Game Reviews

Topia World Builder

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Topia World Builder

The main theme of the blockbuster movie Jurassic Park is that life, ably played on the silver screen by computer-generated dinosaurs, finds a way. In other words, in spite of our pesky interventions nature will return to its natural state.

Topia World Builder comes at the whole thing from the opposite angle. Life might find a way, but it's only because you're not messing about, using your fingers to poke giant mountain ranges out of the sea, or dropping a pride of predators into the middle of a herd of herbivores.

God complex

Topia World Builder is a god sim that lets you take control of a world, moulding it to your insane or benevolent whims, populating it with lolloping creatures, and generally having a gay old time being the supreme ruler of your little corner of the universe.

The main tools at your disposal involve terrain deformation. One lets you drag the earth up, one lets you push it down, and a third lets you smooth it off at just above sea level. You can change the size of your manipulation, too, allowing you to create giant rivers or razor edge mountain ranges.

Once you've built a collection of land masses that are to your liking, you can fill them up with a variety of creatures and see what happens. Some of the beasts will eat each other, and some will eat the flora that sprout up when your continents are getting enough water.

Of course, establishing an ecosystem is only half of the fun. Once your creatures are happily settled you can start destroying their habitat, or building land bridges to other islands that are full of predators. The world is your playground.

Search and destroy

Unfortunately, while building and destroying things is an entertaining distraction, right now there's not much of a game attached. Topia World Builder is a giant sandbox to fool around in, but there's no direction to your machinations, and no reward for seeing them through to completion.

More is promised in updates, but right now some people will find taming Topia World Builder's potentially wild expanses a little pointless. But if you like your world building open-ended and enjoy experimentation more than actual gameplay, you're in for a right old treat.

Topia World Builder

Right now it's not technically a game, but there's still a lot to like in Topia's world-building experiments
Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.