In the beginning there was Populous, and there was also much rejoicing, for Populous was the first of a new breed of computer games, a genre which would become known as "God Games".
Essentially, you get to play god, guiding your tribe of followers to glory and smiting the followers of rival gods. This essentially means commanding a group of tiny people to do your bidding (for instance, sticking pointy things in the enemy) and casting all sorts of nasty destructive spells at your opponent's little people.
Populous 3 is the latest in that hugely successful and much imitated line. While the general premise stays the same, you now get vastly improved graphics - the game now takes place on a beautifully rendered 3D globe, rather than a flat playing area. You also get a pile of nasty new spells to inflict upon your victims, including the thoroughly unpleasant Volcano, the effect of which can be easily imagined.
The game is played through a series of increasingly difficult worlds, the first handful of which are very simple and serve as tutorial levels to gently guide players through the complexities of the game. Rather than simply having an army of your followers charge at the enemy straight from the off, you first have to build up your forces by getting your followers to build training camps and shrines as well as recruiting new followers and praying to increase your power. At the same time, you'll need to fight off the occasional harrying tactics used by the enemy, and do your best to prevent him from becoming too strong before your final assault.
If you quite like the idea of locking yourself in a dark room and hiding from your relatives over the festive period, Populous 3 is a perfect way of passing the time until the new year arrives and calm sanity returns to our lives.
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Telephone: 01753 549442
- Price: #34.99.
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