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For: iPad   Also on: iPhone


Product: GodFinger | Publisher: ngmoco | Format: iPad | Genre: Strategy, Virtual Pet/ Toy | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: US
GodFinger iPad, thumbnail 1
Thierry Henry's hand of god goal in the World Cup qualifying match between France and Ireland was about as controversial as football gets.

Of course, the French were exuberant at securing a spot in South Africa, despite the ire they received from the Irish. No matter what way you argued it, one side could never be content with the outcome.

It's the same with GodFinger. No matter how you couch it, there's no way it can please both spendthrift gamers and those looking for something substantial.

This digital god game is undeniably adorable, but its shallow and repetitive gameplay will leave you discontent. Its free status is a polarising effort to justify gameplay that is bereft of depth, in no way able to satisfy the desire for significant interaction.

Greased palms

GodFinger makes a good first impression, though, and you're sure to be taken in by the game's cuteness as it leads you through the basics.

Followers inhabiting an irregularly shaped globe are cared for using a finger, your taps ushering rainfall, sunshine, and lightning storms. Fulfilling your followers' needs is your primary goal, with experience and gold rewarding your divine doting.

Experience earned for each action taken - everything from making it rain on dry land to building a farm nets you experience - contributes to your overall level. New items and powers unlock with each level, which of course can be bought using accumulated gold.

Divine acts like rain, sunshine, and lightning require mana. This recharging source of energy limits how often you can trigger these events, though it's been balanced in such a way that you're never in need of more mana. As long as you use it wisely, there's enough to get the job done.

Gold, on the other hand, is always in short supply. Building farms and other structures rakes in the cash, but it's hard work and tires your followers. Other facilities such as campfires, tents, and pubs have to be erected to give your followers respite from their angry god, allowing them to recharge so they can return to work the fields again.

Pointed finger

While the first few levels have been constructed in such a way so as to make this cyclical process seem exciting, in truth it's mindless repetition. After reaching a certain level the game stops providing you with objectives and leaves you to a long level grind - earn more gold, acquire more followers, and build more stuff.

Yet GodFinger never provides a good reason for committing time to this endeavour, and it demands more than its fair share with precious minutes sapped by build queues and gold farming wait times. Actions can be sped up using Awe points, but using these doesn't speed up the game - it just fast-forwards you to the next thing for which you have to wait.

Micromanaging your followers quickly devolves from cute to annoying. As you amass more followers, having to address their individual needs becomes tedious. The initial joy derived from holding down a finger to make it rain or let the sun shine shows itself to be a gimmick after the 50th time.

Anti-social networking

The assorted social networking features on display don't inspire continued play either. Direct messaging and real-time chatting are curiously absent, while heavy-handed integration with Plus+ constantly prompts you to tweet and post to Facebook about the game.

The ability to view friends' followers and issue enchantments is neat, but these are one-way interactions and not social or dynamic by any means.

Clearly, GodFinger has admirable production values and an attractive price. Without meaningful gameplay, however, it's yet another polarising free-to-play title unlikely to leave you content.
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 26 April 2010
A charming, though shallow effort at social gaming that offers little substance to match its free price
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