Populous is a religious warfare RTS game. You play a god with a nation of worshipers. Get more worshipers to unlock more spells. Expand your borders towards the enemy nation of worshipers and then use your spells and your followers to kill off the other nation.
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For an early SNES game this is actually pretty good. I doubt it was too slow paced for me as a kid since I would have been coming from a C64 gaming background and not today's PC background. The sound effects were well done. I think the issue may have been having no control at all over your dudes. You can guide them toward your ankh and you can give them a general idea of what to do but then you have to sit back and trust them to do it. I've always wanted to micro all of my units in games like this. I never turn on auto-governor in Civ games, for example. So when I see my guys build their castles just a little bit unoptimally I get annoyed.