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Black & White

by Electronic Arts
Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 / Me
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

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Game Information

  • Platform:   Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 / Me
  • ELSPA Minimum Age: 11
  • Media: Video Game
 See more system requirements

Product details

  • Delivery Destinations: Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
  • ASIN: B00004YN2W
  • Release Date: 6 April 2001
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,925 in PC & Video Games (See Top 100 in PC & Video Games)

Product Description

Product Description

Black & White is a role-playing game unlike any you've played before. You take the role of a deity in a land where the surroundings are yours to shape and its people are yours to lord over. Be an evil, malevolent god and the natives will worship you with fear in their eyes. Play as a kind, benevolent god and they will worship you with love in their hearts. Your actions decide whether you create a heaven or hell for your worshipers. Then select a creature from the land to act as your representative in the world. Raise it to gigantic proportions and teach it to do your bidding--whether the animal grows into an evil colossus of mass destruction or a kind and gentle giant is up to you. Progress through the game's rich storyline performing powerful miracles to battle other deities and become the world's supreme god.

Amazon.co.uk Review

The premise of Black & White is simple. You play a God, responsible for a group of worshippers. Add in a collection of huge monsters (sheep, cows, tigers and more) plus tasks to complete along the way, and you get an immersing game that's easy to pick up and even easier to get pulled into.

Unusually, Black & White lacks any form of standard user interface. The only icon you'll see on screen is a giant hand (yours) with which you do your godly tasks. Complex actions are governed by mouse movements, and as the game progresses it requires greater mouse dexterity to cast spells and the like. While this interface can be daunting at first, it becomes second nature after some practice.

As the game progresses there are a number of quests to complete, and you're also responsible for looking after a creature. It's here that Black and White excels. The creature's artificial intelligence is superb. Treat it nicely and it will amble around the countryside performing good deeds to the delight of the populace. Treat it harshly and woe betide anyone who gets in the way of its giant feet and hands.

The visual landscapes are equally impressive, as is the detail of the inhabitants or "helpers" as they guide you across the rolling hills and surrounding oceans of your island. But the scenery, like the creature, morphs with your gameplay. Evil empires appear black and scorched, while a happier atmosphere breeds an open, warm environment for your worshippers. Combat comes in the form of one-to-one stand-up fights between the creatures. The fighting can verge on the surreal-for example, a kickboxing cow squares up to a boxing ape in the middle of a forest as worshippers chant praise all around.

With Black and White, UK games designer Peter Molyneux has taken AI to new levels and created a game that's bound to be imitated. Do note, however, that this is not an ideal game for the casual RTS or shoot 'em up fan. There are long periods of inactivity, and the general pace can feel sedate as you take in the beautiful graphics and calming soundtrack. Even after playing for 10 hours you'll still be scratching the surface of this intense gaming experience. --Stuart Miles


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic and flawed! 13 Aug 2004
By A Customer
Format:Video Game
This game is not perfect. It has only five worlds, no storyline to speak of, sometimes consists of menial chores and is sometimes buggy. So why have I given it 5 stars?
That would be because its one of the most compelling games I have ever played. The richness of the persistent worlds you inhabit is remarkable. Your actions leave their scars on the landscape in all manner of ways. I know people have complained at the effort apprently necessary to capture some of the later villages, but to me this looked like the game encouraging me to "think outside the box" rather than plough away at the simplest approach. I came up with my own solutions, needless to say, one of which involved saving a small amount of poisoned food from an old mission. This green, rotten grain, when placed in an enemy food store, immediately poisoned the entire pile of food. I then watched as one by one, the villagers ate it and fell ill. Eventually, the entire town died, and i placed just one of my villagers inside it and captured it. Now I'm fairly sure the developers didn't even think of that, and its this capacity for emergent problem-solving and real free will that makes Black and White such a joy to play. Even the boring task of maintaining your villages is absorbing because you can really believe in the villages; see each villager's face and name. You can build luxury housing projects, forests and "parks", and watch the villagers come to dance every night by firefly light. It's really quite special.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good initially, but fatally flawed 19 Mar 2003
Format:Video Game
This is a unique game, and as such is difficult to describe. You play a newly-born god, born when two villagers appeal to the heavens for someone to save their baby. They invite you to their village, where you become their new patron god. The genius behind Black & White is that is totally up to you what kind of god you become. If you choose to be kind and beneficial, the village will change to mirror your good & pure-hearted stance. Conversely, if you choose you be an evil god, your village will change to suit, becoming a dark and forbiding land.
The object of the game is to get your villagers to generate as much mana as possible for you. The more they believe in you, the more mana they generate. Note, they don't have to like, they just need to believe in you. So plucking a few villagers and dropping them in the ocean will cause them to believe mroe in you, as will helping to build a house, giving them some food, or throwing rocks at them!
That all sounds well and good, but we now get to the big let down in the game: the Ccreature. Your creature is your beast-servant on earth. Villagers seeing you creature will believe in you more, and generate more mana. However, when you first choose your creature, the game rapidly degenerates into mindless tamagotchi-style pet training, and I rapidly lost interest in the game.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am GOD 2 May 2003
By A Customer
Format:Video Game
This game is very similar to a game called Populous. However unlike Populous Black and White introduces the idea of Good and Evil (Hence the name). Most of the actions you take during the game are shaped around this theme. The thing I found so intreaging about this game is that you have the freedom to do whatever you want. For example there was a point in the game where villagers ask for your aid in helping build a ship. How dare they! After all I have done for them they want to leave my land and worse, they want me to help them. Ok they can have their food. So much food that they drown in it. Then I'll sacrafice their corpses for more mana. It's these decisions which really make this game very intresting. But what really sets this game apart from other God-type games? Answer - The Creature. His learning system is more complex that it actually featured in the guiness book of records. Teach him spells, toilet train him, get him to terrorise villagers or on the other hand get him to protect them. The choice is yours and it just adds to your freedom. All in all I would highly recommend this game and if you dont have it already you should definately get it now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Correction to my ealier review 2 Jun 2001
Format:Video Game
I would like to correct my earlier review of Black and White in which i gave it 5 stars. At the time there was not doubt in my mind that the game was completly worthy of those 5 stars, yet now im not so sure. When first playing you become entranced by the amazing graphics and the incredible AI, and whilst these are superb acheivments one Lionhead's part there is a hugh problem with the game: its's boring. As soon as the initial amazment wears off you are left with repetitive gameplay and nothing which really kepps you coming back to play. This game is certainly worth buying, and is surly a gaming landmark in many respects, yet after a couple of weeks it will now longer draw you back. If you are going to buy this game dont make the mistake so many did at first, dont play it non stop until you collapse from lack of sleep, this will only mean that it will get discarded all the more quickly. SUMMARY: an incredible step forward in gaming technology and ideas, yet this is not a game to keep the average consumer content for long.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars as flat as its box 10 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Format:Video Game
I have to aggree with much of the negative commentary regarding this game.
Because most people like to read short, concise reviews, I will try to keep this to the point.
Strong points are:
* very nice, colorful grx,even w/ mid-range systems.
* bringing up your creature is truly somewhat fun, caused by the "tomagotchi" effect - you can watch your creature grow and evolve, so he is, in a way, a product of the 'parent'. It should however be noted that the amount of interaction and the available (possible) methods for teaching the animal stays on a very banal level.
weak points are:
* the 'rest' of the game, apart from nursing your creature, is rather ridiculously one-dimensional. The amount of interaction permitted is really limited, esp. for a 'god' (see 2.). The added 'puzzles' are of a very simple nature, and the main 'goal', the expansion of stettlement, along with the winning over of hostile villages - is monotonous, time-cosuming, uncreative, and just plain boring.
* There is no feeling of an emotional link between the minions and the god, the activities, actions and general conceptional layout of the game is too simplistic.
* Like other commentators have pointed out, there is no godlike feeling, one feels more like some kind of interplanetary (or -island?) custodian. Instead of true power, you are left doing menial activities like choosing house locations or saving village children from drowning...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars not quite as expected, but still passable.
good, but not brilliant. Firstly, the cover image shows the black edition (which is what I expected to get when I ordered.) on delivery day I received the white edition. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars this game.
this game destroyed my life as a child, I spent hours on it after school playing it so much so that my grades dropped and I've struggled to find decent work since. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Rhys Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars great
came on time and was everything that was expected in good condition an working order worth the price very happy with it
Published 18 months ago by charlotte
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get Into
I used to play this game before, it's OK but limited to what you can do. Not the best God game out there but fun!
Published 21 months ago by Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly imaginative game
One of my favourite older games. This is despite never having gotten more than about halfway through the game... :-S
Published on 14 July 2012 by Alex W
5.0 out of 5 stars Far superior to its sequal
I bought this game the day it came out all those years ago, when game designers made games for the fun of it, and Peter Molyneux was at his best. Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2006 by H. McIlwraith
5.0 out of 5 stars better than number two
i bought black and white 2 for like 30 quid and that was good and i liked it so i got this 'cause it was a pound and i sayed wow a pound. Read more
Published on 3 Dec 2005 by Colin... smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Black and white, is it really for 11 year olds
why is b+w for 11 year olds its not doin' out it shoulnt be like promoting Drugs, nude, or bad lang. Read more
Published on 30 July 2005 by "helsp8uk_jammie"
5.0 out of 5 stars Yin and Yang
This game in my opinion created a completely new gaming ideal. With the ability to rule a world as you see fit, to me, makes one of the best games of all time. Read more
Published on 7 Oct 2004 by "timonandpumbaa121"
4.0 out of 5 stars Populous never looked so good
Black and White sets out to achieve what populous started 5 years before. This is a god sim, that being you ssume the role of a god, maintaining and nuturing a world and it's... Read more
Published on 3 May 2004 by Mr. Robert A. Spacey
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