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  • Joined: 01 Nov 1986
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  • Location: Radaxian
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Populous (Master System)
Post Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:28 pm
This topic contains reviews of Populous.
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  • Joined: 02 Nov 2014
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:39 am
Its an okay game, certainly looks impressive.

★★★★☆
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  • Joined: 19 Oct 1999
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:18 pm
While it's an impressive feat to put this on the Master System, the game itself is a bit slow, and lacks a decent difficulty curve. Later levels aren't really any harder than earlier ones - or, at least, they vary a lot so it's hard to feel the progression. The absent audio probably helps it be less slow than it would otherwise be, and the marathon sessions - it might take hours to pass a world - would probably make it hard to write music for it, but it does make it feel incomplete.

Ultimately, it gets too repetitive too quickly.

★★☆☆☆
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  • Joined: 23 Mar 2013
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  • Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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Post Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:28 pm
This is a really outstanding game, but I got it completely wrong the first time!

I remember it being in the pricey end of the SMS games, and I totally misunderstood what is was about. From what I could understand from looking at the pictures on the back of the cover, it was a game designer (!??!). On the front it said something like "Create a thousand worlds, and destroy them in a heartbeat", and I thought that the pictures of in-game action on the back, were screenshots from the game editor mode, where you literally created worlds... hmmm...?!

Of course I was pretty surprised when I got it for Christmas and tried it out, but it did not take me long to appreciate what Populous actually is: A rather unique (for SMS) real-time strategy game. As a god you command your tribe of blue people to explore, fortify and expand in different worlds, from standard medieval settings, to wild west and futuristic worlds, among others. The followers of evil - the red tribe - will eventually need to be defeated by your tribe, if you want to progress to the next world. Give your tribe the edge with divine interventions like earthquakes, deadly swamps and even erupting vulcanos - on the cities and settlements of the red tribe! And when you are ready, invoke nothing less than armageddon!

The game plays rather well, has a password save feature, and no music. You will instead be able to create your own background soundtrack using your casette player and your favorite records. As I remember it, I think the synths of Jean Michel Jarre goes well with the sometimes hour long conquest of a Populous world.

★★★★★
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  • Joined: 03 Apr 2001
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Post Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 9:06 pm
hang-on wrote
and no music. You will instead be able to create your own background soundtrack using your casette player and your favorite records.
:O
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  • Joined: 02 Nov 2018
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  • Location: Turkey
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Populous (Master System)
Post Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:04 am
I love this game! was really amazing! i use to spend a lot of hours! and about the levels never i finish that game! i think never end that game! i still remember one gameplay of that game,if you digit moringill,for surpass that level was really really hard!!! i play also the new versions of this game,but this one is the best one!!!
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:33 pm
This is a favourite of mine too; having to scroll around the map in this version is a bit more hassle than navigation on other versions but I don't otherwise find it slow at all in technical terms. It's a slow-paced game, but the Master System keeps up with it nicely. This is one of those titles where you really won't be able to tell the difference between this version and that for the Master System's more expensive contemporaries; it's in the same pantheon as New Zealand Story.

I can't speak as to difficulty curve as in my house we were never organised enough to write down the passwords. Having come back to the game in recent weeks, I also have to commend the varied level art, which possibly went over my head as a child.

Being the sort of person that is still talking about the Master System in 2018, I especially liked the level that replaces the usual structures and ground with continuous feed printer paper and an escalation through the home computers: the most basic hut is a ZX81, from which one advances through the BBC Micro, the ZX Spectrum, the IBM PC and the original form-factor Macintosh (controversy!) to a Cray supercomputer and then to four Crays for a fortress.

It's probably the Master System's only god game (?), definitely worth a go.

★★★★★
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  • Joined: 23 Mar 2013
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:15 pm
TomHarte wrote
... an escalation through the home computers: the most basic hut is a ZX81, from which one advances through the BBC Micro, the ZX Spectrum, the IBM PC and the original form-factor Macintosh (controversy!) to a Cray supercomputer and then to four Crays for a fortress

Ha!, very cool - I never realized that. Thanks for pointing it out... another nice feature of Populous. :)
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:40 pm
Check out the graphic rips at http://www.smspower.org/Sprites/Populous-SMS. I think the "soft rocks" are cigarette packets, plus cans of coke and cups of coffee as trees... I guess this may have been inspired by the developer's environment? Also, one level below a ZX81 is an abacus... Seems about right.
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