The 'god game' genre doesn't have the largest number of titles, and of those, consoles usually only see ports of the most popular PC entries. Rarely has a company created an original god game for a console, but Nintendo is seizing the opportunity with their own take on the genre, Doshin the Giant (Kyojin no Doshin in Japan).

I don't wanna grow anymore

   Doshin the Giant was originally released in Japan for Nintendo's 64DD, but with the add-on's severely limited online distribution and pitiful number of titles, Doshin couldn't achieve the kind of stardom associated with Nintendo's bigger franchises. Luckily, with GameCube developers being encouraged by Nintendo to focus on original, uncommon games, the Doshin team decided to bring the game to GameCube, in hopes that more people would experience the game and inevitably fall in love with it.

   The star of Doshin the Giant is, of course, Doshin, a lanky yellow giant with a big heart and a navel to match. Doshin's world is made up of many islands, each with burgeoning villages that rely upon the helping hand of the giant to foster their growth. The basic game principles revolve around remedial tasks such as uprooting trees to use as lumber or gathering up livestock, but Doshin also possesses the ability to lift or lower the earth to help the flow of water or to simply make room for new houses.

No man is a three-mile island

   If Doshin becomes successful in his tasks and pleases the villagers, he earns hearts, and once a certain number of hearts have been obtained, he grows. However, Doshin's size can be a hinderance, as the bigger he gets, the more property he destroys, knocking over trees, sinking the ground and toppling huts with accidental ease. This is probably the most original part of the game: in order to reduce Doshin's size, players must transform him into Jyashin, Doshin's evil alter-ego. If landforms or villages are destroyed as Jyashin, the player earns skulls instead of hearts, and the giant's size decreases. Therefore, it's crucial to maintain balance between Doshin's loving and Jyashin's destroying to keep the villagers happy. Monuments can also be earned if you're an overall successful giant, out of 16 total monuments in the game. Earn enough monuments and new islands will open up for Doshin to traverse.

   With Doshin getting his second chance at stardom in a few weeks, questions have been raised regarding an overseas release. Nintendo has remained silent on the matter, but will no doubt wait and see how the title fares in Japan before considering releasing it anywhere else. So while Nintendo of America currently "optimizes" other odd, innovative GameCube titles like Animal Forest Plus, it seems the great yellow hope will remain in limbo for a little while longer.

Preview by Ray Barnholt, GIA.
Doshin the Giant
Developer Param
Publisher Nintendo
Genre Simulation
Medium Disc
Platform Nintendo GameCube
Release Date  03.15.02
3 screenshots
Japanese box art