Less than 150 games needed to reach our MobyGoal of 1,500 documented arcade titles!

Black & White (Windows)

90
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Indra is here (19699)
Written on  :  Dec 15, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Indra is here
read more reviews for this game

Summary

One step closer to 3D reality...and God-Hood

The Good

First things first, you have to appreciate and applaud the developers and their vision in creating a game with a concept that almost every gamer has thought and dreamed about: Becoming a GOD!

Surprisingly stable for a 3D game, compared to a lot of 3D graphic games I've played, the details and animations of the graphics are quite astounding the first time around (I hate it when I get accustomed to the graphics the second time around).

The game starts with a very deeeep philosophical introduction cut scene on faith, gods, and all that, complemented with Indian (India) mixed music giving the "spiritual sense" to the already magnificent intro. For anyone that hasn't even thought about stuff like this, it may get you thinking...

Well, later on you meet the local natives (your worshippers) that celebrate your coming with hip-hop tribal dancing. These dudes and dudettes surprisingly dance better than most people I know! Two thumbs for the dance animation department!

You have 2 so-called advisors representing the good and bad side of your conscience which bears remarkable resemblance to the same advisors in the game Afterlife. They add some pretty good storylines but overall, they're practically useless.

Then comes your creature. You get to choose from the peaceful punching cow, the jumping curious orangutan (an ape from SE Asia, specifically the island of Kalimantan, Indonesia for you guys who flunked geography and common knowledge) and the tough kicking tiger.

Best overall highlight of the game is probably the process of teaching that stubborn creature of yours. Specifically in the area of magic, the process is long and you really have to be patient with the beast. But it's quite fun actually.

The Bad

Well, the game is very much playable and enjoyable. But unfortunately there are a lot of irritating features that should have been fixed the first time around. I really hate patches sometimes. Here we go:

1. If I have to go through that tutorial one more time, I'll explode! Of which I have actually. This is one major irritating feature, every time you restart the game, which I often like to do just to familiarize myself with the game, you can't bypass the introduction. So you have to waste like 15-30 minutes going through the tutorial process of learning the ropes that you already now the first time around. You REALLY have to be patient when playing this game.

2. If this was a city management game, it would be one of the worst in strategy games. Well, although it isn't it's not an excuse. The biggest problem is that there isn't enough information close hand. You have to go to the temple for detailed information, and every move you make is always in an animated approach that wastes a few seconds that kinda gets irritating in the long run. When your used to city management games where you get the information with a single press of a button, the animated nonsense Black & White provides is very much irritating. The technology isn't very advanced either. No battles between villagers, actually come to think of it, I was kinda of expecting something similar to Age of Mythology. That game represented more "Godly" power than this game, unfortunately. Come to think of it, those villagers are practically useless if you get down to it. All you need is your creature; he or she can do most of the job. The only use for villagers is if you don't have your creature, then you have to do things manually, directly or via villagers.

3. Teaching your creature can be pretty draining. Key word: Patience. I like the teaching part. It's the result part that needs fixing. The only bridge between what you teach your creature and the reality of what they learned are those stupid advisor comments: "Your creature will do this thing more or that less". There are some comments that really are useless: "Your creature will be more inquisitive or more curious and such". What the hell does that mean? Curious doing what? Inquisitive doing what? It would be nice that there is a detailed list of that your creature has learned and how often the creature will do it. For instance I taught my creature to poo on rocks, but sometimes he Poo’s somewhere else. A percentage rate of his patterns would be helpful. Sometimes I'm confused if I taught the right or wrong thing, or if I'm teaching the bloke anything at all. I really miss the whole "menu" and "commands" section in most strategy games.

4. When the developers said that you can choose any path you want, THEY'RE LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH. It actually is more rewarding if you follow the good path. There are more accessible spells and such that will help you big time. So statistically, is more profitable if you be a good guy sometimes, although it's quite hard to remain a good guy after you know the lighting spell.

In the last campaign, your creature is cursed big time. I didn't follow the "normal plot", where you’re supposed to capture villages in a certain sequence. Doing so, gets my creature permanently cursed, which I'm totally pissed about. So to hell with freedom of choice in this game!

The Bottom Line

Get all those !#!@$! patches before playing this game or you'll end up swearing like me all the time. :) I really miss those DOS games...