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Black & White

Platform : Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me
Rated: Unknown
3.4 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews

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Game Information

  • Platform:   Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 / Me
  • PEGI Rating: Unknown
  • Media: Video Game
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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 (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,892 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 Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 13 Aug. 2004
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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Firstly, let me say I have loved all of Peter Molyneux's games since Populous (including the very buggy Dungeon Keeper), and I've met the guy in person and told him so, but......
I played this game until Land 5 and then I just had to stop. It was getting too much like hard work and not like a game any more. The micro-management is soul destroying: for example, you spend half the game trying to get wood for your villages because it runs out far too quickly. This time should instead be spent actually playing the game and interacting with your creature and villagers. Once you have more than 2 villages, things can get very complicated very quickly and if you don't pay attention you can end up with annoyed villagers or a population drop.
And then there are the bugs. Without going into detail (I don't want to spoil the game), in Land 5 your goal is to beat the bad guy to break a curse. When you beat him, the curse isn't broken, so it basically ruins the game. This has been noted on the official web site as a major bug and they're working on it.
The other big bug I noticed is that sometimes the save option takes an extremely long time (like a minute) and this has also been noted on the official web site.
This game was supposed to be excellent, and all the magazine reviews have been giving it over 90%. I am left wondering if they played the same game as me? The frustration factor has to take the rating down a lot.
Yes, the graphics are awesome. Yes, the creature is very interesting and the AI is very well done. However, you spend a lot of the time in the first 5 levels without the use of your creature and most of this time you're looking for more wood... I'm really left wondering if the play testers were really playing Black and White or something else...
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By A Customer on 14 Aug. 2003
Format: Video Game
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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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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By A Customer on 2 May 2003
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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