Though history has shown us time and again that humans are unfailingly sane and rational when the topic of religion comes up ("HA!" - His Holiness, Alf), Religion Simulator from Gravity Software shines a more militaristic light on the act of worship.

There's no fluffy spew about how all roads lead to enlightenment. In Religion Simulator, there is only one god allowed. Your god. And he's a jealous god.

Messiah for hire

Religion Simulator is a strategy game played on a board with hexagonal tiles on a globe. When you begin a game, the globe is bare.

You pick a spot to send your Messiah - someone to spread the word about your religion (possibly bearded, likely scraggly).

As you conquer other hexagonal areas on the map, you accumulate coins and followers according to the densities of population and wealth.

As you accumulate coins, they go back into expanding your "territory" and building temples that amass more wealth.

You also open up skill trees that help dictate how your worshippers regard you. Do you want to be a vengeful god or a happy god? Do you want your followers to open their minds to science, or do you want their complete and total faith?

No other gods before you

Of course, your faith isn't the only one in the neighborhood. Other religions expand rapidly, which isn't acceptable. You're the only game allowed in town, and if you have the coins, you can employ furious acts of nature to beat down competing religions.

Religion Simulator is interesting, and it provides the inevitable satisfaction that comes with playing god. It'd be nice if it was a slower, more methodical game, however.

Your only real option is to expand, conquer, and fight back against encroachers. Obviously religion is flawed, but it's still possible for faith to be a peaceful and thoughtful thing. Those words don't apply to Religion Simulator.

Also, as far as I can tell, there's no way to name your religion. How the heck am I supposed to get my peons into Pokémon worship if they don't know what to call it?

Despite its simplicity next to other strategy games, the Plague Inc-style mechanics that drive Religion Simulator make it a worthwhile play. Wait - religion spreads from person to person - and so does sickness. Whoa! Talk about mind-blowing.