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.