Populous was designed by Peter Molyneux for Bullfrog, released originally for the Amiga in 1989, and is regarded by many as the first god computer-game! It is the first game in the Populous series, preceding "Populous II: Trials of the Olympian Gods" and "Populous: The Beginning".
You play the part of a god who commands a small party of dedicated followers. The more followers you obtain and the greater their achievements, the more power you'll be given. Unfortunately though, it isn't all one way, because there's another god that wants his share of the cake... It's up to you to create a stronger following, attack the opposition using your massed forces and inflict a series of ecological disasters on his land in an attempt to the rule the land. And there are 500 of lands to master...
The main action window in Populous is viewed from an isometric perspective, and it is set like a tabletop on which are set the command icons, the world map (depicted as an open book) and a slider bar that measures the level of the player's divine power or "mana". Progress to the next level by increasing the number of your followers such that they can wipe out the enemy followers. God-powers vary from raising and lowering land (in order to provide flat land for your followers to build on) to earthquakes and floods (to destroy enemy lands or even...your lands...)! You may also create swamps and volcanoes. Followers can build houses, then create more followers which can turn into more powerful knights, and this increases your mana level.
Populous (and Populous II) offered a unique game-scenario for its time. So if you wanted to play god with your minions via a simple-to-learn interface, and almost unlimited variety, Populous was a must buy back in 1989!
The Atari ST version looks great and identical in graphics and sound when compared to the original (Amiga) and the Acorn Archimedes version. The graphics offer some nice details in the isometric perspective here. The tiny sprites (followers) are moving pretty good on screen, whilst there are some other nice animation touches such the moving sea, earthquake's surface shaking etc.
As far as the sound, the St versions offers the original introductory tune, but unfortunately the in-game sound is rather poor. There are a few sampled SFX when i.e. earthquake ore flood occurs, but the amazing ambient sounds found on the original are missing here.