13 Years Late, Relic’s Impossible Creatures Hits Steam

Cast your mind back to March 2002, dear reader, when Valve Software formally announced a weird sort of game-downloading program named Steam. To entice other devs into putting their games on Steam, at the Game Developers Conference they demonstrated Relic’s Impossible Creatures running on it. Well, the genetic engineering RTS came out that year, but it never hit Steam – until today. Nordic Games have dug Impossible Creatures up, revamped it a touch, and released the ‘Steam Edition’.

Valve say, “consumers with a broadband connection can purchase and start their applications faster than if they install them from a CD.” That does sound handy!

Impossible Creatures, then, is a goofy 1930s sci-fi RTS where you design units by merging different animals. I believe those in the screenshot up top ↑ are rhino-gorillas and great white shark-cows (or maybe antelope?). Something like that, anyway. This new release comes with the Insect Invasion expansion plus the mod kit, and is tweaked to run smoothly on modern operating systems with less-fiddly multiplayer.

Yes, it does also finally have Steam features, with Steam Cloud support and Friend invites. Was Steam Friends (or Tracker, as it was originally called) already broken by the time Impossible Creatures came out? I can’t remember. Oh, the long, long years before Valve got their shit together… Maybe this is the news editor in me having a fascination with ideas that never panned out (I always meant to do more here with the idea of ‘old news‘), but I’m delighted this finally happened.

If you want to own a piece of history, Impossible Creatures Steam Edition is out now on Steam for £5.39.


  1. rondertaker says:

    somehow i always had this confused with genewars which came out like 8 years earlier, we used to play it over a LAN…

  2. Xenodon says:

    BAM, insta-buy. My Komodo Dragonflies will rise again!

  3. BucketofDoom says:

    Fun fact! This game engine later became the engine for the first Dawn of War games :D

  4. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Oh my God, I remember this from PCG previews. Always thought it sounded cool. There aren’t enough wildlife based games. The number of times I’ve sat watching David Attenborough thinking “this would make a great game”.

  5. Themadcow says:

    Probably hasn’t aged well but the concept was brilliant and loads of fun at the time.

  6. Jim9137 says:

    And then there was Unnatural Selection. Actually there wasn’t, but anyway!

  7. Legion23 says:

    On a side note: Valve still hasn´t got their shit together. There is a bug with the screenshot system still not fixed in over 3 years. I just got a reminder because someone new posted in my old bug report thread, so new users still might hit that bug. I would be more annoyed if I would use Steams commmunity features.

  8. Carra says:

    I remember playing this one. 13 years old you say? Damn, I’m getting old.

  9. TWChristine says:

    Wow, this brings back memories! I never played it, but remember seeing the ads for it my game magazines of yore! Those were always fun to re-read every now and then and look at all the old games/memories..

  10. Werthead says:

    I kind of liked the game, but also irrationally disliked it because it delayed Homeworld 2 by years, and apparently soured relations with Vivendi to ensure that a HW3 would never happen. Back then, anyway.

  11. joansam says:

    Wow, I thought this day would never come! This was my favorite game when I was a little un. Then I lost the disk and couldn’t find it anywhere. I’ll happily return to the land of electric eel lemmings and scorpion wolves!

  12. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Huh, I’ve got the disk around here somewhere. Wonder if I can redeem it on Steam?

    • Premium User Badge

      Mungrul says:

      Welp, that’s a “Nope!”
      The original game didn’t have a CD key, something that seems bizarre to my future self. Times, they’ve a-changed.

      • Premium User Badge

        Mungrul says:

        Now, if someone would do up “The Gladiators: Galactic Circus Games” and bring it to Steam or GOG, I’d be a happy bunny.

  13. thenevernow says:

    Thanks RPS for still linking Steam. It’s a small convenience, but still… Others can’t be bothered or are forbidden by their Amazon deals.

  14. Frank says:

    Woo! I can remember looking at preview pictures of this before it came out and looking forward to it. Time to get them dashed, is it!? Yes, I’ll gladly do that.

  15. fuggles says:

    Aha! Sigma: The adventures of Rex Chance has arrived!

    Does it come with the cool radio melodrama? Otherwise I may need to extract it from my discs and upload for the sake of posterity.

  16. Captain Narol says:

    Someone really need to make a modern mash-up of this and Sim Life, ie make it a fantasy 3D ecosystem simulation instead of a RTS…

    You could then see your designed alien species compete for survival in a complex landscape, with some evolving to adapt and others disappearing slowly… This would indeed be my dream game !

    • cptgone says:

      I, too, have been longing for such a game.

      • Captain Narol says:

        Well, Spore was fun and could have been it, if it hadn’t been so flawed… Spore with the species from Impossible Creatures would have been an great mix !

        The creature phase of Spore was too limited and was missing a real ecology, in my view. I’m really curious to see if No Man’s Sky can deliver on the alien ecology chapter, even if it’s not really the main point of that game as far as we know so far…

  17. fuggles says:

    The cool melodrama is already on youtube (no real suprise)
    link to youtube.com

    BTW – GiantKangkonda rules supreme. That and swhatever the hell I combined with termites to make a flying stealth termite – instant win vs ai.

  18. wilsonx1999 says:

    Awesome! I hadn’t think about this game in years, but now, Polar Sharks will eat your faces!!!