It Does Belong Here: Creeper World 3 Creeps On To Steam

By Graham Smith on March 31st, 2014 at 11:00 am.

I keep falling into the trap of thinking I’ve seen all the world’s games and there’s nothing new left for me to discover. This is because I am very arrogant, but then I stumble across something like Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal. It’s a strategy game in which you battle a gradually encroaching goo as it flows around and across terrain. It’s the third in a series of 2D, indie strategy games. It has a story campaign, a level editor, terraforming, and enough unit complexity to evoke Supreme Commander. It has a demo. It is now on Steam.

Let this goo slowly start to colonize your brain by watching the trailer below.

It’s got base building and unit management, but Creeper World also shares much in common with tower defense games. You’re not fighting a collection of different units controlled by a player-aping AI, but instead struggling against “a fluid-like substance spreads over the terraformable terrain.”

Like Infested Planet, it looks like part of the fun of this is that you’re never not firing at an enemy. It’s a constant assault, and the simple, slightly ugly sprite graphics cease to be a distraction when the screen is swelling with activity.

The game came out last October, though it seems we missed it at the time despite Kieron and Quinns taking to the previous games. Now that it’s on Steam, and I discover that it exists, I might join them. It’s $15/£9 when bought directly from the developer, or .

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39 Comments »

  1. Balanuir says:

    OS X and Linux clients – yeah. Downloading now. It’s so cool to see that at least the Indie developers go with the times.

    • TimorousBeastie says:

      Indeed, it’s not like all of the major engines have recently announced Linux and Mac support out of the box or anything…

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        jrodman says:

        Well, the last two efforts were based on Adobe Air and both eased and hampered his porting efforts. Looks like he did as planned and chose something where he keeps a bit more control on porting for #3.

        I enjoyed 1 and 2 a lot.

  2. Sheng-ji says:

    or what….. OR WHAT!!! just tell me. please.

  3. SomeDuder says:

    The original game (Creeper world, free for download iirc) was great stuff. Not much to look at, but in mechanics, excellent. You always feel like you’re about to (literally) drown, constantly pressured to hurry the hell up and get the energy core (or whatever the hell it was).

    This version seems to have (somewhat) improved in visuals. It also seems like you can control units now – I wonder if this is a wise addition. It certainly wasn’t lacking in the original game – never did I think “Great game, but what this needs is Generic Fighters and Generic Soldiers to order around”. The tension and excitement comes from maintaining your energy grid and defensive lines.

    • MisterX says:

      The Soldier is literally just a clever little mini game for the end credits.
      Doesn’t feature at all during any other part of the game. Its included to show what can be done with the in game
      editor and CRPL language.

    • KDR_11k says:

      I believe the strafers and bombers were in CW1 too, the only new mobile unit (if we ignore the buildings that can re-locate) is an energy carrier that you can use to establish and supply remote bases.

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    Anthile says:

    I don’t know, maybe they should have gone with a better name. Creeper World sounds more like some Japanese stalker sim instead of a something-defense game.

    • NailBombed says:

      Or a Minecraft mod.

    • The Army of None says:

      I think the original came out just about the same time (August 2009) as Minecraft was initially released (Playable in May 2009, so before that) , and certainly before it became very popular (Around October of that year). Still a bit of an unfortunate name.

  5. LionsPhil says:

    Interesting!

  6. dE says:

    Creeper World is the premiere water leak simulator. You’ve got a few towels and some buckets, now go and stem the tide. In a similar fashion to Infested Planet, it’s less about individual combat and more about controlling the flow. Creeper World is a bit more predictable in how the enemy will react, but by no means easier. Well the campaign is, but not the large amount of bonus maps.

    Give it a try, really. It may not look like much but it’s a ton of fun.

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      Feste says:

      Not sure I’d be happy if my plumber started using some of this equipment though. Particularly the terraforming bits…

    • Tei says:

      Is creeper world *3*. Its popular by now, everyone that has played all turret defense games know creeper world and have a opinion about it.

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      jrodman says:

      Feels like an ooze simulator. The author says he uses heat modelling algorithms!

  7. Teovald says:

    I have played to all three CW games and I have just started the third one. It is a very solid series and the creeper mechanics work well, enough to make me want more CW games.
    One reproach would be that in CW3, for most maps you can use a safe & slow tactics where you establish a strong base and very gradually advance your front. The game could really use a mechanic that punishes inaction.

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      alphager says:

      I disagree. I like that the game rewards the fast-and-risky approach and that the slow-but-steady approach is also viable. Some days I don’t want the action and instead like to see my numbers go up slowly.

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      Feste says:

      At first, a slow and steady wins the race approach does quite well. However, some of the later missions really encourage you to push forward fast, and also in different ways.

      I don’t want go into details as it could spoil some of the fun, but the new maps can be very dynamic and it’s less of a tug-of-war than the previous games.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Well, you can try going for a highscore, that requires being fast.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Is this the sort of thing where I should go back and play 1 and 2 first, or just jump right in with 3?

  8. FFabian says:

    Similar to Harvest?

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      Hypocee says:

      Definite similarity. Obvious touchpoints with the Perimeter games as well. The reason I’d give Supcom the tip for first reference is that it has a very small fast unit of account and an income-expenditure meter ala the Total Annihilation lineage, and half of every battle is against yourself foolishly crashing your economy and stopping the flow of juice to the guns.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Perimeter used the same flowing energy system though. It also had energy packets for construction but didn’t use packets for anything else.

    • Robbah says:

      Indeed looks abit like Harvest Massive Encounter. Definately worth a look

    • KDR_11k says:

      Similar energy system with the packets but differs otherwise, energy is usually produced with generators that cover area like in Perimeter (there are also reactors that can be packed tightly but they are more of a late game option due to their cost), energy packets are only spawned when they are being sent to an energy consumer (produced energy goes into a resource bar first). Turrets can be lifted off and relocated (which is critical for the gameplay). Also there’s a central structure like the frame in Perimeter (and it can be lifted off, too).

      And generally you’re more on the offense than the defense. After you establish a setup that can keep the creeper away from your central structures you want to push it back bit by bit towards its spawners so you can place a Nullifier next to them and destroy them. But any structures that get flooded will quickly die so if you fail to stem the tide your progress can be swept away in no time. Since your guns require a constant energy supply to keep shooting you have to watch your resource spending and also make sure nothing gets into your power supply line.

    • Thrippy says:

      Harvest: Massive Encounter meets Perimeter meets Total Annihilation. But I dunno yet if you can build a blinding red terawatt pulse laser of awesomeness like in Harvest.

      But Creeper World’s facility for automatically generating, or hand creating, and sharing community skirmish maps is far better than all of the above.

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    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Games that involve building networks like this really tickle my beard. I have been enjoying this game for a few days now since I saw it on Steam and remembered that I played and loved the demo of the first, years ago, and never got around to buying it.

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      DeVadder says:

      I love games like that as well. Downloading this now.
      Just in case you have not heard of it: Factorio is a game about controlling the most complex network ever. It is just awesome how you have to automate everything from science to defense to stand any change.

      • ShootyFace says:

        Factorio is brilliant, very fresh and fun. I will be giving this series a look, too.

  10. The Army of None says:

    Yes! I’ve bought all the games in the series and this is no different. Incredibly fun and satisfying to slowly make footholds and push out and clear the map while building up your network. Highly, highly recommended.

  11. finbik says:

    After seeing a bunch of people on the Steam forums complaining about “flash games” not belonging on Steam, it took me a couple of seconds to get the title. It was worth the (minimal) mental effort!

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    jrodman says:

    Can I purchase this not-on-steam? I am not finding out easily.

  13. DrGonzo says:

    Really enjoyed the first two Creeper Worlds, but I preferred the top down original, so this one looks great! Can’t wait!

    • benkc says:

      Yeah, I really liked the first one, but kind of bounced off the second, and I think it was largely because of the different viewpoint. (I mean, I got to like level 18 of the campaign or whatever, but that’s nothing compared to how much I played CW1.) I’m excited to see this one is both top-down, and, already out! I must get this.

  14. andyhavens says:

    Got it last week, and it’s been a lot of fun. What is humbling, however, is after you try a few different failed strategies to get started… and then finally beat the creep after 75 minutes… seeing that somebody on the leader board did it in 1 minute 9 seconds.

    Still lots of fun.