A beautiful, relaxing Xbox Live Arcade game
Speaking of tsunami's From Dust puts you in the shoes of a lesser god called the Breath. You can, er, absorb 3 elements of Earth, Lava and Water. When you do this, the animations are beautiful. Earth spins around in a huge ball. Water spooshes about and Lava bubbles, trying to escape.
Notice how I said "lesser" god. You can interact with nature, but you can't control it. Water will errode dirt. Lava will start a wildfire. Water from sources have to go somewhere. That sort of thing.
The objective of the main story is to get your people to the gate at the end (not a suburban white picket gate, imagine an epic looking archway :P) . To do so your people need to constuct a village on all Totem Poles on the map. Since you can't control the people, they have to take their own path to wherever you're telling them. This can cause fustration where they freak out over a slight mound on the ground or a tiny puddle of water.
Of course, all this is easier said than done. Tsunamis, Volcanos, Floods and Wildfires may seem like minor threats, but dealing with them is high on your list to success. To repel them, you need certain "keystones" to repel that element, for example, the keystone of water repels any water in the village. These keystones are normally difficult to get to, but are needed in order to repel these threats.
Once you've finished a medium length story mode, you have the challenge mode. Here you are placed in a situation. For example, you have to save all the villages, or extingush the wildfire. There are restictions such as you're only able to collect water. This is a lot of fun and there are leaderboards and times for the record breakers :)
Something that deserves a mention is the visuals. Especially for an XBLA game, the visuals are lovely in both in individual people, from huge desert landscapes, the graphics look amazing.
Another thing is that the developers have added a sandbox mode. While it could have been better, it still allows you to create some cool landscapes. It's only obtainable at the end of the level.
A quick note is that there is a few replayability aspects. First of all, there are hidden relics among every level which unlocks a sort of Codex of From Dust - Memory of The Tribe here is a little insight into the semi-story of From Dust. Also there is a feature called 100% vegitation. Trees and plants grow naturally arounf your village. The more you have the closer you are to the 100% mark. If you want to fully complete the game and suck every ebb of it's life, then these are cool features.
From Dust is a beautiful, relaxing Xbox Live Arcade game that I highly reccomend to anyone.