In this game, first developed for the Commodore Amiga, the player takes on the role of deity and assumes the responsibility to shepherd people by direction, manipulation, and divine intervention. The player has the ability to shape the landscape and grow his or her civilization with the overall aim of having them conquer an enemy force, led by an opposing deity.
Populous was extremely successful, and spawned a number of sequels of increasing complexity.
Peter Molyneux of the Bullfrog development studio led development. The 2001 game Black and White, also led by Molyneux (but this time at his company Lionhead Studios), has been called the "spiritual descendant of Populous".