Abandonware DOS title
Saturday, 2nd December 2023

God games: from Populous to Black and White


A god game is a genre of video games where the player assumes the role of a deity or god and has control over various aspects of the game world. In these games, players typically have god-like powers and influence over the environment, characters, and events within the game. The genre is characterized by its focus on simulation, strategy, and management elements.

God games typically involve managing or influencing the inhabitants of the game world, whether they are virtual people, creatures, or civilizations. Many god games offer a sandbox mode where players can experiment and create without specific objectives or limitations.

Some common elements and features of god games are:

  • Procedural world building (not always)
  • Influence over inhabitants
  • Resource management
  • Objective-based gameplay
  • Simulation and strategy elements
  • Ethical choices for the player

Some well-known examples of god games include Populous, Black & White, Spore, and The Sims, among others. These games offer a range of experiences within the god game genre, from creating and managing cities to guiding the evolution of species.

Populous is an abandoned strategy game designed by the video game celebrity Peter Molyneux, developed by Bullfrog. Populous was released by Electronic Arts in 1989 for DOS and for a long list of other 16-bit and 8-bit systems, both console and PCs. Populos is a really unique game: it gave the name to the the whole god-game genre since, well, in the game you're a god being adored by your believers.

Black & White is a strategy god simulation video game developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Electronic Arts in 2001 for Microsoft Windows and later for other platforms. In Black & White players take on the role of a deity who must guide and nurture a civilization of worshippers on a series of islands.

Find out more about Populous