Populous is played through the game view (right) and the control panel (left).
- On the game view, left click units to select them and left click on a target to command them a task.
- The control panel is composed of three tabs: the buildings panel, the spells panel and the followers panel. To switch between these tabs, simply click the button you want at the top-left side.
When starting out, you’re going to need some buildings to produce mana, which will allow you to charge your spells. To place a building, in the buildings panel, simply select the one you want and then click on the ground. Hold the Ctrl key while doing this to place many at once. You’ll want to have many regular huts to generate mana, and some training huts to specialize your units intro troops. (e.g. Warriors, Fire Warriors, Spies).
Casting spells is simple: on the spells panel, right click a spell to toggle whether you’re charging it or not. Left click a charged spell then left click on a target on the game view to use it. The spell must be cast within the white range ring that will appear around your Shaman.
Mana is required to charge spells and train units. It is primarily generated by:
- Building huts to generate Braves
- Increasing your population
- Productively engaging your followers, especially Braves
Strategically managing your followers is a key element of Populous. This includes things like training specialized units, productively employing your Braves, and carefully managing your Shaman to dodge the enemy Shaman’s spells.
Out of all the units in Populous, there is one that is the most important to you; the Shaman. She is the only unit in the game that can cast very powerful spells – such as tornadoes, volcanoes, and earthquakes. However, she is very slow and weak as a melee, and getting her into your opponent’s base is a tricky maneuver against a skilled player!