GameOver Feature - A Reviewer's Diary: Black & White

GameOver Feature - A Reviewer's Diary: Black & White

A Reviewer's Diary: Black & White

Published: Monday, April 23rd, 2001
Written By: Rorschach

Day Two

I?m in dread of having to restart the whole tutorial over again after the crash, and it?s almost that bad because the game drops me at the unfinished temple. I do the rest over again, smash the house, find the husband, the computer doesn?t crash this time, and I?m after the final gate stone. Sable tells me it was destroyed eons ago, but the village carver can make me a new one. I can?t carve one myself? Can?t smash gate, can?t carve stone. Yeah, me mucho powerful god. I find the carver who requests I find him a stone so he can carve a gatestone, which I do, which he does. Finally, the gate opens. Inside is a pool of water reflecting the mountain peaks beyond - that?s a pretty cool graphic. Beyond the pool are three animals: cow, monkey, and tiger. I?m told to choose one, but I?m not given a whole lot of info as to which is better or worse. The monkey is described as a quick learner, the tiger as fierce, and the cow as hardy. So my choice appears to be cerebral, warlike, or, uh, cow. The tiger looks too much like Chester Cheetah from the Cheeze Doodles commercials, and I can?t figure the cow, so I go with the monkey. When I pick the monkey, the other two sulk, the cow cries - it?s always hard for the losers.

The monkey is housed in a pen near my temple. Sable is the animal trainer, and she teaches me to put a training leash on the monkey and scratch his tummy to make him happy and slap him to punish him and feed him and care for him. I?m given an aggression leash to make him aggressive and a fuzzy leash to make him happy. It reminds me of that old, well, game is the wrong word, but it was called Dogz. It was kind of a screen saver. Black and white is an animal training screen saver?

A silver scroll appears and I?m told these are reward scrolls for me for doing a good job. Who?s rewarding the god? The scroll teaches me to throw rocks, which I already knew. For throwing a rock and knocking down a pillar, I?m rewarded a beach ball, which I give to the monkey. Live it up, little guy. Sable tells me about how if I care for my monkey he?ll grow as big as a mountain. I picture King Kong stomping on disobedient villagers and I like that. I wonder how long it will take. I wonder where the monkey will live when he is that big, as the pen near the temple isn?t nearly big enough. I wonder where all the food will come from to feed a mountain-sized monkey. Sable also tells me that besides the monkey, tiger, and cow, there is another creature on the island, but it avoids humans. Coincidence of coincidences, a villager comes running up and tells me about this huge creature in a clearing outside the village. I go and check it out, and it?s a big bear. Really big. Probably wouldn?t choke on my monkey if he swallowed him big. He asks to meet my monkey. What they hey, I?m not so attached to the little guy if he gets eaten, so I leash up the monkey and drag him over. The bear tells me about how he used to be the creature of a god who became so powerful that he lost interest in his creature and left him on this island. He?s been lonely, but is happy to meet another god and his creature. He leads us to a nearby village that does not worship me, and teaches me the miracle of making food so that I can get them to worship me, which I do. They have a little fireworks display in my honor. The bear settles down for a nap; teaching is hard work.

The old man comes and leads me to the beach where three guys are building a boat to leave the island, but have run out of wood. The old man suggests I help them by getting wood. The devil says I should punish them for trying to leave my domain, presumably by smashing their boat with a rock or sending my attack monkey after them. Clearly, another moral dilemma, and one I?m not up to after another hour. I save my progress, and begin to wonder if there is a game under all this stuff, and when I might find it.

Playing with his monkey? Take me to Day Three!

[ Day One ] [ Day Two ] [ Day Three ] [ Day Four ] [ Day Five ] [ Day Six ] [ Day Seven (Final Rating) ]
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