#173 Populous

Posted: 4th January 2016 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

478th played so far


Genre: Strategy
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1989
Developer: Bullfrog
Publisher: Electronic Arts

Some time ago, when it was newer, I really enjoyed Populous: The Beginning, a strategy/simulation game with a focus on you being a deity.

That game left you more in charge of a shaman honouring a god, while Populous (the original) is listed as a god influencing events. Closer, in fact, to the otherwise lacklustre GODUS. All I remember is that trying this game years ago, it didn’t make much sense after my experience with Populous: The Beginning.

Our Thoughts

As an older game, it took a while to figure out how Populous worked – luckily GoG comes with a manual for the game that explains the game’s icons. When I got used to this, a very addictive game revealed itself.

Most of the game is focused on as much on flattening land, creating large stretches of plains to allow houses to be build, as well as creating hills for your followers to retreat to in case of a flood. With more followers than your opponent, you can eventually overwhelm them and slowly destroy them.

Having more followers also generates more mana, which has its further uses. With more followers, further spells unlock for you to use. A long term useful spell is to create a knight, who goes around killing your enemy followers and buildings. You only get one at a time, but it means part of finishing the game is done automatically. You also have earthquakes at your disposal, useful in areas occupied solely by your opponents to deal a blow to its power. If you’re playing evil enough, floods and plagues are possible too, but we didn’t yet see much of that – or needed that on the early levels.

But really, adjusting all the land and slowly seeing it go under is incredibly enjoying, at times in an almost zen like way, putting you in a trance while you slowly flatten everything. The game is simple looking, but it’s just deep enough that is reaches the right levels of addictive.

Final Thoughts

Populous takes some time to get into, but once you’re used to the interface, the game pulls you in far enough to stay addictive. A lovely, quiet game that feels like it is slowly building up to a victory.