Populous was one of the first series of games that changed the face of gaming, the first one involved a strategy slash action and this, the third version is no different. This game can be more classed as ‘prequel’ rather than a sequel as it goes a bit further back in time.
You play a Shaman who is a leader of a primitive tribe who is hell bent on becoming a god. The basic idea of the game is to kill the rest of the tribes and conquer each world to be victorious. To become powerful and be able to conquer the enemy tribes, you need to be able to master your knowledge on magic and power. You also need to build up a strong army of soldiers including the swordsmen.
The game is packed full of worlds, each of the worlds represent a level and after conquering each level, you move onto the next level. The installation is fairly simple. There is a screen which shows all the worlds and a stone like bar is situated at the bottom, as each level is completed, the stone bar fills up with the planets until you fill all the gaps. There are 25 levels in all and as each one progresses, each level gets more complicated making the game in keeping with the player’s needs as it maintains interest. Like other strategy games, there is a map which shows a scaled version of the world being played to enable easier navigation. To progress onto each level, there are various artefacts such as the totem poles and stone heads that need to be worshipped at by a selection of followers in order to gain such things as spells and land bridges. The is on each level a vault of knowledge where only the Shaman can worship, here she can gain access to a knowledge of a new spell making her more powerful to the enemy giving her tribe an advantage.
There are many spells 26 in fact that can be cast as long as you obtain the knowledge of them. These can include the Convert spell, this spell can convert wild men to your tribe thus gaining more people. There are also spells that work to combat the enemy including the meteor shower that can be selected to rain down on enemy ground and set fire to whatever is in the vacinity as well as my favourite, the Angel of death which is a great spell to obtain. Be sure to know though that all these spells need to be charged with mana (the life energy to say) and the better the spell, the more mana it needs and the longer it will take to load again. The title is taken from a sound that is made when a Shaman casts a certain spell, the spelling is representative of what it sounds like (I think its probably spelt like that anyway!)
In order to control the game easily there are various keys on the keyboard which can control various options these include the following.
Esc – Menu (only whilst in the game)
F1 – Encyclopaedia
F8 – Quick Load
F9 – Quick Save
- and _ key to Zoom Out
+ and = key to Zoom In.
Enter – World View
Space Bar – Skip Flyby (kind of like a break or intro)
S – Status
P – Pause
There are many other key commands that are available to make the game that bit easier.