Populous 2

Title		Populous 2
Game Type 	Management Sim
Company		Bullfrog
Players		1 (2 via null-modem or internet)
Compatability   All
submission 	hkazmi@yahoo.com

Never having played the original Populous I can`t honestly say which is
the better of the two. But from what I have heard populous 2 is the winner.
  Forget other god games which allow you to play the part of a army
general or tribe leader, In populous 2 you actually get to be a god (the
son or daughter of Zeus, no less). Your task is to win a place for
yourself in the pantheon by getting your worshippers to take on and beat
the followers of the other gods.
  The first thing you have to do is configure your god. Each time you play
you get small lightning bolts that can be used to power up your god. If
you want to be a fire god or a sea god you can just power up that part of
your personality or you can be more general and power up everything. You
can of course name your god and configure what your god looks like.
According to the manual if you are an angry looking god the computer plays
a nastier game. I`ve personally noticed very little difference. A nice
touch is that you don`t have to play a male god although the choice of
female gods is more limited.
  Once that is all over you can choose which type of game you wish to
play. There are two types
  Custom - Two player or practice games
  Conquest - In these games you fight your way through the
	     pantheon to the final confrontation with Zeus.
 If you click on conquest a screen is brought up showing which
supernatural powers you will have in this particular battle. The screen
also shows you what other options have been set (e.g whether you can save
people who are drowning or if water is instantly fatal).
  Click on proceed and once past the copy protection the game itself
starts up. You are presented with a 3D landscape. Houses flying blue flags
belong to your followers. Houses flying red flags belong to HERETICS WHO
MUST BE DESTROYED IN YOUR HOLY JIHAD!!! (sound of maniacal laughter).
  At the side of the screen is a bank of buttons that allow you to
influence your people. In true god like style you don`t tell your people
exactly what to do, you can only issue vague proclamations like "Go forth
and multiply" or "Kill all the heretics". One of the most useful of these
is the Go to papal icon option. When this is active some of your people
will first go to their leader and then start a pilgrimage to the papal
icon. This icon can be moved about allowing you to send delegations to
colonise other parts of the screen or more importantly to march right into
the heart of enemy territory before starting a war.
  Although this aspect of the game might be fun on its own it is the
supernatural effects that make this game so much fun. Each battle allows
you different effects. You can use these to create swamps or fires in the
enemy land. The real fun begins when you get the large effects like tidal
wave and volcano.
  The bigger the effect the more mana you must have. Mana comes from the
worship of your followers. The more followers you have the more mana they
give you. You also get more mana by clearing the land around your
followers homes (or even raising new land out of the sea) so that they can
make them bigger and harder to storm.
 As you play the game more you learn little tricks. If the enemy is on a
holy pilgrimage rather than trying to kill them directly you can plant a
swamp in their way and watch them march to their deaths. You can plant
trees all throughout the enemy land and then throw a match to it and watch
an entire enemy city burn in one giant conflagration. Great fun can also
be had with baptismal fonts which turn enemy people into your followers,
but be warned your own people can fall victim to effects you created.
  Another effect is the creation of heroes. Heroes are created from your
religious leader. Some like Hercules and Achillies are just like stronger
versions of your normal leader but others have different effects. Adonis
splits in two every time he wins a battle so very soon there can be ten
versions running around destroying enemy houses. Helen of Troy doesn`t
kill anyone but all who meet her fall in love with her and march around
following her until they die of hunger. The important thing about heroes
is that they are not affected by the element they belong to. This means
that Hercules (the earth hero) can`t be killed by earthquakes and Helen of
Troy (the water heroine) can`t be drowned.
  Populous 2 is an absolutely brilliant 1 player game but it really comes
alive when played 2 player across a null-modem cable or modem. It is a lot
more fun to beat a human opponent than a computer one and it is worth
seeing your opponents face when you burn him out with a forest fire or
volcanic eruption or when a tidal wave washes away his entire land.
  I really can`t find any faults with the game that are worth mentioning
and if you haven`t played it before I think you should. If you have two
amigas I highly recommend that you get a copy as soon as possible.

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