This Data Disk for Populous adds five new landscape types: Wild West, Silly Land, Block Land, Révolution Française and Bit Plains. The types can be used to create new maps in Paint Map mode and the disk also has 500 new maps for Conquest mode.
# 500 New maps in Conquest Mode
# 5 New divine worlds, including Silly Land, Wild West, Block Land, Revolution Francaise and Bit Plains.
You need to decide to play the role of one of two divine beings, either God or the Devil. The idea is to trash your opponent by manipulating your dedicated acolytes into collision with the enemy. The playing area is a scrolling landscape, and you have got to build houses for your followers to, um, (how do you put this delicately?) procreate in, before the opposition grabs them. Your power increases to celestial proportion as you gain followers. With your opponent trying to do exactly the same thing on the opposite side of the map you soon realise that one world is not big enough for the two of you.
Followers can only build their homes on flat ground so you need to use the mouse to select areas of landscape and either raise or lower it until it is levelled. Your people will then come along and build on the land; first small dwellings barely enough to pray in and then a decent sized home. Followers will disappear into these places and do whatever followers do, whereupon several new members appear out of the front door. If all the land around the house has been levelled, then a castle will be erected.
This might seem fairly basic stuff but where things really hot up is when you start employing a bit of divine intervention to whip the other side’s houses for yourself. As your power increases, you are able to select areas of the map and then cause havoc with everything from earthquakes to floods, which can really get to be great fun. If you have really got something against your opponent then there is even the opportunity to toss around a good bout of disease.
At the start you must place a papal magnet somewhere on the map. You can then pick a leader and instruct him to go towards it, taking all your followers with him. He will venture on, finding new territories and relying on you to flatten the land for him.
The game works by selecting somewhere to go on the main map at which point you are presented with a detailed view of this section. Although it is easy enough to view the land on your territory you cannot venture into the domain of your other half.
When the game has progressed this far you can start to engage in all manner of scurrilous activities. You can instruct your followers to engage in fights with the opposition wherever possible – this only has any effect when you come across an enemy occupied house. The owner will emerge and you will fight to the death. Should the house occupier lose then his house will be burnt down.
Making use of the range of divine effects which include earthquakes, floods, disease and even Armageddon is fine but unfortunately your enemy has a tendency to play dirty and use the same disasters on you. By viewing his territory you can decide which are his most heavily built up areas and then ruin his day by invoking a volcano. It is the floods which can really cause problems – an ill-advised deluge will not only obliterate most of your enemy’s territory but you can also kiss goodbye to a large extent of your own land. The entire outcome of the game can be changed with this kind of global effect.
Graphically, the game has been very well designed. You view an open book which displays the map as well as a close-up section of specified areas. Dots on the main map indicate the followers of good and evil which give an idea as to the strength of your followers. Near to this is a sliding scale which moves up during the gameplay to inform you what kind of divine powers you can summon, such as earthquakes and floods.
Raising and lowering land looks effective and there is no problem in distinguishing different levels. The followers are not brilliantly drawn and lowering the land underneath a house causes it to disappear rather than crumble to the floor. This drastic feat looks rather abrupt with divine everything vanishes. IN the case of floods you look in horror as everything shivers and then almost the entire map disappears into the ocean.
Sound effect are brilliant. A mystic chanting takes place in the background which is very atmospheric. Additionally there are a small range of spot effects which appear when you unleash an earthquake or flood. An unconvincing clanking like a blacksmith at work indicates a sword fight, and you can then visit the scene to combat.
Populous is a strategy game but at the same time the action progresses fast enough to grip even the faithful shoot-em-up addict. A typical game can take around an hour to play but by selecting different aggression and rate levels from a menu you can alter this to suit your requirements. These allow you to specify what options can be brought into play, such as shallow or bottomless swamps, build up and down or up only. These will affect both players but further menus can restrict each player individually so, for example, floods cannot be used by the Devil or God cannot let an earthquake rip.
Populous is an excellent game – graphically exciting and amazingly addictive. It is one of those games which you just cannot leave alone. Even the front screen, where you will spend most of your time, is unusual enough to keep you intrigued. As well as a demo mode where you can pick up strategy hints, your opponent can be another human connected via a modem link. The advantage of this is that you can find an opponent from miles away or assemble a simple lead for another machine just inches from your prized Amiga.
The only real criticism of Populous is that impatient ST owners have to wait several more weeks to get their hands on this divine release.
Hiding away in the back of yer average Populous player is the thought, "I've conquered this universe and been pronounced invincible, but it just isn't enough. I need more people, more power, more land…". Here's your chance. The promised lands: Block World, Lego land, Lego people and very Legoey death. Silly land, where you improve your score by destroying buildings; Wild West Land, with it's cowboys and Indians; the French Revolution complete with guillotines, and Bit land - your friendly computer world. All this for a tenner? Blimey vicar!
An excellent good value package with all the thrills, spills, tears, bloodshed and creation of the original, portrayed in a slightly more light-humoured way. A definite purchase for anybody who bought and enjoyed the original Populous.
Couldn't find them, but it's a 1989 game, shouldn't be too high :P
Theres actually 2 reviews since the game only brings in 5 new worlds and 500 new maps, so not much to write about :P