Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 76 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 76
  2. Negative: 3 out of 76
  1. Jul 26, 2011
    75
    From Dust provides a rich world full of engaging challenges, though there are some frustrations even a god must suffer.
  2. Jul 29, 2011
    72
    It's a game that's pretty, controls well, and offers enough of a challenge to keep most players occupied for a while at a fraction of the cost of a full retail release title.
  3. Jul 27, 2011
    88
    With a great variety of maps and tons of secrets to uncover, From Dust's amorphous sandbox ensures a consistently entertaining journey.
  4. Jul 26, 2011
    90
    From Dust is a crescendo - of ideas, but mostly of the glorious and fearful drama of nature - that will leave you feeling both humbled and thrilled...But it still feels like a beginning, and not just because it tells the tale of one. It's a big idea in a small package, and it's begging to be expanded, as Ubisoft has hinted it might be. Pray that it is.
  5. Jul 27, 2011
    80
    An impressive and well thought-out offering that delivers a truly original and memorable strategic experience, even if interface and pacing issues help keep it from feeling quite as monumental as its inventive abilities.
  6. Jul 26, 2011
    85
    All in all, Ubisoft seems to have another winner with From Dust.
  7. Jul 29, 2011
    91
    The framerate remains solid throughout, and seeing a giant tsunami rip through the world and completely submerge it is very impressive.
  8. Jul 26, 2011
    91
    From Dust is the God game for the rest of us, shallow enough for arm-chair deities, deep enough for messiahs who want to come to Earth and shape the world elbows deep. As one of the few games you can actually relax with and still enjoy to its fullest, From Dust should be in your library.
  9. Jul 26, 2011
    75
    A mostly successful experiment. While the plodding pace of its first half is off-putting, the second half and the challenge levels become so gripping that I find myself stopping to play for a little bit in the midst of writing this review -- and when I'm finished, I'm heading right back to it.
  10. Sep 8, 2011
    90
    A sandbox game in its truest interpretation - nature simulated via a charming strategy game. [Oct 2011, p.84]
  11. Aug 7, 2011
    95
    When put against some of the other excellent Summer of Arcade games, From Dust isn't for everyone. It's a fully unique experience, with a pace and style that might turn some people off. But for people willing to play a more meditative game, a god game without much building or even very terrific amounts of power, and people who're interested in games as art, From Dust is a beautiful experience and one of the best ways to spend $15 in Microsoft Spacebucks.
  12. Jul 26, 2011
    70
    For gamers looking for something well off the beaten path, From Dust is absolutely worth checking out. Its lush graphics, slick visual design and clever environmental engine are the big draws, but it's unfortunately bogged down by excessively frustrating later levels founded on trial and error, and irksome AI that undermines the precision the endgame demands.
  13. Jul 28, 2011
    86
    From Dust is something we've never seen in the last years: a wonderful god game with good challenges for the player. At the same time there are several limits with the camera and a gameplay where you can't do too much things.
  14. Aug 2, 2011
    84
    From Dust is a fantastic game and a great follow-up to the Summer of Arcade's first game, Bastion. It's not quite like anything you've ever seen before and there's plenty of content to warrant a purchase. There are a few kinks that need to be worked out but overall, this is a game that everyone should check out, just make sure you don't let your newfound godly prowess get to your head.
  15. Jul 27, 2011
    90
    A risky and original game that does well everything it proposes. Magnificient and engaging, with a design that gives the player absolute freedom to solve the challenges.
  16. Jul 26, 2011
    91
    From Dust is the ideal Xbox Live Arcade game. It would be a tough sell as a retail product simply because it's so creatively constructed and hard to easily define, but as a 1200 MS Point download? It's not to be missed.
  17. Jul 26, 2011
    90
    From Dust's not magnificent because of its breezy intricacy and rugged grasp of geology. It's magnificent because it's designed with a playful deity in mind. It's built for a god who knows that to succeed is human, 
but to err – and to be creatively led astray time after time – is truly divine.
  18. 80
    From Dust's malleable world is intoxicating to wield power over, even if your control feels more like work than actual fun at times. Juggling resources and racing against the cycles of nature isn't for everyone. Though stages grow progressively harder, the game doesn't really have a climax to break up its even-keeled rhythm, making it less of a thundering ride and more of a blissfully Zen, workman-like process.
  19. Jul 26, 2011
    91
    Like nothing else I have played.
  20. Jul 28, 2011
    70
    From Dust is hypnotic, captivating and, most importantly, fun. It's a sandbox that rewards creativity and playfulness as much as it punishes it and, while it suffers some irritating issues, it's a very welcome experience.
  21. Jul 26, 2011
    70
    It's easy to appreciate From Dust, but harder to enjoy it.
  22. Jul 26, 2011
    85
    From Dust not only looks good and unique, but it plays notably enough to back up its artistic and technological value. A lovely crafted unclassifiable game with enough fun and personality that you'll want to help those little people and its settlements to the end.
  23. Aug 16, 2011
    80
    From Dust has a simple concept, executed exceptionally well. It's almost worth the price of entry to see the physics alone, but there's plenty more beyond that to make a purchase worthwhile.
  24. Jul 26, 2011
    55
    There's just not enough content and too many restrictions for the game to be truly engaging. It keeps the player at arm's length, removes any motivation for feeling responsible and, at its very worst, annoys with persistent feelings of helplessness and characters who couldn't tell their arses from their elbows.
  25. Jul 29, 2011
    82
    In the desert or on an island … you have to travel with your villagers from one place to another to find the true origin and the secrets of the world. Yes, and this makes fun.
  26. Jul 26, 2011
    80
    A wonderful new addition to the Xbox Live Arcade that suffers from small irritations more than anything else, but it's still a beautiful experience.
  27. Jul 30, 2011
    82
    From Dust is one of the best gaming experiences of the entire year.
  28. Jul 26, 2011
    90
    From Dust shows that a cheap, downloadable game can compete with the biggies. You'll find yourself lost in this games for hours, just to create a perfect world. It requires some thinking, but most of all it requires enjoyment. Just sit back, kick your feet up and enjoy the beauty that is From Dust.
  29. Jul 26, 2011
    80
    From Dust is a great experience, a game with a strong demeanor and an awesome gameplay. If you are looking for a slow peaced game with great physics and a nice concept, this is a great choice inside the XBLA catalogue.
  30. Jul 28, 2011
    90
    From Dust shows that playing god is never a dull task. Trying to tame the forces of nature proves a challenge and provides a different experience every time you play. The sometimes troublesome pathfinding and suicidal tendencies of the villagers make up the only small gripe we have with this otherwise fantastic game.
  31. Jul 26, 2011
    80
    Achingly beautiful god sim that struggles at times over structure and difficultly curve, but never in terms of spectacle or vision.
  32. Jul 26, 2011
    78
    Despite the simple end goal, the game is filled with vagaries resulting from an unclear interface and a perplexing process for setting waypoints. That turns the masked men's path finding into a grueling, aggravating operation as they stop within sight of their goal for no apparent reason. Still, seeing how all the elements react to one another is captivating.
  33. Jul 28, 2011
    85
    From Dust is an outstanding approach to the long-forgotten God Genre, but with a few new elements that, combined, give this title a fresh look from what we're used to seeing on the digital market.
  34. Jul 27, 2011
    45
    From Dust is an interesting, original and creative project... unfortunately, it never capitalizes on its promise thanks to too many technical problems and a feeling of unpolished awkwardness. More frustrating and tedious than uplifting and deific, I'd love to see a revamped installment with the kinks ironed out. As it stands, I was all too ready to leave the islands behind and head back to the mainland at the first opportunity.
  35. 70
    A magical evening in, and makes you think in a way that's novel and immensely rewarding. But be warned: the limited camera, the fineness of the controls and the tribal AI will occasionally annoy you, and it leaves you positively starving for more.
  36. Aug 1, 2011
    80
    From Dust's concept is sublime and the simplistic controls make it accessible, despite some wonky camera controls. It isn't perfect, but it is still an excellent game and one that should be welcomed into any self respecting gamer's library.
  37. 90
    Truly a must-have XBLA game, From Dust can hold its head up high amongst the likes of Limbo, Braid, and Super Meat Boy – much like those platformers, Eric Chahi's long-awaited return has brought back a sadly forgotten gaming genre and given it a fresh breath of life. It's been a long time coming, but with any luck a god gaming renaissance is upon us.
  38. 90
    Designer Eric Chahi is possibly absolute genius and his game is very unusual experience in all aspects. Missing sandbox mode is the only flaw in this perfect god game. [Issue#208]
  39. Aug 19, 2011
    70
    A great concept that works for the most part, but poor ideas like the introduction of trees and play that can sometimes feel wearisome rather than empowering keep it from being great. [Issue#75, p.103]
  40. Jul 29, 2011
    85
    From Dust is a magical experience, but it could have been just that little bit more. The Xbox 360 controls aren't as precise as we would have liked, meaning that putting down dirt in exactly the spot you wanted can be tricky. The camera is also completely awful, only allowing you to look from two viewpoints - a 35 degree angle, or from the top. Restrictions on the camera are always a bad idea, period.
  41. Jul 26, 2011
    60
    From Dust's answer to the cravings of sandbox god game fanatics may be imperfect, but it would be a shame to deny him his chance, since we didn't have a god game for so long. Its ergonomic shortcomings and underwhelming surprising and renewal abilities prevent it from reaching the heights we'd have hoped, but the beauty of its simulation and the occasional awe-inspiring moments we get while contemplating our own creations are very real as well.
  42. Jul 29, 2011
    70
    Beautiful and innovative, but the controls and difficulty needs a tweak.
  43. Aug 25, 2011
    80
    From Dust marks a successful return to the "god games".
  44. Aug 3, 2011
    75
    From Dust will please the real-time strategy fans or those looking for an alternative styled puzzle game, but if you are not into either genre, you should look past this conceptually brilliant, yet flawed strategy game.
  45. Aug 31, 2011
    80
    Overall, From Dust is very vibrant and interesting game and concept, with many compelling aspects to the gameplay. The visuals are stunning, the gameplay is simple and it can easily be played for an hour or five. However, it can become very tedious and frustrating in later levels. And because of the great simplicity of the game itself, frustrated players can find themselves losing interest in the game itself. It's a compelling game for puzzle lovers, but I would suggest caution for others who find themselves getting easily frustrated by having to juggle multiple aspects at once.
  46. Aug 2, 2011
    70
    The setting, design and sounds are great in this unique and interesting god simulator. But the controls are just not good enough and the AI is really frustrating at times.
  47. Jul 31, 2011
    42
    There are a lot of intriguing ideas sloshing around, but few of them were fully thought-out.
  48. Jul 26, 2011
    80
    A fantastic value, all told, with a bare minimum of eight hours or more that never feels like you're doing exactly the same thing twice.
  49. Aug 3, 2011
    90
    It's a shame we don't see games like From Dust more often. It doesn't get repetitive, it's entertaining and shows like no other how a great power comes with a great responsability.
  50. Aug 2, 2011
    80
    From Dust is hugely satisfying and might herald the revival of the almost forgotten god games. It's a damn intelligent game and Eric Chahi did not forget how to build an extraordinary atmosphere of another world. [August 2011, p.59]
  51. 100
    An incredible piece of tech and an even better piece of design, From Dust is a place to lose yourself in. [Oct 2011, p.104]
  52. Aug 12, 2011
    82
    Beautiful, it plays great, and is an amplified breath of fresh air.
  53. Aug 18, 2011
    80
    It's been a while since we've seen a "God game", and Ubisoft brings back the genre in a truly inspiring way.
  54. Jul 26, 2011
    70
    A curious thing happens when From Dust stops getting in the way and tells you to just have fun...You have fun...From Dust is finally able to dazzle, however briefly, by stripping away practically everything that makes it a "game" and leaving only its base mechanics behind.
  55. Aug 9, 2011
    70
    Although the game is hampered by a collection of small problems (camera blur, imprecise controls and dubious AI pathfinding), there are enough moments of simulated natural wonder to submerge those doubts. It really feels good to be a divine dick again.
  56. Aug 14, 2011
    71
    From Dust feels not as a game, but as a humble experiment. It's almost like Ubisoft is testing the waters before diving in.
  57. 80
    From Dust is a lovely acquaintance. It's elegant, relaxing and gets your gears grinding. It's a different but excellent twist on the puzzle and strategy genres, and one we'll happily recommend.
  58. Jul 27, 2011
    70
    Quotation forthcoming.
  59. Oct 17, 2011
    90
    If this can even be called a game, it's a highly unusual one. Instead of doing missions and killing enemies you construct landscapes and battle for control over the always unpredictable elements brought to life by impressive physics.
  60. Jul 26, 2011
    90
    From Dust is a great playground that constantly impresses with its jaw-dropping technology and dynamic environments. A must for anyone that craves more than just an action fix.
  61. Aug 3, 2011
    80
    Though the AI may not be the smartest, playing around with the elements is a lot of fun.
  62. Aug 1, 2011
    80
    Because of its minimalistic design and unique feel, From Dust is one of the most intriguing experience of this year. However, its flaws in controlling and dependance upon coincidence in the game ruins the gameplay and make it somewhat frustrating to no avail.
  63. Jul 26, 2011
    93
    Yet one more demostration of the great potential of digital delivery: an innovative, inspired and highly satisfying game, capable of proudly standing amongst the best Xbox Live Arcade titles.
  64. Jul 26, 2011
    90
    It's pure, ambitious, rewarding, challenging, surprisingly visceral, utterly engaging and proof positive that from even the basest of materials, genuine wonders can be wrought.
  65. 85
    From Dust is a very well put together puzzler that's obviously had a lot of thought and effort put into it. Not only does it offer a rather breathtaking setting to the player, but the various simple mechanics all come together to create a fun and compelling gameplay experience that hasn't really been duplicated on the Xbox Live Arcade before.
  66. Jul 26, 2011
    60
    I really wanted to love From Dust. I love the concept. I love Eric Chahi. But the gameplay feels like it was never play-tested, and the difficulty curve is wild and unsatisfying.
  67. Aug 17, 2011
    70
    At first impression, From Dust might look and play more like a tech demo than an actual game, but there is some enjoyment to be dug out of the experience. From Dust combines some fun mechanics, with great visuals and some satisfying puzzle inspired gameplay.
  68. Aug 8, 2011
    65
    From Dust is a fun game, especially when someone wants to play god. Light and short missions allow the player to enjoy creating the world but after a while boredom creeps in. The locations change but the player is forced to do the same things over and over again. It's a game worth getting to know thanks to its great physics engine, but its not for everybody.
  69. Aug 1, 2011
    100
    Give it a chance and let the world of gaming open up to something uniquely different.
  70. Jul 26, 2011
    40
    From Dust needs a mouse, at the very least. It's hard enough to draw with a mouse - but most people can manage it to some extent. Painting mountains on the world with an Xbox Controller is utterly horrible. Worse still, the game suffers from the same sort of problems many RTS games do - scrolling around the game world isn't as intuitive as it should be.
  71. Aug 1, 2011
    80
    This title does do a tremendous job of showcasing how brutal nature can truly be and the helplessness that you feel when you can't do anything about it. If you are a fan of "god" games then I urge you to give From Dust a chance.
  72. Aug 10, 2011
    80
    From Dust is sublime – it's arguably close to being a piece of art. But prospective players should be warned you will only succeed here if you are a calm, benevolent and (above all else) patient god. Wrathful Old Testament types needn't bother; you'll only end up staring at the Game Over screen.
  73. Jul 26, 2011
    85
    Memorable, beautiful and unique, something that stays in your mind long after you've moved on to something else. It's a game that's as fascinating to watch as it is to play, a thought-provoking spin on the power fantasies of the traditional god game.
  74. 78
    It's a fine god game, for sure. But From Dust does not reach its full potential. A fantastic physics engine and some clever ideas do not entirely compensate for its lack of missions and storytelling.
  75. Jul 26, 2011
    100
    From the tiniest trickle of water to the largest tidal wave, or the smallest grain of sand to the biggest mountain top, every element combines to make From Dust one of the most beautiful and compelling games available on Xbox Live Arcade.
  76. Jul 27, 2011
    60
    With superior AI, higher-resolution graphics and some more forgiving soil erosion, From Dust would be an outstanding title. As it is, it has enough personality and interesting ideas to make it a reasonable game if you feel like playing something different, but its myriad flaws prevent us from recommending it.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. Jul 27, 2011
    9
    Graphics are solid, game-play is quite good most of the time, and the tribe dynamics make for a good storyline. If it wasn't for all the escort missions and slow game-play periods this could have been a great one. Interesting premise, but lacks on execution. Full Review »
  2. Jul 28, 2011
    10
    It's a great game pure and simple. It is a bit hard to control with the game pad but after the first few levels you get used to it and its not a problem anymore. Its well worth the money.
    These poor user reviews are whinny BS. They are protesting DRM that doesn't apply to the game on Xbox, and a delay for the PC version. Grow up, seriously.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 28, 2011
    10
    This game is fantastic. It is very original and looks absolutely amazing. You can create completely new lands by guiding rivers, or destroy you villages by flooding them. I do not know why anyone would say that this game lacks polish, it has been made very well and is well refined. "Lacks polish" is the last thing I would use to describe this game. Full Review »