|We were promised a world where every decision mattered. What we got was... kicking chickens.|
- Populous (1989): One of the very first, and still probably the best of all the “God-sim” games, players guide a civilization to build, develop and worship while expanding their culture and reproducing in order to conquer an enemy civilization. The terrain was deformable, and many godlike powers including miracles and plagues were at the player's disposal.
- Syndicate (1993): A top-down isometric strategy game set in a corporate dystopia with cyberpunk elements. Control of cybernetic agents acting as assassins, recruiters (through drugs and mind control) and defenders of the corporate Syndicate with a detailed story, Syndicate influenced the design of many Real Time Strategy games that followed it.
- Theme Park (1994): The original “Tycoon”-style business simulator game, imitated countless times using different businesses as the focus (or the same, in the case of Rollercoaster Tycoon), Theme Park put the player in the hands of a combination designer/owner of an Amusement Park, managing rides, concession stands, park employees and tickets/promotions to build and profit by keeping guests happy and spending money.
- Magic Carpet (1994): Technically ahead of its time at release, Magic Carpet was a 3D first-person action/RPG with an Arabian Nights flavor. Players controlled a wizard who could fly around a landscape fighting monsters, accumulating power to learn stronger magics and fight rival magic users with spells. Unique for the time were the real-time terrain-changing/destroying effects possible with the magics, and the deformable/destructible terrain lent toward the beefy system requirements that held the game back as a commercial hit.
- Dungeon Keeper (1997): Another simulation game in a style later imitated by others, Dungeon Keeper took traditional roleplaying video games featuring heroes invading dungeons to slay creatures and collect treasure, and turned the genre on its ear. Players control the evil “Dungeon Keeper”, training monsters, digging rooms, setting traps and piling up treasure to lure adventurers to their doom.
|The games get prettier, sure... but can they recapture what made Peter Molyneux a great designer?|