cheat and didn't manage to get through for hours, and finally gave up on the 5th game crash. Did I mention it's buggy?)
On your boat, you have 30 "workers". You have to put a minimum of 10 down to get to the other end of the island, which gives you a maximum of 3 attempts. Fail all three (and you will... Repeatedly) and then you have to play the waiting game for "reinforcements" to attempt it again. And by the waiting game, I mean there's a SEVEN ♥♥♥♥ING HOUR TIMER. And this is still fairly early in the game! You could spend your gems at this point (you start with 100) to get an instant boost, and that'll cost you 69 gems for your first attempt. Afterward, you can burn all of your builders, turning them into gems, for your second attempt. After that, it's time to shelve the game and wait for a few hours real-time before you can attempt it again.
I mean, I suppose you could go back to sculpting the land, except that all of your builders are now nuked, and you used all your belief to kill them for gems. So you can sit and twiddle your thumbs and wait until you have some more belief bubbles to pop, or you can uninstall this hunk of reconstituted dog ♥♥♥♥ and play something that's actually entertaining.
I actually have a ♥♥♥♥ing headache as a result of trying to enjoy this game that I paid good money for.
Sure, the game is still technically in alpha, but this is the third iteration of it now. And while I would never have believed it possible, each iteration is actually worse than the previous one. There's simply no direction in the game. It's not entertaining in any way, and it's exceedingly clear that the team (and by "team" I mean Peter - who refused to allow the team to do any work on the game while he was on vacation) that the "team" has one, and only one focus with this game: To figure out how to make it as boring as possible so people will purchase stuff with the microtransactions. Unfortunately, he's missing a major part to having any sort of microtransaction game be successful, and that is that first, the people have got to want to play it.
This game is the equivalent of bubble wrap, but you're only given a small 6" by 6" sheet once every few hours unless you pay extra money. You can pop through your bubbles fast, or you can do them one at a time, but either way you're left with a hunk of plastic you have to throw away and then sit on your ♥♥♥ and wait to be handed another one.
Now, all of this said, after realizing that I would have to wait another 2 hours to click another bubble, I just used a hex editor to give myself unlimited "gems" in the game so I wasn't held back by the microtransactions. And you know what? It was even more boring. Never would've thought that was possible. Even with unlimited gems, I never was able to finish the boring-♥♥♥ "mini-game" mission.
Cannot recommend this game any less. It's the last time Molyneux gets my money. (And ignore the "hours played." Apparently the game glitched at one point, stayed running in the background, and racked up hours even though it wasn't "visible." Apparently it stayed there for over a week. I've only managed to muscle through about 5 hours of actual play time.)