There are plenty of games that have used the idea popularised by Surgeon Simulator to varying degrees of success. Few have been able to reach the same levels of success, often missing the mark on mechanics or design. Godly Corp is another potential usurper to the throne, but like many before it, this simulator falls short of the inspiration.
Godly Corp sees you take control of an intern at the titular company, a conglomerate that works as the gods of every world in the universe. This intern is represented by a lone tentacle, and it is through this tentacle that you interact with the world. The game is split into different shifts, with each shift requiring a different form of weird multitasking all set to a time limit. Some of these are easier than others, though more through a lack of buggy physics interactions than any design.
Part of the charm of these games is the difficulty in controlling the appendages. Godly Corp does not have this charm, instead replacing it with a wrapping mechanic which simply doesn’t work. The mouse doesn’t control the tip of the tentacle, and more the general direction of the whole thing which immediately makes wrapping harder than it should be. Assuming you are able to wrap successfully around an object, this won’t last because the tentacle will clip through itself and throw itself wildly around the screen.
The level design doesn’t even make up for this, as every level is simply two simple actions that need to be performed simultaneously. These range from uninteresting (watering tiny trees) to a potentially fun game (flying a little drone around). Combining two together makes this game less about skill and more about being able to multitask with an unpredictable and imperfect tool.
That is also true of the other main mechanic - manipulating the planets. I’m not sure what developer TR8 Torus Studios was thinking, but it’s a sphere controlled with WASD that doesn’t dynamically change directions. This makes it almost impossible to quickly manipulate the orientation of the planets, a required skill for many of the levels. Add in to this the complete lack of 3D depth on the sphere, which has no discernable shadow and through the camera angle appears normally as just a flat circle, and you have another flawed mechanic.
Godly Corp also falls short on many of the other areas key to the success of these games. The writing is predictable and unfunny, the music feels out of place, and the art is either a stolen meme or a purchased asset - the scenes present do not share a consistent art style. Top all of this off with dialogue from an AI which is all recorded by a text-to-speech program. Nothing makes me turn down game audio faster than text-to-speech robot voices trying to be funny.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but Godly Corp is a pale imitation of what has come before. There’s sparks of something interesting in places, but overall this game fails to execute on the ideas it brings to the table. It really does seem like TR8 Torus bit off more than it could chew with this game, because the mistakes made here are the same in many similar games from the last seven years.
Godly Corp (Reviewed on Windows)
Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.
A pale imitation of what inspired it, with unpredictable, unwieldy mechanics and the appearance of low production value.