Populous game by Bullfrog Productions, 1989

I am a huge fan of the remarkable Bullfrog Productions game Populous released in 1989. Even though it's been 35 years since it was released, I still regularly find my inner joystick waggler hankering after this stone cold classic, or at the very least craving a wee read around the subject matter, perhaps open up the Wikipedia page or find a YouTube analysis of the game.

Why is Populous so good?

As well as an unwavering sense of nostalgia that keeps me returning to this game, there's also a hypnotic je ne sais quoi about Populous that keeps it fresh no matter how many times I revisit this work of art. Maybe it's that I was an impressionable young whippersnapper in the year 1989 when I first discovered Populous, or the fact that Bullfrog Productions were absolutely at the top of their game when they released said game. It's hard to pinpoint something so transcendental. Once you love a piece of art you become faithful to it's ethos.

Populous is a game that is still relevant

One thing's for sure though, Populous has stood the test of time and then some. It remains as powerful and relevant today as it did in 1989. And why wouldn't it? With innovative God-game gameplay like that, it's no wonder people return to this game again and again. I can't imagine life without it John.

Bullfrog Productions knocked it out the park

But it's not just the innovative God-game gameplay that make this game great. It's the overall package. The fantastic isometric graphical perspective is a tour de force. The haunting in-game musical ambience is integral, as is the addictively simple raising and lowering land gaming mechanic. And who can forget generally light hearted way in which the game serves up the mass destruction meted out to your opponents faithful followers. When Bullfrog Productions created this timeless classic, never mind the ball park, they knocked this one out of the solar system. This bad boy is in danger of bothering Voyager.

Has Populous stood the test of time?

Of course, there are other games out there to be argued for. Harder, better, faster, stronger. Some might argue that Turrican II: The Final Fight is better than Populous, or that Factor 5 is better than Bullfrog Productions. They may well have a point. But for me, Populous will always hold a special place in my heart. And 35 years tickling the meridian response does not lie.

Populous in conclusion

To sum up, Populous is a wonderful thing, a game of unrivalled quality. It's a game that has etched itself into the psyche, distributing untold tingles up the spine, hogging synapses and monopolising neurons that could otherwise be put to use appreciating more important, or perhaps more useful information. But no matter what life throws at me, I know I can always rely on Populous to deliver the goods.

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