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- Populous -

Godgames are games that let you control a tribe or race of people and usually the goal is to conquer the people controlled by another deity. Today this kind of game is not uncommon but back in 1989 noone really ever played one. Populous was the very first of it's kind and it was so different from other games that it almost never got published. Luckily for us it did and there have been loads of games that have the same basic formula since. You are a god in control of a small tribe of people and the aim is to destroy all you enemies.

You usually start a level with only one or two citizens and as soon as they find some proper land they will build homes on it. They need a flat surface to build though and usually a small area is enough to build a simple home. Whenver a building is made you will see an area right next to it that differs from the normal terrain which is used to create mana for you. Mana is the source of your power and you will need a lot of it if you are to conquer your enemy. To make life easier for your people you can flatten the land for them and the larger the flat area the larger the building thus producing more mana, this ranges from a simple tent to an entire castle. Having a single building is also not much use and you'll have to make sure your people multiply as well. The larger buildings can contain more people as well which is shown as a flag on the building, the higher the flag is the more 'full' a building is. If a large building is full you can force people to leave by decreasing the flat land area and thus making your people spread out.

You can also give general orders to your people much like other orders as the entire game is controlled with small icons on the sides of the screen. You can order them to build homes as quickly as possible (flag icon), reproduce (people icon), battle as much as possible (sword icon) and to build towards the enemy thieftain (ankh icon). Apart from simply raising and lowering the land there is plenty of stuff you can do with you powers and you can make life difficult on the enemy by producing swamps that kill anyone who walks in them, making a vulcano rise that will stop anyone from building there and to create a flood that will lower all land. Be carefull though as any of these disasters can harm your people as well. Some other powers directly target one of you people as you can make a knight out of your people's leader and the sole purpose of this knight is to hunt and kill enemies. The ultimate power you can use is armageddon which will destroy all homes from both sides and creates a landbridge across the screen so both tribes will battle each other to death.

Each level is set as a square piece that consists of some land and a lot of water which you can shape to your pleasure. Things start off easy at first as the enemy deity cannot use any of his powers other than raising and lowering land but as the levels progress his powers will unlock and he can use them against your people. Also the environment such as the water and and swamps will later become deadly instead of being harmless. As you start each level you are given a code which you can use to start directly at that level but there is no savegame feature so each level will have to be played until you either give up or win. The computer versions have a multiplayer feature but since it uses a serial connection I have never tried it so I can't tell you what it's like.

Populous is the creation of Peter Molyneux who founded Bullfrog and this game is a testiment to his skill as a game designer as he has made some great games throughout the years, not only that but they were often very different from other games which is often I can appreciate in the wake of all those standard games. It might look somewhat dated now and the varation between levels is not that great but I still think the game is great so if you haven't already go and have a go at it.

Overal rating: 8.5/10

Erde Kaiser

This game was released for many different systems here are some notes:
Amiga Released in 1989.
Game has been tested but not completed with winUAE v0.9.91.
This is the original version and if you play close attention you find some small differences between this and the others.
Atari ST Released in 1989.
Game has been tested but not completed with Steem v3.2.
Basically the same as the amiga version.
DOS Released in 1989.
Game has been tested but not completed on a DOS PC.
Looks and plays the same as the amiga but with no real sound effects.
Released in 1990.
Game has been tested but not completed with WGens v2.11.
Of the console versions this is the most similar to the original
Super NES Released in 1991 .
Game has been tested but not completed with ZSNES win v1.36.
The main screen is somewhat smaller but otherwise fairly similar.
SMS - Sega
Master system
Released in 1991.
Game has been tested but not completed with Dega v1.12.
The screen in this version is tiny and can only show about 1 castle whereas the other show about 3-4 at one time. Still not bad for such an older system.
Others There was a remake produced which had 3D graphics and was released for windows and playstation but it is fairly new so it's not available.

Date added Jun-01-2005 19:22
Name Populous
Developer Bullfrog
Publisher Electronic arts
First released 1989
Genre Strategy
Sponsored links  
Download Atari ST, filesize: 461 Kb
Commodore Amiga, filesize: 427 Kb
MS-DOS, filesize: 267 Kb
Super NES, filesize: 364 Kb
Sega Master System, filesize: 114 Kb
Sega Megadrive, filesize: 183 Kb
Manual No manual available
Solve / Docs No solve available
No extra docs available

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