Black & White

aka: B&W, Black & White: Entdecke dein wahres Ich, Black & White: Find out who you really are, Black & White: Odkryj, kim naprawdę jesteś, Black & White: Ontdek wie je werkelijk bent, Black & White: Scopri chi sei veramente, Black and White, Hei yu Bai
Windows Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/21 12:26 AM )

Description official descriptions

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.

Spellings

  • 黑与白 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

357 People (333 developers, 24 thanks) · View all

Dutch Localization (U-Trax Multi Media Localization B.V.)
Dutch Language Test
Dutch Recording Studio
  • Soundwise
Dutch Voice Actors
Concept and Design Lead
Programming
3D Programming
Artificial Intelligence
Art
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 89% (based on 52 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 136 ratings with 13 reviews)

Its good, but not really THAT good

The Good
Presentation is swish, straight from the start of the game you are lead thru things in a very graphically beautiful way.

Interface is unique.. simple to look at..

Creatures are fun to begin with, are funny and quite well animated

Interaction with email... WAY too cute an idea

The Bad
Interface is fiddly way too easy to get the wrong spell in heat of battle.

Graphics are just eye candy glossing over basically an updated Populous (not a bad thing really, BUT means not everyone can see all this as it pushes tech specs to the heavens)

Creatures are DUMB, they may get better later on, but the simple fact that they will wander outside your area of control means u have to drop things to go tend them (yeh i know people will say its part of how you play the game to keep control of them)

LINEAR - its not as open ended as made out.. set pieces are all over the shop, and you have to do certain things to enable progression (again i expect people to say that you have expect this)

The Bottom Line
Populous with graphics, and big creatures

Windows · by Jason Walker (1695) · 2001

One of the worst strategy game created lately

The Good
The game's general idea is very nice. Playing a God, "educating" your villagers and creature, choosing a moral path, etc. etc. Another neat option is the way you choose spells- each spell has an icon (for example, fireball looks like a spiral). If you want to cast a spell, you move your mouse according to the symbol, and then you can cast it- very efficient.

The Bad
The implementation. First of all, the game's interface is terrible. The designers wanted to simplify things, so your only way to control the game is by using the mouse, and placing various objects on various locations will immediately set them up to the appropriate role. Unfortunately, taking fifteen villagers and changing their job will require about forty mouse clicks... Which leads us to the next downfall- the game's micromanagement. Every little detail has to be managed by the omnipotent God, because the villagers are too stupid to take care of it themselves, so you'll find yourself delivering wood and food (the game's two resources) through a dozen villages instead of playing the actual game.

The Bottom Line
Good idea, but a terrible interface killed it. Don't buy it, rather save your money for WarCraftIII or Emperor.

Windows · by El-ad Amir (116) · 2001

Don't believe the hype!

The Good
This game is sort of like a cross between a RTS and Pokemon. You're basically a god, and you float around trying to convince people to worship you. It's a novel concept. Black and White certainly gets points for being unlike other games. It's rare that you get something this original.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the big gamble didn't pay off here.

The controls are clumsy. It's impossible to navigate to precise locations quickly. This in itself wouldn't be so bad, except that the game requires precise movements.

The creature hinders rather than helps. It would be nice to have a giant cow helping you do the routine work, but half the time it eats your villagers, and the other half of the time it's throwing them into the ocean. On top of that, some of the levels won't allow you to even use the creature, meaning that you have to do everything yourself.

The idea of this game is somewhat offensive. I don't know, maybe it's just me that feels this way. One of the objectives of this game is to convince these villagers to worship you, and thus add to your "godly influence". It seems to me to be a mechanism of self-gratification for people who don't get enough attention.

The story is uninteresting and uninvolved. It's there merely to give some mediocre reason why you're slapping your giant cow around in a desperate attempt to make it behave.

The Bottom Line
This game is absolute, complete, and utter garbage, and is not even suitable to be a coaster. If you ever see it on your shelf, you should avert your eyes and hope that it dosen't make other games suck by merely being in proximity to them.

Windows · by Nick Seafort (16) · 2004

[ View all 13 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Obscene Hermit And Wan Mar 18th, 2009
HOW-TO: weather system And Wan Mar 3rd, 2009
Naming your Villagers from your email program And Wan Mar 2nd, 2009
Black & White Multiplayer Hints, Tips & Advice And Wan Mar 1st, 2009
Creature Changer Crashing And Wan Mar 1st, 2009

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Black & White appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Scrapped versions and plans

A version for Sony PlayStation was in development at one point by Bethesda, as well as for Sega Dreamcast probably by other developer - there were also plans to release this title for Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. Ports were eventually cancelled and plans never reached a development status.

April 1st

During the game on April 1st, Your monster will leave smiley face foot prints in the ground instead of their regular foot prints. To do this, change your computer's date to April 1st.

Avatars

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.

Death

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.

Gestures

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.

References

  • 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.

Sailor Song

The famous Sailor Song was, in the english version, sung by the Lionhead-people.

Sales

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.

Saving

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.

Soccer pitch

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.

Weather

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.

Awards

  • Gamespy
    • 2001 – Strategy Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
    • 2001 – Best Articial Intelligence of the Year
    • 2003 - Most Overrated Game of all Time* 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

Information also contributed by Alan Chan, Andrew Hartnett, Felix Knoke, Indra was here, Kartanym, Lumpi, PCGamer77, Sciere, Scott Monster, Ummagumma, Xoleras and Zack Greene

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Related Sites +

  • Black & White
    Official website
  • Official Game Site
    The Official Site for Black & White, which includes links to other fan web sites and the ability to register to play online.
  • Official Webpage (Mac)
    The official product page for the Mac version of <em>Black & White</em> on the publisher's website, which provides a profile of the game, a rundown of its features, an overview of the game's creatures, and purchasing information, among other such things.
  • Official WinAmp Plug-In
    A little before the release of the game, <moby developer="Lionhead Studios">Lionhead</moby> made a visualization plug-in for <a href="http://www.winamp.com">WinAmp</a>. It uses the game's graphic engine to show the bear dancing along with your music. The day passes to night and disco lights will also appear in the display.
  • Planet Black & White
    A fan page that is updated at least daily with new stuff, including 'bonus' creatures and other downloads.
  • The Final Hours of Black & White
    GameSpot covered the wrap-up production of Black & White in this lengthy article in their "Behind the Games" series.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 3598

Contribute

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Ray Soderlund.

Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: nullnullnull, Adam Baratz, Unicorn Lynx, JPaterson, Corn Popper, formercontrib, Zeppin, Patrick Bregger, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), FatherJack, Danfer, R3dn3ck3r.

Game added April 3rd, 2001. Last modified September 4th, 2023.