Nostalgic for Populous

I saw these gorgeous pie wedge images this morning, allegedly made by someone in the Ukraine for a travel agency. Immediately, I felt a powerful tug for the old game Populous. If I remember correctly, I played Populous on my Atari 1040ST originally, while living in Germany.

A great game, but specifically it carried a particular identity…a feeling I experienced while playing that is hard to put into words. We’re still an up-and-coming medium and there are feelings I have as I’m interacting with a game system beyond the traditional elements related to art, fiction and sound. I wish we had a word for this. (Hell, maybe we do; I never claimed to have the world’s greatest vocabulary.)

The ‘play’ component of Populous gave me a unique feeling tied to that game alone. And like a new color or unnamed flavor it’s hard to talk about and impossible to share with someone who hasn’t played the game. Even worse, it’s hard for me to experience any more, since I don’t have a way to play the game, currently.

Once in a while, I go through the effort to re-install some older game. Not always the greatest games, but something I’m craving. Recent examples: Chaos Overlord, Chron-X, X-com. I’ve heard gamers talk about the ‘vibe’ in Deus Ex and I hope this is what they’re talking about…a feeling created maybe in part by the holistic effect of the traditional elements but also certainly by the interactive/play component.

Pyshco Student's pie wedge

(Artist unknown. Potentially from Ukrainian design firm ‘Psycho’.)