Reviews for From Dust

96

Extraordinary, but a bit short..

DevilMarkes | Sept. 10, 2013 | See all DevilMarkes's reviews »

From Dust has amazing fluid and soil physics, stunning environments and massive freedom when it comes to manipulating those environments.

The goals in From Dust are rather simple, yet very satisfying. The game is a bit short, as it can be completed within a few hours.

The biggest flaw of the game is probably the lack of a proper sandbox mode.

65

More puzzle game than strategy

Demilisz | June 18, 2013 | See all Demilisz's reviews »

While on screens it may appear like god game or some sort Populous like RTS, in reality this is a puzzle game. The main goal is make your little humans reach the totem while avoiding all sort of natural traps: quick sands, lava, deep water. You help them with your god like powers: uplifting a land to make natural brigde to cross water, remove lava from the path and so on. With time games get quicker and you need to be in several places almost at ones as the world tries too kill your little men.

For puzzle game fans worth recommendation, for god game or RTS fans - look somewhere else..

50

Good, but with a problem

pharaoh13 | March 4, 2012 | See all pharaoh13's reviews »

I had fun with this game on the earlier levels. Very unique gameplay and beautiful graphics. I wish the game allowed you more control over the little humans. The problem occurred on a later level (it's called High Tides).

Not the fault of GreenMan, but in checking around on some forums I found out that if you don't have the right processor (and I don't), it changes the speed and makes this level (and possibly later ones too), extremely difficult and frustrating. End result was I had to abandon this game after really only getting about 2-3 good hours of playing out of it. You would be better off getting the Xbox version.

74

[FR] Dommage.

SomeRandomBaron | March 4, 2012 | See all SomeRandomBaron's reviews »

Le gameplay a le mérite d'être original, le jeu est très beau et le moteur physique est vraiment impressionnant.

Malheureusement, 2 gros problèmes entâchent le plaisir de jeu : l'IA du peuple dirigé, assez peu convenable, ainsi qu'une maniabilité très douteuse, ne convenant ni au pad, ni a la souris. EN plus, ya le DRM d'Ubisoft, qui est très handicapant.

En attendant un patch...

60

Dirt Simulator

emwearz | Sept. 20, 2011 | See all emwearz's reviews »

The main objective of From Dust, is spawn people can get them to different points. How do you do that you ask? Why by moving balls of dirt around. Sounds fun doesn't it.

In reality the play mechanics, while fairly fun and inventive to start off with, does get very old very fast, even though the game is short, it feels very long and repetitive.

I am not sure even why I played this game, I am sure it may appeal to others, but it did not to me.

49

Could Have Been Incredible

Mondu | Sept. 2, 2011 | See all Mondu's reviews »

I bought this game expecting a lot and receiving very little. What looked to be like a fun god game turned out to be nothing more than a terrible console port with mediocre gameplay.

You control the very land around you, forming gullys and mountains, digging trenches and controlling the very flow of water. You have the power to shape the world to your imagination, much like how a game developer would create the environment in many other games you play. So this begs the question, why on earth are the pc controls vastly inferior to using a gamepad? This blatent console port leaves controlling with the mouse counter-intuitive, no options at all to change video settings and runs poorly should you try to play using a pc which has the 'recommended' settings or below.

I did enjoy playing the game despite all of this but it was nothing more than cheap entertainment for a few hours. Even the term 'cheap' is being a little too generous to this underwhelming and rushed feeling game. On top of all this, Ubisoft lied about the DRM and is slowly helping to kill the pc gaming industry for legitimate buyers such as ourselves. Save your money and buy something else. If you really want the game then wait for it to go on sale.

70

Clever little game

Min0rThreat | Sept. 1, 2011 | See all Min0rThreat's reviews »

I came in expecting a 3D God lemming style game, and that's pretty much what it is. Its simple, fun yet challenging. You have a tribe of little men, and you must lead them to the end of the level by manipulating elements. The graphics are very well done and the design is solid, but what caught my eye the most was the impressive physics. I found myself losing missions because I was messing around with the physics for too long. Thankfully, at the end you unlock a sandbox mode. If you, like me, are a big fan of physics manipulation, I would say, definitely pick this up, its great big fun, despite it being simple. If you like lemming style games, its worth trying out, the AI is a little picky at times and there is not that much challenge. Only complaint is Ubisofts infamous DRM which caused my game to lag every so often. But they're releasing a patch for that in the near future. Its not pakced with content, but for the 15 euro price tag, its got well enough to keep me captivated for hours :)

76

Short and sweet!

pianoblack | Aug. 29, 2011 | See all pianoblack's reviews »

From Dust is, at its core, an open-ended puzzle-solver in 3D. You are given a set of tasks, and you must figure out how to manipulate the landscape in order for your tribesmen to accomplish those tasks. It is not anything like Black & White, but it manages to scratch that itch to an extent.

Sound and music are very original, and serve the very important purpose of keeping you aware of what’s going on off-screen. If one of your villages is being struck by some disaster and they have the means to defend themselves, the music will tell you. The sound is very well integrated, with lots of wood/bone/wind sounds to really put you – acoustically – into the tribesmen’s world.

Controls are a bit finicky and difficult to get used to. Both WASD and the mouse can move your view, making for some confusion via mysterious screen movement if you leave the mouse off-center. I found the best way to remedy this was to make large map movements with WASD, and finer spellcasting movements with the mouse. Despite being a nuisance, following this guideline eliminated all confusion by the time I was halfway through the game.

I was a little disappointed at the shortness of the levels and of the game as a whole. Though later levels provided around an hour of challenge and fun as I tried to get them to 100% completion, I managed to clear many of the earlier levels in minutes apiece. By the time I felt the levels were actually getting challenging, the game was nearly over. The few challenge levels I tried were exercises in time management, and felt stressful after a while.

I would still recommend this game highly as an experience, if not as a game you play for a week or two before completing it. If nothing else, From Dust is a great example of game-as-art.

71

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

Mister_Schmidt | Aug. 28, 2011 | See all Mister_Schmidt's reviews »

I had high hopes for this game, very high indeed, but alas, I was disappointed.

It is immediately clear, right from the first scenario, that this game is designed for consoles. The centered "cursor", known in-game as The Breath (a magical deity which the villagers worship and trust to look after them), is always in the middle of your screen, forcing you to look around even if you only want to move a tiny fraction. This is highly reminiscent of the way Halo Wars is on Xbox 360, and for a PC game, is incredibly frustrating. Too often will you try to focus on a villager or pick up a tree, only to have your entire view swung around due to this feature. It's not all bad though, as at the very least this does make it easy to know where you are at all times.

The levels of zoom are also quite good, you can zoom in very close and gaze upon your villages, or scope right out and watch the tiny specks go about their lives.

As for actual gameplay, it's not bad, but it's not great either. The cursor presents a huge problem when trying to quickly build a land-bridge before your people get crushed by a wave or melted by a stream of lava, and makes for frustrating play. Something else that frustrates is the way the physics work. A tiny drop of water leaves your villagers crying for help, and fire spreads far too easily.

Nevertheless, overall, this game is quite good, and it definitely has potential. At the very least, it is a beautiful simulator, and is worth a look merely for its concept. If you are easily frustrated however, look elsewhere.

90

Not what you Think

yu237106 | Aug. 28, 2011 | See all yu237106's reviews »

From Dust is not your typical God game, and many "problems" people have with it end up being a result of this incorrect expectation.

At it's core you could call it an environmental/physics based puzzle game. But the beauty of this game is the style/atmosphere and neat way you interact with the environment.

The Basic Idea: You are the "breath" of the people. Not so much a a god, as a physical manifestation of their will (the backstory of this game is pretty interesting). There is a tribe of people, who have forgotten their history and all the "powers"/abilities they once had to manipulate and protect them from the environment. You must guide them through the environments of the game, discovering their history and protecting them from harsh climates and natural disasters.

What this amounts to in puzzle terms is that each level your tribe must make it to various control points around the map, before they can move on to the next one. As the breath of the people, you the abilities/force they can use to manipulate the environment. So you have to manipulate the lands to clear a path for them so they can reach each control point, and protect them from the elements along the way.

Where the true beauty of the game shines is the way you interact with the environment. The game is called "from dust", and dust/sand itself plays a big part. You start off being able to pick up and deposit sand from around the map (ie move it). This can be used to smooth over rocky mountains (and make them traversal), redirect the course of streams and rivers, and even raising the sea floor to create new islands or passages between them. Dust/sand is the lifeblood of the game, as vegetation only grows on top of areas covered by it. Many of the side goals of the game (which can be used to discover more history of the tribe and provide useful hints and tips for the player) are to spread this vegetation over the land.

As the game progresses, the tribe discovers additional powers over the elements, none of which allows you to siphon up and re-deposit water (draining lakes to reveal fertile lands beneath, providing water for vegetation etc). Later on you even get the ability to interact with lava and all the wonderful interactions you might think that entails (lava + water = rock!).

While one can simply look at the game as a series of puzzles, and try to use the environment to solve them as quickly as possible (eg. many of the first maps consist of chains of islands where you need the move the tribe over water. The simplest option then is to deposit sand in the water to build land bridges across the gaps.) the true joy I found was in experimenting with the tools you are given to truly find interesting (and realistic) ways to solve the puzzles. Sand and water doesn't mix permanently, and often a land bridge will slowly dissolve back into the sea, wasting valuable sand (some maps only have so much sand that you can pickup and move around, which can be lost if submerged in water). Why not try altering the course of a river out of the way of the tribe (re-directing it's flow by building banks) so that they don't need to cross it at all. Or simply "plugging" the source of a stream by covering it in enough dirt.

My most enjoyable experience so far with the game was during a level with lava. Rather then tackle the puzzle right away, I decided to instead experiment/play with lava, seeing what I could do. Maybe re-directing a stream onto a lava fissure to see what would happen, if I could maybe seal it up? This resulted in the actual creation of a volcano, accompanied by regular explosions/eruptions, where by I had actually stumbled upon one of the ways volcanoes grow in nature. (By the end up the map, this small fissure became a towering volcano the size of an entire mountain). Through this experimenting I actually learned some useful techniques that really helped with solving he puzzles.

To get the most enjoyment of the game I would highly recommend not rushing to solve the puzzles (getting the tribe around the map), but rather experimentation with the powers, and the extremely satisfying sense of power you get yourself, by manipulating the environment. While you don't play god in the game, the fun can have with the world as your "sandbox" certainly makes you feel like one.

If you do the above, one can have a very satisfying, novel and fun experience with this simple puzzle game.

80

Very clever and interesting.

gregpolk | Aug. 25, 2011 | See all gregpolk's reviews »

I'll start by putting to rest the main concern about this game, the mouse controls. They're bad. Quite bad. Controlling the game can be frustrating at times. That said they are not unplayable. If you turn off mouse scrolling in the options I found it made the game much more pleasant. After about 15 minutes I pretty much didn't notice the silly control problems.

So what is from dust? It's populous, lemmings and a dash of black and white all mashed into one, sort of. It has that lemmings style where you have to guide some clueless creatures to a giant skull passage at the end of the level. This is accomplished by using some black and white like god powers to build up some simple populous looking villages. It's a very interesting experience and if you're the type that thinks that sounds intriguing give it a go. It's cute, it's clever, and it features without a doubt the greatest fluid physics I have ever seen in a game. I think the experience is worth it just for the physics.

I scored it a bit higher than I originally intended because of the discount price the game is selling for. It's a $15 game people, not a full priced blockbuster. Because of this I can forgive the controls and lack of graphics customisation. I think I read somewhere that ubi were going to patch out the always online DRM at some point. Can't recall the source but I'm sure you can confirm this if the DRM is putting you off.

65

From Dust: Repetitive Fun

ZLeipzig | Aug. 24, 2011 | See all ZLeipzig's reviews »

From dust is a god game where you control the elements, and that's about it for the gameplay. It is fun, but it does get boring near the end of the game. The differences between the levels is what elements you are going up against to keep your villagers safe and have them build villages around the (maximum of 4) totem poles in each level. The AI of said villagers is just OK, nothing special. It resembles Lemmings a lot.

The Graphics are amazing. The water effects are cool, and the earth (so it's called in the game, it looks like sand to me) moves like earth. The only problems I've encountered with the graphics is that when an element is small enough, but still existent, it won't render. The only time this is really an issue is when there is a puddle of water near a village you are trying to build, for you cannot build villages near water. . The game as a whole is good, and is worth the 15$ price tag if you like nature or god games. If not, then this game is a pass. and there will be a patch that removes DRM, if you are currently having issues with that sort of thing.

70

An excellent game...but

Chibithor | Aug. 20, 2011 | See all Chibithor's reviews »

From Dust is, at it's best, a magnificent game that provides an enjoyable experience, but it's hindered by many issues that should make you reconsider the platform you're buying it on.

The goal of the game at it's core is to get the villagers to all the totems to create villages on, which open up a passage to the next level. Every level also has a bonus objective to spread vegetation around. Completing them unlocks many challenge levels with different objectives and scenarios. To accomplish the goals you move land, water and lava around and shape the landscape. The varying environments along with the various mechanics like periodical rain or volcano eruptions require you to use special abilities provided by the totems to handle things, like Jellify Water to carve a pathway through a river for the villagers.

The story is minimalistic which fits well into the game, and the visuals are beautiful. The gameplay is fun and the game changes it up from level to level enough to keep it interesting, but the PC controls are done poorly. It doesn't feel intuitive and takes some getting used to, and it makes it obvious that the game's main platforms are the XBOX360 and PS3. The villagers' pathing AI can also prove to be frustrating, especially in some challenge levels where the time is limited.

The game is for whatever reason locked at 30 FPS and has very lacking graphical settings, which is disappointing. The game ran fine on my rather old PC, but there's no reason the resolution should be the only setting available. A minor gripe I had with the game was that the cutscenes are not skippable and repeat every time you restart a level. I have no idea why they thought it would be a good idea. They are short so it's a minor annoyance, but there's no reason why it should be there.

The game also sports Ubisoft's Uplay DRM, and asks you to login every time you launch the game. This combined with the porting issues makes me wonder if Ubisoft care for the PC at all. Even being a terrible port, I still recommend this game, but you should be aware of the issues when it comes to the PC version.

20

Unplayable rubbish

pazmacats | Aug. 20, 2011 | See all pazmacats's reviews »

This game gets a 20 points score for video and animation only. The game is pretty much unplayable and crippled by terrible mouse keyboard control. Camera movement is clunky and annoying, click responses are not fast and not precise. The game itself is ok, maybe 70-80 points. But it is not playable on PC. To add to the fun you cannot play this game when you are not online because you have to prove to the ubi-servers that you have legally bought this shoddy console port.

Overall: Bad and cheap console port with bad controls, substandard performance and annoying DRM. 20/100.

75

Good game, but not great

Bungieware | Aug. 19, 2011 | See all Bungieware's reviews »

From Dust comes up with some brilliant innovations to the god-game genre. The terrain deformation is unlike anything you will see in any other game. You can create (and destroy) some fantastic landscapes, but you're always battling against the elements to make sure the villagers reach their objectives. The controls feels a little strange at first, and the path finding of the AI can be frustrating at times, especially when they get stuck on the terrain. But that makes it all the more rewarding when you get them to their goal. There are a ton of fun puzzles, some of which require come crazy solutions. Others require more precise control and some fast reactions. Everything comes together to create a very solid game that will give you some nerve racking moments. A bit on the short side, but the challenges offer a ton of replay value.

70

From Dust

CoolCroatian | Aug. 18, 2011 | See all CoolCroatian's reviews »

From the previews of the game I thought this will be everything I ever wanted. This game takes what Black & White did and puts it in another format, a format that could have turned out so well, but they did so many things wrong. The camera, the FPS, the dumb AI, the horrible controls and of course, the complete lack of support for PC. I thought I could literally be a god in this game, and the previews and gameplay demos made it seem so good. But it was nothing like I ever expected. The thing that troubled me most about this game is the amount of sand/dirt/whatever you can carry at one time. Instead of making the game fun, it made it absolutely obnoxious. Take dirt from here, place it there, take dirt from here, place it there, it's just like mindless work.
But nevertheless, even with all of it's flaws, the game still manages to be at least OK, if not better than OK. The setting is actually appeasing and the story might not be worthy of a novel, but it's still something that keeps you going. In the later 'levels' it gets more fun as you go along and the shouting of the villagers as you make way truly makes you feel like a god. All of the things wrong with this game could and hopefully will, be fixed in some later patch so I urge you to wait a little until you buy it.

80

Not Black & White, but two lovely shades of gray.

Endyo | Aug. 18, 2011 | See all Endyo's reviews »

If you’ve played previous “god” games like Black & White, you’ll have some familiarity with what From Dust is about. You won’t get the comical narrative or complexity of creature management, but From Dust delivers a solid style of gameplay in a format that will take you straight back to the days of Black & White’s scooping, dropping and miracle tossing.

If you strip away the fluff layers and look at the basic concept of the game, you’ll essentially have a puzzle game. Your goal in each round will be to have your villager/worshippers travel to various points building villages and collecting “memory relics,” but in each scenario they will be unable to do this without your divine intervention. Their path may be blocked by water, mountainous terrain, dense hostile foliage, or any number of various natural barriers or disastrous events. To combat this, you must use the forces of nature and the powers you unlock to manipulate the environment in a way that allows them to complete their task. The difficulty in pursuing this is that you will not immediately have every power at your disposal; only by having your villagers build their villages around the statues that give you this power will it be granted. While it may be easy to put out a wildfire by grabbing some water and dousing the flames, it can’t always be accomplished in a timely manner when you’re attempting to create a route for your followers to access a new village building area, so you must find more effective means.

I have to throw in a bit about the engine here. The game is decent to look at, but the glory is really in the physics structure. Liquids flow appropriately around all geometry. If you dump a bunch of sand in a stream, the sand will erode away. Waves will crash around rock and splash over the top. It’s simply one of the best simulations of these natural occurrences I’ve seen in a game… and you get to play with it. I hope that this aspect pans out into other games because I can imagine it being fun in a lot of places.

While the game does come out to be an enjoyable experience, it doesn’t exist without certain issues. The first and foremost being Ubisoft’s DRM. Currently, it requires the user to be connected to the internet at all times and to launch again from Ubisoft’s DRM launcher after your initial run. Also, it is a port from a console game – so there are the inherent issues that often plague games of that nature. Namely, you can only adjust the game’s resolution and refresh rate. There’s no ability to change any textures, shadows, or add antialiasing as one would see in PC games. The controls are also a bit off, though it’s nothing adds a great deal of difficulty to the game. Sometimes there are just a few issues with the camera and grabbing and placing items precisely. And last but certainly not least, the game is capped at 30 frames per second. As a PC gamer we’re all aware that 30 FPS is atrociously slow especially when most are used to framerates upwards of 60 fps.

However, if you’re willing to deal with Ubisoft’s desperate attempts to ward off piracy and the annoyance of a ported game, From Dust is a decent game especially for the price. I would suggest giving it a try if you’re at least impartial to the issues stated above. The game itself is both fun and visually appealing and I despite some dumb stuff that hopefully gets patched out, $15 is a perfect price for what you’re get. It’s not Black & White, but it’s at least good enough to be mentioned in the same review.

94

A lot like a lot, a little like nothing before

swixel | Aug. 18, 2011 | See all swixel's reviews »

From Dust isn't Populous or Black and White. Nor is it your average RTS or God simulator. From Dust is a bit like RTS, with indirect control of your units, an the ability to build terrain, rather than buildings.

Some might say that this is a god simulator, but you shouldn't be looking for anything beyond terraforming with some spells. It's a new experience, but it's not really like a God simulator, nor an RTS, nor an RPG. It's like the best bits of everything thrown together, with enough indirect control to make it a bit like Majesty 2, Black and White, Populous, yet at the same time nothing like them.

A fantastic game in its own right.

85

A bad PC port, but a magnificent game

Neohoodman | Aug. 17, 2011 | See all Neohoodman's reviews »

Let's get some things out of the way first: The PC version of this game lacks features one would expect in a PC game. There are virtually no display settings, the framerate is locked at 30 and the mouse controls are bad to say at the least. Having said that, that game itself is great on a conceptual and gameplay level. Conceptually, it's a God game where you have control over the elements and the world. You are the "Breath" (which is your mouse cursor) and you can suck up sand, water, lava and place them in a different location. This effectively allows you to create the world to your own liking. Further in the game you'll get abilities that allow you to, for instance, 'jellify' water or evaporate it. Gameplay-wise, you use these powers to guide tribes around the world and defend them to allow them to create villages around totems and gathering knowledge on the planet. It's simple gameplay allowing for alot of possibilities thanks to the world building aspect. Besides the villages, there's the side-quest of trying to gain 100% vegetation on each level, which is done by spreading the influence of the village throughout the map. The learning curve is not steep and the game remains challenging throughout. After having completed the story mode, the challenge mode levels you unlocked should provide more than enough content for the low price of 15 bucks. The game could do with a proper sandbox mode where you just broaden your villages, as after these two modes there isn't much left to do except for trying to get 100% vegetation on all levels. Despite it being a bad port, the game itself is great and deserves your sale; the game looks good, sounds good, controls bad, but is at its core good.

67

A deceiving game.

Ed_ | Aug. 17, 2011 | See all Ed_'s reviews »

This game was hyped by the fan base, as Ubisoft had little to no advertising for this game. It also requires an online activation at least once every week, so don't plan on going anywhere to play this game. It is also ported very horribly and runs at a low FPS on high-end computers. The game itself is good, and if Ubisoft supported it more and gave it a proper PC release, this would be a definite buy. Trust me, this game can be no fun on a computer, and even if you meet the minimum requirements, you will probably not be able to play unless you at least meet the suggested requirements. This is because the graphical settings are all locked in, you can't change the model or texture size, no antialiasing, permanent depth of field, and a framerate capped at 30. The only settings you CAN change are the resolution. I suggest waiting until modding is possible and someone makes a fix for this game, because it is extremely obvious that Ubisoft will not support the PC version with DLC or a patch.

75

Good, but not what you think

stephen1212 | Aug. 17, 2011 | See all stephen1212's reviews »

There is a lot of talk about this game being the next Populous or Black & White. It is not. It feels similar, but your goal is completely different.

Your tribe do everything for you, you just guide them to the totems, and make sure they are safe. You get different challenges do each map, some there will be a massive volcano and lava is flowing to the village and you have to turn it away.

The way you do all this is spectacular, the mud settles, the water rises, and will find the fastest way out. It feels brilliant, you aren't sculpting the land by set shapes, it feels alive and malleable.

The biggest let down is that you just help these villagers on to the next map and then your done. There is an empty sandbox level at the end, but it could do with a structure or a disaster systems, or some randomness to shake things up.

Overall a good game, but if you go in expecting something like populous or black & white, you will be disappointed. It is a great game for a nice relaxing evening

86

One of the best God simulators on market, but...

Birdseyesky | Aug. 17, 2011 | See all Birdseyesky's reviews »

One of the best God simulators on market, but with a few technical bugs - sadly the camera work is not always perfect and what is the worst the cursor work is not precise - the worst sin when a game require so much precision - it can be really frustrating at some points. But overall the joy of playing & having fun with amazing psychic is so big that game is worth buying but still leaving us all in waiting for a patch.

80

A little gem

Rice77 | Aug. 17, 2011 | See all Rice77's reviews »

From Dust is not for everyone. It is relatively short and a bit repetitive, but its uniqueness shines above them. You have to control the elements to win, a new type of gameplay people may find boring or on the other hand, extremely interesting and fun (I am from the latter group) and will have really good fun with this game. So, if you want to try a new experience, try it, if you are still sceptical, wait for a cheaper price!