Happened on this 1998 game by sheer chance and I’m really digging it! As far as I can tell it was never popular. It’s a mixture of an RTS and a “god game” where one unit (your shaman) is very powerful & special (chess analogy: sort of like mixing the central role of the king & with the power of the queen).

Strong “tribal” vibes that were popular in the '90s (think Deep Forest music, the game Riven, etc). Very nostalgic for me as I was a kid at the time. I’m playing the PSX version, looks like the PC version was even better!

Has anyone ever heard of this “Populous” series? I’m curious to try other titles, and to try more in the “god game” genre (a genre I never even knew existed!). Any other “god games” worth checking out?

  • graymess@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    The obvious answer would be Black & White and its sequel, which for many is the definitive god game. You’re an untouchable god interacting with your world and physically manipulating it with your hand, but you also have a giant animal familiar that you raise to also interact with the people. You create miracles and either help or terrorize the population into following you. Not much combat if that’s what you’re looking for, but it’s a unique game that unfortunately has not seen a worthy successor in 20+ years.

    • Ketram@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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      30 days ago

      Agreed. Still waiting on a Black and White 2 spiritual sucessor, that game is still unmatched in its weird little genre. It definitely scratches a unique itch.

  • CrypticCoffee@lemmy.ml
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    1 month ago

    I played this. A great game. That era and Bullfrog in particular were incredible. Dungeon Keeper is one of the best games I played. Theme Hospital and Theme Park were great. It was the golden age of strategy games. Age of Empires 2, Heroes of Might and Magic 3. Red Alert games. Railroad Tycoon. I have no idea why this type of game became unpopular.

    I strongly recommend Dungeon Keeper 1 (ideally gold with Deeper Dungeons add on) and Theme Hospital. Can get them on Gog.

    • AnarchistArtificer@slrpnk.net
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      29 days ago

      Theme Hospital is one of the greats of an era. (N.b. there’s a mod called CorsixTH which fixes a lot of issues with the original game (mostly age related clunkiness)

  • Tarquinn2049@lemmy.world
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    30 days ago

    Ah, I thought populous was more popular than that. I guess it was just popular in my friend group at the time. Would have been populous 1 and 2 we were playing, I didn’t even know a third one came out. I guess the most recent god game would be Godus, developed by peter molyneux’s current company. Essentially a modern sequel to populous 1 and 2. I haven’t actually tried it yet, last I looked it was still in beta or early access or something. And it looks like that makes sense as it apparently has been in early access for over 10 years… it seems decently high rated, but that is kind of concerning none the less.

  • Daxtron2@startrek.website
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    30 days ago

    One of my favorite games of all time. Always been sad that the god game genre really petered out. There’s definitely a few modern examples but nothing thats really captured the feeling that pop3 had.

    Definitely check out the black & white games, From Dust, WorldBox (which is more sandbox but still fun), RuinArch, and Reus(1 & 2)

  • passepartout@feddit.org
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    1 month ago

    If someone is interested in playing this, you can get it for 2 bucks on GOG, it’s their mission to keep old games from getting lost media after all. I haven’t had much success with the scaling on linux through lutris though.

  • Scipitie@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    1 month ago

    Black and White was really fun for me as well for a time - it’s basically a god simulation combined with a zoo game as you have to grow your avatar basically.

    Loved populous back then, if I recall correctly I even liked two more than one!

  • CA0311 [they/them]@hexbear.net
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    30 days ago

    As far as I can tell it was never popular.

    :(

    It came out in 1989 and was ported to every game system and microcomputer that was released in america and Japan for like the next 3 generations of hardware. It sold over 4 million copies. Its the game that gave peter molyneux a blank check to make whatever game he wanted for like three decades.

    All these games will be lost in time… Like tears in rain…

  • GrindingGears@lemmy.ca
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    1 month ago

    More like 1988, not 98. It might be when the version you are playing came out, but Populous was from the late 80s.

    • drspod@lemmy.ml
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      1 month ago

      Their post is specifically about Populous: The Beginning which came out in 1998 and was the first Populous game to use 3D graphics. It has quite different mechanics than the original Populous games, and you can see the DNA of Black & White emerging, with the concept of having a leader character that has an important role in the gameplay.

    • GeekFTW@lemmy.zip
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      1 month ago

      You are absolutely correct, but the article OP posted was for a specific Populous game, the 3rd one, which came out in 1998 lol. They just didn’t put “: The Beginning” in the title.

      Edit: Also the first release was 89 not 88.

  • JoYo@lemmy.ml
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    1 month ago

    i somehow had both populous and black n white when i was a child too young figure out how to play.

  • drspod@lemmy.ml
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    1 month ago

    Magic Carpet (1994) was a really interesting take on the genre, also by Bullfrog. Imagine the god-sim mechanics of Populous combined with a 3D flight-sim/shooter and you get Magic Carpet.

  • linkshandig@lemm.ee
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    1 month ago

    I got it used for SNES when I was little but it didn’t come with instructions and I never figured it out

    • PowerCrazy@lemmy.ml
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      30 days ago

      Same. But for me I rented it on Genesis. Had no fucking clue what was going on and didn’t really have a good time.