You play a god, gaming against other gods in a celestial game of conquest. To win, you must help your chosen people take over the world and wipe out the vermin who worship that other god.
Each god starts out with a single human, dumped into the middle of the wilderness. Sometimes there is inhabitable land in sight, sometimes not. To get win, you must change the landscape, creating flat land for your followers to build on. The more followers you have you have, the more powerful you will be, so take care of them. Build as fast as you can, because the other god is doing the same.
When you have enough followers, you can make the leader of your people into a hero. He will then go around the land you have built, literally taking strength from the people into himself, and working his way toward the enemy. When he gets there, he will engage in holy warfare upon your enemy's people. He will burn; he will kill. And he won't stop until they're all dead... or he is.
But you don't have to let your people have all the fun; the god's have other tools as well. You can drown your enemies one at a time with your land lowering powers. Submerge their towns in swamps. Raise a volcano in the middle of their best farmland. Even better, you can flood the land and drain all the people who didn't build on high-ground.
And when you win, you'll have 500 more worlds to conquer. A god's play is just never done.
Introduction Have you ever dreamed of being a god, modifying every little thing in the world that isn't as you wish, having hordes of followers and worshippers that follow your orders, and practically being the 'Master of All'? If you presume (as all of you probably do) from this question that this game offers it all, you're completely right! There is just one little catch - the other mighty god disagrees with you, and he won't just be sitting in the clouds watching you have all the fun.
The game Populous is the first game from a quadrilogy of the same name. When this game was released, it was extremely popular and widely accepted as one of the first real-time strategies. The fact that it was named Game Of The Year 1989 says enough for itself. As soon as you run the game you will see a menu giving you 3 choices of play: Tutorial, Conquest and Custom Game. In Tutorial mode you can practice your skills as a god without need of filling your mana. Conquest offers you a chance to fight your adversary on various maps, advancing through them one by one and Custom Game allows you to change worlds and landscapes and even put yourself in the role of Evil.
Gameplay The main goal of the game is to defeat the other god and his people by spreading your tribe through building houses. You advance your people's buildings by conquering plain fields. The more houses and followers you have, the more mana (deja vu, anyone? ) you get. Mana is a god's power which you use for releasing disasters upon enemy people and buildings. You have a wide range of them at your disposal: earthquake, flood (raises sea level), volcano, armageddon, swamp (swallows all) and knight (ultimate warrior who, once unleashed, destroys enemy houses and people). To round up your divine powers, you also have the ability of raising and lowering land, which is useful for making plain fields or weakening enemy buildings.
Graphics and sound Populous' graphics were very good for the time of its release, and now, to us spoilt gamers, it looks somewhat seamy. Various landscapes (polar, desert, grassland, rocks and lava) are probably what nowadays gives graphics a pass, considering that animations of your people and buildings aren't very impressive. Sound is nothing spectacular and the music is painfully repetitive so you'll probably turn it off after 10 minutes.
Interface And so we come to what is probably the worst side of the game. The interface is rather unpractical, mainly because of the clumsily positioned control board which reduces the actual playing area of the screen so you have to scroll all the time. This might put most new players off... and they could hardly be blamed for that!
One of the great sides of the game is that its compatibility features aren't typical for the time of its release. For instance, Populous was one of the first games to introduce multiplayer via modem! Yes, you read it right, you can dial your friend's computer and prove to him who's the better God in-head-to-head play! Populous also supports mouse control while featuring a great number of keyboard hotkeys (you can download default keyboard controls). This greatly enhances playability and enables you to react faster to the events on the screen.
The fact that Populous is a true strategy classic which has set the standards for many forthcoming games is not questionable. The real dilemma here is whether it still is as challenging and interesting as it was 15 years ago. Old fans who played it and liked it in past times will surely be attracted to it once again because of its intense nostalgic feeling, while new players who are used to state-of-the-art 3D games will probably detest it and delete it immediately after download. As I belong to the first group (the slightly younger part of it, that is), I would recommend it to every gamer willing to see how it all started. Even if you're not impressed at the first sight, give Populous some time, and it will attract your attention for quite a while. After all, it is challenging to experience what it's like to be a God, isn't it?
People who downloaded Populous have also downloaded:
Populous 2, Populous: The Beginning, Powermonger, Master of Orion, Pirates! Gold for Windows, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Railroad Tycoon Deluxe, Populous 1
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