Play as the Grand Maker, a creator of worlds that places pieces of landscape together on flat planes in order to make the deities that float around happy. The goal is to build as much as possible in a certain amount of time, striving for certain milestones that unlock the temples of the Fates, carrying with them new building abilities. You will also have side objectives like building fleets of ships or a certain number of cities. This adds time to your clock for the next stage.
Whenever the time runs out, you will have a chance to decide just how the world ends, such as asteroids, pollution, floods or a mixture of different things, before you start over with a new stage and new objectives.
Each of the randomly generated tiles have four sides, and each of the sides has a landscape feature like mountains, water, prairies or forest, that will need to match with similar tiles. It can be a bit tricky though. Sometimes you will find yourself at a point when need a certain tile to fill a large gap in your world. You won’t be able to do this since you can’t just build one long peninsula in one direction. This will cause your world to become unbalanced and the edges of the tiles will crumble away unless you can place a town on or near them to repair the erosion.
Although dealing with erosion is easy enough to understand and anticipate, once the Fates begin to cause havoc and punch holes in the board, it becomes very hard to predict if a tile will stick or if it will crumble.
The Fates are a little fickle when it comes to their happiness and grumpiness meter. The meter displays their level of satisfaction with what you are doing, but it can be hard to know how exactly they will react when you do something. Their happiness depends on the tile and where you have placed it. This is shown when blue hearts pop up, meaning they like what you have done. The real issue is that they can become quite angry and do it rather quickly. They may seem happy at one moment, and then, within a few moves, they get red with rage and start destroying the world.
There is a virtual guide that has a one-sentence description of what each of the abilities does, but it doesn’t tell you how to use those abilities.
Overall, it is just about playing until the time expires to begin a new stage, with happy and unhappy Fates that affect how the game goes. At times you will be thinking that if you knew what was happening, you would have had more fun.
Fate Tectonics is great when it comes down to the anarchy that Golden Gear are trying to say about the old theological notion that we will never be able to know the mind of a god, nor will we ever understand the acts of a said god.