Sawbuck Gamer

God Called In Sick Today

The God That Failed

God Called In Sick Today makes you pinch-hit for the creator.

By Drew Toal • September 6, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

In the late-’90s comic book series Preacher, God abdicates his heavenly throne, leading to all kinds of weirdness going down here on Earth. He eventually gets his occupational comeuppance, just like you would if you rolled into the office three hours late, wearing the same stained T-shirt from the day before, reeking of Maker’s Mark and bad decisions.

Apparently, He is at it again in this simple creation game by Andrew Stewart. As the deity’s temp, you use your magic god-finger to bring something from nothing, making mountains and lakes and rain. These lead to grass, trees, and life. You mark time as the sun and moon cycle through the sky, but its passage really has no meaning here. Pull your finger across the screen laterally and the wind shifts. Swipe again, and more rain falls.

What they don’t tell you in god school is that creating life isn’t very straightforward. There are no clear blueprints for Chia-life. This is to the game’s benefit. It’s a pleasure just to figure out the rules (if any) of being god. Still, I always pictured being omnipotent as something less impotent. I didn’t get much further than birds and a few fish—certainly nothing advanced enough to be worthy of stone tablets filled with commandments. And no matter how much rain I brought down, no biblical floods appeared. It’s enough to make one lose faith altogether.

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161 Responses to “The God That Failed”

  1. Cloks says:

    I don’t think the game link is correct, unless this is sort of a meta-joke about productivity on a website partially dedicated to obliterating it.

  2. blue vodka lemonade says:

    The vague graphics and sounds are kind of soothing, but I would have liked clearer descriptions of how to do things. Bringing up the list of discoveries almost made the mechanics make sense, but the words used weren’t terribly precise and mostly made me flail around on the mouse hoping to make something happen.

    • The_Misanthrope says:

       Yeah, I got that feeling, too, but I suppose it’s just another extreme
      to the god-game.  Instead of the usual micromanaging, interventionist
      god granted a lot of power, this is more of the deist, laissez-faire
      approach.  It would be helpful to have some kind of fast-forward
      function (for all I know there is, but I haven’t found it), but at least
      this way I guess you get a better sense of the mind-numbing long
      time-scale of it all.  So, in the spirit of the game, I’m just gonna set
      up enough discoveries to get some basic form of life going and then
      just leave it running in another tab for as long as I can bear.

  3. boardgameguy says:

    I am terrible at this game

    • blue vodka lemonade says:

       It’s less a game than a screensaver, unless I’m missing some important method of input. What I do with the cursor seems to have no effect on anything but topography.

      • boardgameguy says:

        yeah, i’ve got a couple fish and a single bird in spite of tons of trees

        • blue vodka lemonade says:

           I’ve been running it for twenty minutes and I have one small puddle, some grass, and one tree. Literally nothing I do appears to affect the wind/rain/whatever.

        • boardgameguy says:

          a quick googling reveals that trees, fish, and birds appear to be it.  i won?

        • PaganPoet says:


          *cue lone, partially deflated balloon being released from trap in the ceiling*

  4. Brainstrain says:

    I made a forest! And bird and fish. One bird. One fish. This game is kind of odd.

  5. Colonel says:

    Now I have the urge to listen to all my Tangerine Dream…

  6. Effigy_Power says:

    This just in: Omnipotence blows.
    News at 11.

  7. George_Liquor says:

    Oh Lord, ooooh you are so big.

    Gosh, we’re all really impressed down here,  I can tell you.

  8. Merve says:

    I like the concept of this game, but there needs to be more response to the player’s actions. I need visual and/or auditory feedback from my clicks and gestures.

  9. caspiancomic says:

    Aw man, I have one sad little tree and a bunch of stupid fish. I’m the shittest God ever.

    • PaganPoet says:

      There, there, don’t sweat it. I mean, maybe you’ll never be on the level of Huitzilopochtli or Amaterasu…but still if you work hard at it, you could end up like a Hermes.