Finished Geneforge 1. Compared to later Spiderweb games, it feels extremely retro although it has the standard SpiderWeb gameplay feel.
It's a science-fantasy world, you are a member of a sect of magic-users who use technology as well as magic. You can play as one of 3 classes - Shaper (focuses on summoning creatures - known as shaping), Guardian (focuses on combat), and Agent (focuses on magic). Shapers are weak in combat, but are OK on magic, this is the class I usually play. Guardians are weak in magic and Agents are weak in shaping but OK in the third style.
Basically, you play as a one-person party but can add created creatures to the roster. These creatures are under your control if you give them sufficient intelligence and will fight for you. You can create creatures with melee, ranged or magic attacks.
The premise of the game is that as an apprentice you are travelling to your next training post and are shipwrecked en route. You are cast away on Sucia Island - which turns out to be barred to the sect. You need to explore the island to find a boat and incidentally to find out why the island was barred. The island is home to serviles - created but fertile creatures who serve the sect as servants and labourers. There are 3 servile factions resident on Sucia plus the outsiders (who are allied to one of the factions). At the end of the game, you have 3 choices - use the eponymous Geneforge to transform yourself into effectively a god, destroy it or walk away and let one of the factions use it.
My biggest gripe about the interface is the extremely limited inventory space - you have a maximum of 20 slots, most items aren't stackable and the inventory counts against your encumbrance limit. In later games, Jeff introduced 'junk bags' - anything you planned to sell went into the bag and didn't form part of your inventory, and encumbrance was only for equipped items. The other thing that some don't like about the interface is the isometric movement; it can take a little getting used but I'm OK with it.
Retro but enjoyable. Now on to Geneforge 2.
(Given the issues around ebook management with Catalina, I'm holding off on the upgrade until the DRM can be stripped from my purchases.)