ScuzzBlog: Diaries January 2021

Entry 9th January 2021: Post 1: Populous and Genesia - Why so unpopular.

Populous and Genesia - Why so unpopular.

I better start by qualifying that these games were only unpopular
to me. And most probably only me. Populous was massive in the day
and spawned so many other games including later versions and cross
platform remakes.

So why unpopular ?

Simply cus the boxes for these games never see the light of day. All
are deep in games tub archive and when I checked they are in the
lowest of the stack. No chance of retrieval any time soon.

I must have valued the games cus I purchased several copies of the
Populous original game and even got the Fantastic Worlds pack that
included the game. I recall being very excited about Genesia in the
day and always had the configuration drawer lying somewhere on the
1200... just in case I wanted to play.

So why didn't I ?

I actually don't know. I recall firing each the featured games up
and getting to that first screen where I have a square bit of
terrain and I needed to start developing my followers. These games
are basically god games, where by your actions you increase the
population of those devoted to you so they do your bidding. In the
game Populous it appears I have to make the terrain level and when
in eye shot of followers they will populate and conquer.

There must have been something that stopped me from playing. I know
that Populous seemed to only work on the A500 for me. I can't even
recall playing Populous II at all. Genesia never made it further
than the install and game configuration process. I must have tried.

And yet games like Settlers I just gobbled up and spent every waking
hour playing. I followed all the interface options and used the game
mechanics to the full , studying graphs and charts mapping out the
various production targets and resources. With Sim City, even the
very first it was so addictive and I played through the night. Same
with Civilization and the like.

And so I again fired up Populous and discovered I couldn't run it
from the Workbench. The clicking arrow doesn't function so I had to
boot up from the disk. I started to work terrain but yet again gave
up in no time at all. If a game doesn't grab me straight away then
I just lose interest very quickly. I recall the first time I played
Age of Empires and realised I had missed lunch and tea time and it
was early morning. But Populous just didn't get my engine running.

I was going to play Genesia and Power Monger but I decided it was
probably not going to be stimulating enough. Such a shame cus these
games were very successful and much loved. And so I put the disks
back in the box and the manuals back on the shelf ... and found
myself reading Amiga Format from 1989/90 and finding other subjects
way more interesting.

Sorry for that. I apologise to Peter Molyneux for not enjoying all
his efforts in making Populous one of the best selling PC games of
all time. In all, I believe, in excess of four million copies of
the game were sold. It is truly incredible that this one Amiga disk
provides over 500 levels of fun as you play the role of a god and
action your will via a three dimensional isometric view of your
world. The game developed by Bullfrog and released by Electronic
Arts was to spawn Populous II Trials of the Olympian Gods and
Populous the Beginning. I even have the Tri-Format disk with the
scenery edition.

There you have it. Try it for yourself if you haven't, or even if
you have. Well worth a bash.

Populous and Genesia - Why so unpopular.

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Last updated 9th January 2021

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