Puzzler, God game and much more
Archipelagos is not your average puzzler, it is much more ambitious than that. It is a combination of actions and options that have been carefully arranged to create a very unique game, that combines elements of turn based strategy, of world building games and some elements that are original to the game. Thus, the best way to describe this game is to say that it is an Esher like game, in which apparently simple construction, when looked at from afar it manages to create a very unique feel. But, gameplay wise, you won't be treated with no weirdness and surprises. Nope, what you get is a very structured gameplay, in which you pick your next move, you build and you take care of your resurces in a sort of tactical manner, so that by the end of the game you will be able to capture the monolith. Ye, call it what you want, a capture the flag turn based bonanza or whatever else, Archipelagos will make sense but you just have to play it. If anything, it is similar to I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream at least in terms of eclecticism, though, as gameplay, Chess is still the definitive contender.