Sunday, August 28, 2016

Creatures



Cute & Cuddly Gaming?

Somewhere in the far reaches of the universe is a planet called Blot. Much like early Eden, this is a wonderful place; everything is perfect and everyone is happy. The inhabitants are little creatures called the Blotians. However, for some peculiar reason, these guys got bored with their paradise and wanted something better so came up with the daft notion of a brand new identity - on a different planet. They're now called Fuzzy Wuzzies!!

Creatures was released in 1992 by Thalamus and programmed by Philip Watts of WJS Design. Yes, he of Leander and Ork, two decent scrolling games you should check out.

What these sad creatures didn't realise was that evil demons already lived on this new planet. And are a very bad-tempered bunch too! Needless to say, they should have been happy where they were because everyone has been captured and await a cruel and bloody fate. You are Clyde Radcliffe, your breath stinks terrible but it is your job to rescue all of your simple-minded friends from these vicious fiends! So good luck - you'll need it.




Actually, this is quite sadistic!

Clyde is the cutest thing and equipped with a rapid-firing weapon, which is handy because many of the baddies annoyingly take numerous. Power-ups are available, I love the 'wriggler' effect the most but there are many others to choose from. However, your superpower is the funniest weapon of all, press and hold the fire button to breathe bad breath over anything that gets too close. A bad-breathed hero must surely be a first?

A good tip for Creatures is to not rush it. The enemies can take more than a few hits which is a little weird and can often feel a little OTT. Try to kill what's already on the screen before moving on and being overrun by evil cute critters. Okay, that's a simple and obvious tip, but there ya' go. Take it or leave it!

Controlling Clyde is a cinch thanks to great joystick controls and fantastic level designs which are fun to navigate. The monsters come in all sorts and always manage to bring a smile to this ugly mug of mine thanks to great attention to detail and cruel personalities. End-of-level scenes are particularly cruel (but funny) but employ a harsh time limit before a fellow Fuzzy Wuzzy meets their bloody death at the hands of a sadistic demon!




Sexy Pixels & Smooth Audio?

I love the lush aesthetics with beautiful colours and stunning artwork - the attention to detail is amazing. However, everything might look nice, but is spoiled by rubbish push-scrolling! Sure, that method works fine for games like Rick Dangerous, but not here. It's almost like this game was developed backwards? Real scrolling should have been coded first, and then the appropriate aesthetics added afterwards. Priorities...

The audio is excellent with a cool theme tune that has you bobbing away to its funky beats. I love it. Also, the sound effects are making use of the DMA hardware - if you're lucky enough to own an Atari STe? They sound ace!!!




The CryptO'pinion?

Creatures is very enjoyable with well-balanced gameplay and a fantastic (and sadistic) sense of humour. However, it was originally designed as a scrolling platformer and a scrolling platformer needs to SCROLL. So, it sadly falls short of the mark as it's hampered by what appears a rushed port. Maybe I'm too fussy? Tell me!

Don't get me wrong, Creatures is worth downloading because it is a good game with a superb theme, humour, controls and audio. However, it's a massive shame they didn't make full use of the Atari STe or even push the STfm as there are far better platformers available for our computer which you can read all about here.

Help Clyde now and grab this on floppy & hard drive.

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