'Gods' is a game were precision and timed jumping are required to succeed. It's a adventure that you must cautiously move through, mentally mapping switches and memorising when and how frequently enemies will attack. 'Gods' is a game of planning, not just a game of knee-jerk reflexes. As a result it's a game I hated as a child simply because my gung-ho approach so frequently led to failure. I was not the only one who experienced this though. "Truth be told, older, more experienced players than me probably had a better time with 'Gods', as I could never finish it " Mike Diver noted on the Vice website. "The game couldn't be rushed – doing so would cost you health, always – and yet it had the look of a speed-run friendly arcade platformer. In practice, caution was always advised."
Over 30 distinct types of artifacts, including six different types of keys, are hidden in 'Gods'. Ultimately to succeed in the game you'll have to carry the right keys for the right doors, at the right time taking the correct path through the mazes and minimising dangerous backtracking. "You might finds door that won't open and three levers to be pulled, but in what order?" questioned game critic Jools Watsham. "Three levers means [nine] combinations and the wrong combination will more than likely bring a horde of sweaty nasty things determined to rip your head off and eat it". The game presents an appropriately Herculean challenge. To aide you a message scrolls at the bottom of the screen offering hints to solving puzzles or explaining the effects of artefacts. However, determining the meaning of these sometimes cryptic messages is often a puzzle in itself.
While many thought this anti piracy system actually raised the game's difficulty, what it actually did was disable the much-flaunted player assist feature that was built into 'Gods'. Developers The Bitmap Bother's called this "Player Monitor mode" and in short it keeps track of your skill level, making the game easier for the uninitiated and more difficult for the skilful. "Many of the adversaries feature a unique intelligence system that allows them to 'think' their way to defeating you" claims the Bitmap Brothers and evidently it was something that survived the port to the MegaDrive. The back of the box for the Sega conversion states that "the entire quest adjusts to your skill level, monitoring your every move with extra help for the novice, rewards for clever manoeuvres and tougher challenges for the omnipotent." According to the developers it was hoped that "Player Monitor mode [would] ensure that every game is different, since most of us don't perform with the precision of a computer". It was a feature applauded by critics; "the difficulty pitches just right" wrote Advanced Computer Entertainment magazine. "The first couple of worlds are relatively easy (though no pushovers), but provide a finely-judged tuition in the job ahead. Only after you've been playing for a while will you discover that 'Gods' packs considerable depth beneath its hack-'em-up facade, encouraging you to return again and again." "On the surface it's much the same as any other platform shoot-em up but probe beneath the exterior and you'll find something altogether cleverer" noticed Super Play magazine.
"On the Mega Drive he can fling as many about as he likes no problem. Frantic is a good word to describe this Game with the speed it runs at on the Mega Drive". the console version addresses Amiga Computing's criticism that the original was "slow, ponderous and a bit boring". As a result it possible to clear the game in around an hour (compared to the Amiga version, which took nearly two).
Vice Gaming. "The classiness of 'Gods' is there to see just as soon as it loads. "Renegade presents a Bitmap Brothers Game" pops up, bold white against jet black, before a muscle-bound brute torn straight from the pages of the most awesome comic your mother would never let you read stood, statuesque, as the game's back story scrolled up the screen."
The look of the main character is also widely inconsistent throughout the game. For example, The iconic helmet worn is different in the opening cinematic, on the title screen and in the game itself. Perhaps the distance between Coleman and the programming department caused for this inconsistency. "During development I was working back in Wales and the Bitmaps were in London. This was way before the Internet so loads of floppy disks were posted back and forth during the making of 'Gods'." Mike Montgomery however thinks individual thinking was the reason that 'Gods' looked so striking and unusual. "Greek Mythology was a big part of 'Gods' when we first started and the artwork that Mark created was great. He had so much scope to express himself and that really does show."