But that can be a big if, especially if the player doesn't do anything about the river blocking the villagers' path to the mountaintop. Of course, building a land bridge to get by is no problem when you have god-like terraforming powers. What's less simple is getting the newly water-powered villager back down to his village before the tsunami actually hits. It's a good thing water-powered villagers can swim, because it turns out washing the villager out via an impromptu lake and waterfall combination is one of the quickest ways to get him back down the mountainside. Once he's safely home, the water-powered villager can pass his power on to his neighbors, who then band together stop the tsunami in its tracks with some rhythmic chanting and drumming
Completing single goals like these will grant the player limited-use super powers, Chahi explained; for example, the ability to gather up all the water in the world in a single hovering ball, or to instantly turn all the world's rock into lava. Protecting the villagers also helps you towards the overarching goal of establishing and connecting a set number of villages, and then guiding all the villagers towards to the next island via a "migration ritual."
It's hard to judge just how well this gameplay works without a chance to try it out ourselves, but the concepts on display in this short hands-off demo have us pretty excited to play god when the game hits Xbox Live Arcade, PSN and Steam early next year.