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3.4 out of 5 stars151
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 13 August 2004
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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on 19 March 2003
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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on 2 May 2003
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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on 2 June 2001
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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on 10 August 2001
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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on 15 April 2001
This is a hugely ambitious game with absolutely stunning graphics. The cuts scenes look fantastic and the "missions" throughout the game are interesting. However, the micromanagement of your villages becomes really tedious during the later stages of the game. Also bear in mind despite all the previews etc, the emphasis of the game is less on your creature (tiger, cow, gorilla etc) but more on your management of your villages whose villagers are always moaning about something - food, wood, grain, breeding, houses etc Jeeez!!! The temptations is to destroy them all with a fireball but you can't expand without them. You seem to spend half the time digging up trees, planting fields etc without actually playing! This really does become tedious after a while.
Nice game with lovely graphics, but there's too much micro managment of your villages for it to be an all time great.
Bear in mind that you need a powerful graphics card to play this game with maximum detail. As a rough guide, I have a Duron 950Mhz with Geforce2MX and I am forced to play at 800x600 with high detail level settings. You've been warned!
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on 14 August 2003
B&W is the best game I have ever played. I love the fact that you get to choose the path you want to take and not the people who made the game. It's fun and every turn you take there is something awaiting you to acomplish. All in all if you have yet to have played this game you really should just for the pleasure of playing god or for the reason of that you can do whatever you want.
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on 11 July 2002
I didn't know whether or not to buy this game, but I eventually did. And it was a big mistake! When you first start the game, it looks really exciting and you think, wow this game is going to be great. But it stops there. Training your creature is really hard, and isn't enjoyable. And if you just click on, or accidently do something you didn't intend to do, can be really frustrating because the game counts everything you do. And you can't just start over again without having to go through the long boring tutorial. Even moving around the island is annoying, I've played lot's of games that zoom in and out and move around much easier than this. It made me feel sick sometimes from staring at the dizzy motion I was making on the screen. If you are seriously thinking about buying this game, I'd advise you to play a friends copy first to find out what it's REALLY like. It certainly doesn't live up to it's hype for me.
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on 14 June 2001
Black and white is not worth 94% or 95% no matter what the well respected magazines are telling us. Good. Yes. imaginitive. yes. buggy. yes. worth shelling £30 on? hmm... this game is by no means bad. forget what the upset gamers are saying, it's the games media and it's inability to give an unbiased preview of unfinished games. people felt let down that it wasn't as good as they'd heard. its not but who cares? it starts off great showing you the controls and teaching you about your creature (suprisingly poor AI here)but soon the reality dawns on you . this game has 5 levels and can be completed in a few weeks play. the gameplay is fun and do get a sense of deityness power but the veil soon falls and all you are left with is a 'take over villages' game. the spells are fun but there are not enough and on my computer the temple screws up the whole whole colour pallette so i have to restart whenever i go in it. if you have a fast modem, and are willing to spend ages downloading patches and the new spells rumoured to come out get it. but if, like me youre lumbered with a really crap 56K modem and 8MB is too much then i would advise another game for you. dont ask me which one. this game was delayed for so many months on different occasions and took so long to create you wish they could have added more levels, made your villagers less annoying and a key to bring up what your creature just did and that is the fatal flaw whchn turns a great graphical, humourous, role-playing, evolving, original and compelling title into the good game, shame it was rushed.the gameplay is impossible. if your villagers arent starving or being lost to other gods then you are pulling your hair out as your adviser charmingly says 'from now on your creature will eat more of that sort of thing' MORE OF WHAT? you will bellow after a few hours of creature eating villager madness. and oh yeah dont even think of not being the ape at the start. he learns miracles 20% at a time needing 5 demonstrations wheras the tiger learns 2 or 3% at atime needind around 35 demonstrations to your creature. this not possible and underlines the the fact that creature nurturing and town expansion are too time-consuming to be combined without one of them falling from favour
overall good but as already commented on by someone wait before more patches/add ons appear on the demo discs or internet
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on 3 January 2002
This is a good game but with some really bad problems. The idea is good of leading your creature to glory and deafting other gods to win land. Helping the villagers to glory and a good zoom insystem. I could go on. But the are a few problems. The tricky control system. Things you try and do with your creature and he just wont do it. If you like the look of this game then I would buy it but if not then I would stay away. A good idea but more effort needed.Look out for creature island expansion pack to improve the game.
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