Spiritual descendant of the Populous games, Black & White is a 'god' game in which players take the role of a fledgling deity, called upon by people in need.
Entering the 3D world, players can manipulate objects, move people, and cast miracles. To assist the player, there also exists a creature with its own intelligence and personality. Both the players and their associated creature will evolve during the course of the game, becoming benevolent beings, cruel tyrants, or somewhere in between. As the player's characters develop, both their creature and the land itself will change, depending on their alignment.
Although the main purpose of the game is to work through the five lands of Eden and win the faith of as many of the tribes as possible, the game is somewhat open ended in its aspects of wandering, exploring, and developing the sidekick creature.
The creatures in the game feature their own artificial intelligence and will grow like a child, both physically and emotionally. They'll learn by example and put together their own moral codes based on what they witness and learn. Players can pet or scold their creature, nurture it, spoil it, or abuse it. In the end, Black & White is part strategy game, part role-playing game, part child rearing simulator, and part self-examination of the player's personality.