Black & White – (2001)

The Birth of a god. That god is you. Will you be good… or evil?

Welcome to Black & White, a gam that asks you to take the role of a somewhat omnipotent deity in the peaceful world of Eden.

Sunrise in Eden
Sunrise in Eden

After being summoned from the void, you must take it upon yourself to establish your first temple and greet your new followers.

Belief is everything in this world and without it you are nothing. Water your peoples crops, or start fires in their homes? Decorate the village or use houses for target practice?

Who do you want to be in this world? Are you playing for fun or do you really want to make a difference in Eden?

Aside from nurturing or wreaking havoc in your villages, you must also raise a creature. This creature will think for itself, interact with you,  your villages and the world around it. Treat it with respect and care and it will do the same to the world. Bully it, and it will take out it’s anger on the nearest helpless victim… Or your enemies. Your creature can also be personalised with tattoos  and his personality will shape and evolve based on how you treat him, as will his physical appearance.

During the course of the game you will also learn to perform godly miracles such as healing spells, rainclouds (which can be used to water things) fireballs and the super-destructive meteor shower spell. These spells can also be taught to your creature, though some are easier to teach than others.

The storyline sees you strengthening yourself, exploring the world of Eden and challenging the evil Nemesis as he searches for an ancient power. How you battle this adversary is up to you, but you will have to be strong of heart and clear on who you are in this world, or you will surely fail.

Ultimately this is a game about identity and morals. It will challenge you to think about who you really are and what you stand for. Aside from the main story the world contains many fun side-quests, all of which can be approached in different ways and offer rewards for completing them.

Another important feature is your temple which is your seat of power in the world. Your temple contains information on your creature, your villages, saved games and current quests that are active. It also acts as your anchor to the world of Eden. If it is destroyed, you will be banished back into the void, so treat it with care.

Black & White is a beautiful game has much to offer someone who is patient and willing enough to sit through some lengthy tutorials and cut-scenes. There is something emotionally touching and rewarding about watching your creature perform a water miracle after trying to teach it to him for the past 10 minutes.

The world of Eden also serves as a fun sandbox playground for you and your creature, holding many interesting secrets and rewards for those clever enough to find them. If you’ve got a spare hour or two during the day and feel like some peaceful and relaxing gaming, why not spend it nurturing a small village? Or alternatively, if you’re feeling stressed and destructive – take it out on some poor helpless villagers. Marvellous!

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