Spiritual descendant of the Populous games
, Black & White
is a 'god' game in which players take the role of a fledgling deity, called upon by people in need.
Entering the 3D world, players can manipulate objects, move people, and cast miracles. To assist the player, there also exists a creature with its own intelligence and personality. Both the players and their associated creature will evolve during the course of the game, becoming benevolent beings, cruel tyrants, or somewhere in between. As the player's characters develop, both their creature and the land itself will change, depending on their alignment.
Although the main purpose of the game is to work through the five lands of Eden and win the faith of as many of the tribes as possible, the game is somewhat open ended in its aspects of wandering, exploring, and developing the sidekick creature.
The creatures in the game feature their own artificial intelligence and will grow like a child, both physically and emotionally. They'll learn by example and put together their own moral codes based on what they witness and learn. Players can pet or scold their creature, nurture it, spoil it, or abuse it. In the end, Black & White
is part strategy game, part role-playing game, part child rearing simulator, and part self-examination of the player's personality.
- "黑与白" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
- "Hei yu Bai" -- Chinese title
- "B&W" -- Common abbreviation
- "Black and White" -- Informal title
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The Press Says
During the game on April 1st, Your monster will leave smiley face foot prints in the ground instead of their regular foot prints. You do this change your computer's date to April 1st.
Originally the game was to include humanoid 'avatars', but the team eventually concluded that stroking and smacking around humans was a bit disturbing, hence the bipedal animal forms.
If you ever wondered about that creepy female voice saying "Death" every once in a while, it means that someone in your village just died. There's a patch that let's you eliminate that voice if it's too spooky for your taste.
One of the features in this game is "gesture recognition", allowing players to cast spells by drawing shapes on the landscape with the mouse and precluding the need for any icons on the screen. According to Molyneux
, this is a direct reaction to the massive amount of icons present in his last game for Bullfrog, Dungeon Keeper
. The icon interface for DK takes up a good third of the screen while playing.
In a beta version, signing Peter Molyneux's name as a "gesture" immediately gives you the most powerful spell in the game. Molyneux included this feature to give him an advantage in multiplayer. It is not known whether this made it into the final version.
- When Peter Molyneux presented Black & White in the German TV-Show GIGA GAMES (NBC Europe), he activated the "show names"-function of the villagers. Then he scrolled over the land, gave his creature some advices and finally picked up a villager called "Jörg Langer", threw him onto a huge mountain, Jörg fell down and landed in a forest nearby. Peter Molyneux just said: "So you have to chop wood for the rest of your life!". At the time, Jörg Langer was the Chief Editor of the German gaming magazine GameStar which wrote an unenthusiastic review of the game ("just" 84%).
- When you start the “boat-quest” to construct an ark (behind the wooden gates), you’ll hear some really annoying singing. Kill the middle on of the three singers and the others will go “Oh my God! You killed Kenneth!”, which is an obvious Southpark reference. After constructing the ark, you’ll see two people reenact the famous Titanic scene as well.
The famous Sailor Song was, in the english version, sung by the Lionhead-people.
In 2001, Black & White
won both the Gold- and Platinum-Awards from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 units (Gold) and more then 200,000 units (Platinum) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. As the Gold-Award is not counted into the Platinum-Award, both awards total in between 300,000 and 700,000 units sold.
Saved games for Black and White
are a little unusual. When you save a game it records the status of the island, but not the status of you or your creature. Instead, the status of you and your creature are part of your profile which can't be restored once it changes. So if you save your game at level 1 with a good god and a small creature, proceed to level 5 with your creature becoming huge and your god becoming evil along the way, and restore the save file you'll end up with an evil god and a huge creature on level 1.
Lionhead released a patch allowing you to create your own soccer pitch for your people to play in. When you have installed the patch, you can build the pitch with eight scaffolds from your workshop. And when your people have nothing to do, they come to the pitch and play for a while.
There was an interesting feature included with the game. If you had registered your game at www.bwgame.com, the weather in-game would match the weather in your area.
Information also contributed by
Indra was here,
- PC Gamer
- June 2001 - Game of the Month
- October 2001 - #18 in the "Top 50 Best Games of All Time" list
- PC Powerplay (Germany)
- Issue 03/2005 - #2 Biggest Disappointment
- Issue 02/2006 - #2 Hype Disappointment
- Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland
- 2001 - Platinum Award
- 2001 - Gold Award