Black & White Image
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 338 Ratings

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  • Summary: Peter Molyneux's highly anticipated "god game," a blend of the genres including strategy, sim, RPG, and puzzle, features the player as a new god in the lands of Eden who must reign with the help of uniquely evolving animals in either a benign or evil fashion.

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Black & White Movie 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. It's the sort of game that comes around once every few years and totally changes the gaming landscape.
  2. Daily Radar
    100
    One of the most compelling, beautiful and impressive pieces of code we have played in a long, long time. It is also insanely addictive.
  3. 97
    A truly miraculous "game." I call it a "game" because it's more of an experience.
  4. An incredible game that features great AI, music, graphics and story.
  5. I strangely feel a very strong maternal instinct towards my monkey (don't tell my children). I find myself telling him out loud what a good boy he is while rubbing his belly or explaining why I have to spank him.
  6. After about 15-25 hours (Depending on the gamer) the game just seems to lose it’s fun factor. Sadly, many games released nowadays don’t even have 15 hours gameplay in them, let alone 15 hours of damn fun gameplay; Black and White does indeed have this.
  7. Once I made it past that initial stage of astonishment, I made an unfortunate discovery: the single-player game, as designed, just isn't much fun in the long term.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 42
  2. Negative: 5 out of 42
  1. NicholasS.
    Feb 23, 2002
    10
    Totally awesome.
  2. JacobW.
    Jul 23, 2003
    10
    This game rocks. The things this game lets you do is just unbelievable. I trust my little people about as far as I can throw them, and thats This game rocks. The things this game lets you do is just unbelievable. I trust my little people about as far as I can throw them, and thats pretty far. Autosave kicks in to many times. But thats ok. Expand
  3. Dec 10, 2015
    9
    It's a highly innovative God-style management game where you help a small tribe to build and expand a village. The more villagers pray to you,It's a highly innovative God-style management game where you help a small tribe to build and expand a village. The more villagers pray to you, the greater your circle of influence on the map becomes. Your goal is to capture the whole map and defeat rival gods. You also control a creature which you teach with rewards and punishments. Astonishingly, the creature's AI is designed with so much plasticity that, with some patience, you can teach it to do very complex things like creating forests, fetching stuff and generally helping villagers a lot and taking most of micromanagement away from you. Villagers tend to become lazy if you just give them food and wood, so it's better to create forests and rains instead, letting the villagers produce food and wood themselves. With some training, your creature would even do all the forests/rain spells.

    You can also choose to be an evil god, torture villages and let your creature eat them. The creature can fight with creatures of rival gods. There are quests scattered over the world, with the most famous one being where you bring grain and a pig to sailors (I still remember their song: "We're not complaining but there is one more thing remaining: We're not going nowhere 'ntil we get some meat.. ").

    The graphics are great for the time and still look good, and you can fully zoom out to see the whole map on the screen. You have 2 advisers (one good and one evil) who are funny and have a lot of character, especially the evil one. The game has an innovative system of casting spells (by drawing signs on the screen) which unfortunately doesn't work well - but you can also just use hotkeys for spells as well.

    The only real downside (and that's why 9/10 and not 10/10) is that the game somehow lacks purpose. The campaign offers a handful of words to conquer and after that you don't know what to do else. Even being evil for a while gets boring fast. This game came years before Minecraft, which made this style of game ("do whatever you want") more common and accepted.
    Expand
  4. Nov 10, 2013
    7
    The concept of this game is so very appealing, but it makes me feel a bit let down. The creature aspect either feels too advanced, or justThe concept of this game is so very appealing, but it makes me feel a bit let down. The creature aspect either feels too advanced, or just wasn't thought through completely. I can't decide. Somehow it will feel like having a real pet, with a colorful personality where you can affect it's choices, lifestyle and morale. But the system for doing this requires a lot of patience, as it's seldom clear on how to do this. Often you will be required to watch him closely every minute to find the right timing on when to praise him or scold him, and the outcome may still not be what you thought it to be. It also seems like the creature forgets stuff over time, so he will have to keep relearning things throughout the game, which proves tedious. As for being a god the layout feels clever. You'll impress different towns with your godly ways, which will give you enough influence for them to start worshiping you. But you may only do stuff within your "influence radar", which makes it essential to either bring your pet over to impress or cause distress; or throw rocks and stuff from afar like crazy until people take notice. Sometimes, it works out well and you'll feel good about it. Other times, you'll want to rip your hair out as the god-villain so easily may electrify your creature to death, making your choices very few on how to proceed. It's also quite sad how boring it may be to be a god, as it often will feel like a village simulator where you just micromanage stuff; like turning citizens into farmers, build stuff and keep bringing food over to your worshipers. And every level will be repetitive as this is pretty much all you do. Then there's the side quests. They're always cheesy, but often a fun break from the regular god-stuff that you do. The rewards will often be surprising, but seldom that useful. Though I have to say that most of the charm in this game lies within such things. I find a lot of pleasure from the side quests, exploring the world, pressing F1 to get descriptions of weird stuff on the islands, checking out small easter eggs and such. It's clear that the game is meant to be quirky and fun, rather than a die hard strategy game. Expand
  5. Jan 4, 2014
    7
    Well... I am on the final land... I am trying to be a good god and impress villages, so first a make sure my villagers are happy. Then I raiseWell... I am on the final land... I am trying to be a good god and impress villages, so first a make sure my villagers are happy. Then I raise the totem. Oh, I see that the villagers worshipping want food. Sure! Still in control... Okay, now to impress. Oh no! My influence is too small! Nevermind, I have a creature for such problems. Then I hear the death call. Hmm... I know I will get a heal and heal the people Okay, there, now to refill the food of the people. Alright, now to... Oh no! People are dying at the worship site! I must lower the totem. Okay, now my creature must go impress the village! Hang on! Why is he so small! Oh no! I spent too much time trying to be good that my creature has shrunk! Well anyway, I will send him! NOOO! Nemisis chucked like a million fireballs at him!!! NO! Oh no! My villages need more civic buildings! why are there so many children! Oh! Oh to hell with good! where's that fireball dispenser? Oh no! I accidentally destroyed it! Well, let me see how much belief I need, maybe I can expand my influence. 3500 belief needed. Expand
  6. Sep 16, 2013
    6
    I'm glad the game is finally getting the real reviews it actually deserves, since behind its sharp presentation lies an overwhelming mess of aI'm glad the game is finally getting the real reviews it actually deserves, since behind its sharp presentation lies an overwhelming mess of a game. From the woeful tutorial sections at the beginning of the game, to the intuitive design choices, Black and White seems more like a title designed to frustrate the player than to actual teach them anything. If anyone recalls the much better game, Populous 3, which came out some years before this, exceeds in teaching the player fairly basic mechanics and structure without attaching a one ton weight that is the atrocious AI of Black And White's infamous "creatures." You start the game off helping some folks being GOD and whatnot, you aren't opposed to helping (or harming) people once in awhile. After you're bored with that its time to listen to a tutorial for an hour rather than to introduce things slowly to the player without patronizing them or belittling their technical abilities to understand how a very basic game actually works. Their is no "management" of your throng of villagers, the gaggles of them will just literally do whatever you need them to do. Should you wish, you could essentially sit around and do nothing for them, but unfortunately nothing would ever get done. Unsurprisingly these villagers are pretty slow compared to you, GOD, who can essentially do their work for them much faster. After a few buildings are finished you will get to pick from three adorably polygonal monstrous creatures: A cow, a lion or an Orangutan. In what can only be described as, "tedious to a degree not since seen in any other game ever" you are now forced into what can only be described as a pet simulation till the end of single player game. None of the creatures were particularly better than you, GOD, and the effort needed to train these beasts from murdering citizens or gaining their trust before picking one up all of a sudden and eating them was mentally draining. I certainly don't remember this portion of the game being intuitive either. In fact I found it revolting how easily you could accidentally train your monster something entirely wrong and not know the consequences until it was too late. I never even bothered to finished the incredibly long winded Single player portion, as I was just too frustrated by the creature AI mechanics to possibly stomach the rest of the game. Though it was met with exceedingly amazed reviewers at its time of release, since then it has been confirmed for one of the most overrated and over hyped pieces of software to come out in some time. Is it fun to pick up villagers and throw all of them into the ocean one by one in an effort to bring some peace from the chaos? Yes of course. But you'll never get anything done that way. Expand
  7. Mar 18, 2011
    0
    Every so often a game comes along that makes you stare in disbelief. This is that game for me. Maybe I'm to old but I know **** when I seeEvery so often a game comes along that makes you stare in disbelief. This is that game for me. Maybe I'm to old but I know **** when I see it. This game reminds me of the Segway. It was supposed to revolutionize gameplay. It had the best minds behind it. Yeah, right. It's nothing but hype. The product simply fails to deliver in any category. The people who like this game are the same people who are proud to wear DKNY. How they ever got into the gaming world is beyond me. Expand

See all 42 User Reviews

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