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1001 Video Games

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

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.


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.

Sailor Song

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.

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.


There was an interesting feature included with the game. If you had registered your game at, the weather in-game would match the weather in your area.


  • Gamespy
  • 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

Contributed by Ray Soderlund (3608) on Mar 30, 2001. [revised by : FatherJack (62750), Patrick Bregger (237749) and yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy) (2629)]. -- edit trivia