Posts Tagged ‘Creatures’

Artificial life finds a way: the legacy of Creatures

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There was a time when virtual pets were all the rage, and of all virtual pets, Creatures were the most rewarding and the most demanding. The artificial life sim series was the foamy crest of a wave that started with the Commodore 64’s Little Computer People in 1985 and leveled out around Nintendogs 20 years later.

Creatures is rarely mentioned anymore, but it hasn’t been forgotten. A couple of months ago, the Creatures Community Spirit Festival (CCSF) brought together fans, many still working on mods, sprites, backgrounds and levels. We spoke to them and explored the new lives they’re creating, and the continuing legacy of this extraordinary game.

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Have You Played… Creatures?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

As VR and its out-of-this-world experiences is to 2016, so to the 1990s were ridiculously overblown claims about toy-based artificial intelligence. We had Furbies chattering garbage at us from the windowsill, Tamagotchis starving to death inside schoolkids’ backpacks, Aibos tightening the thumbscrews on wealthy Japanese folks’ existential crises and we had Creatures games cluttering the dusty racks of supermarkets’ tiny games sections.
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Have You Played… Creatures?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I played Creatures for hours and hours, fully believing that the artificial life that drove its inhabitants would lead to some kind of revelation. Looking back, I think I was supposed to be solving rudimentary puzzles to move the irritatingly cutesy Norns from one screen to the next.

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Not CreaVures: Creatures IV

Is Nightmare Creatures coming back too?

Ah, how I remember artificial life sim Creatures. How I remember being enthusiastically told THIS IS LIFE only to discover something sickeningly cute that I was too lazy and impatient to successfully poke any emergent behaviours from. After a few decades spent lost in endless spin-offs (some of which still dustily lurk on the lower shelves of my local budget supermarket, somehow), the series is due for a full-on reboot. Creatures IV gets a new team, a new publisher and a new-but-old approach.
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