An Unhappy, Belated 15th Birthday For Black & White


Briefly: Lionhead Studios’ debut game went on sale on 26 March, 2001. Fifteen years later the studio is closing. That’s one sad anniversary, but take heart little animal-based god game — you’re the most requested game on this week, so the love is real.


  • Black & White was flawed but it was so unique and atmospheric. I played it to death back in the day and I still remember some of the great WTF moments like when my creature took a crap, and the turd rolled down a hill, busted through a fence and sent some villagers running.

  • i loved black n white 2, it was so much damn fun.
    no other games like it!
    i also love the idea of instead of building a huge army, you could just make a really pretty town to attract people.

  • I really, REALLY wanted another Black and White.
    It was such a weird, unique experience that no other games really captured.
    At times it was a tranquil city builder game where you happily taught your oversized pet how to behave and do tricks and brought prosperity to your people… and at other times it was a hilarious, cathartic destruction simulator where you abused God powers, Your people, your terrifying creature and physics itself to rain horrible fire down upon your enemies.
    Plus the humor was pretty damn great at times… Man I really just want another.

    • I still want another Black & White!

      I’m kind of surprised that they never attempted to re-visit the IP. As I remember there was still room for improvement in the game mechanics but a solid and tested concept to build upon. As you said it was a real mixture of modes and styles with some great and bizarre humour behind it all.

      Ahhh well, at least we have the memories (of mad creatures and rolling turds).

  • I love Black & White so much. I remember putting a ridiculous number of hours into it. I even got the extra CD which unlocked new creatures.
    I still fondly remember exiting the practice world after spending so long in it that both I & my horse creature reached full good alignment (shining white citadel & unicorn). Then upon reaching the new world and discovering how mean the AI was, in less than 15 minutes I had devolved to the evilest god around (horned red citadel). Ended up being a great strategy as my unicorn maintained my villages whilst I destroyed any belonging to the enemies.

  • I still have & play both B&W and B&W2. Both are brilliant games, and started my love for Lionhead.

    The first, whilst flawed, had some truly memorable moments. I chose the cow, and no matter how hard I tried, he kept being naughty. Had a villager tell me off in a pseudo cut scene saying I needed to make him behave, and the cow picked the dude up and ate him.

    Then there was the time the villagers were screaming, because he’d decided to walk to the beach and was skimming fishermen across the water.

    Or the time i’d praised the shit out of him because he FINALLY did something right, and cast a rain spell to put out a fire. Problem was, he then started walking around starting fires to put them out and get praise. The village took a huge hit that day when he did it to the kindergarten, got bored and walked off without putting it out. I miss the shit out of that cow.

    B&W2 again was flawed, but still amazing fun. The games just clicked so well with me. I’m going to miss you Lionhead (and yes, I played and loved every Fable game). Thanks for all the memories.

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