Sunday, August 28, 2016

Creatures

Somewhere in the far reaches of the universe is a remote planet called Blot. Much like Eden, this is a wonderful place where everything is perfect and everyone is happy with their life. Its inhabitants and a little simple but very friendly, the Blotians.

However, for some peculiar reason, the Blotians have become a little bored with this paradise and desired to be cooler and thus came up with the daft notion of a brand new identity - on a different planet. They're now called Fuzzy Wuzzies! But what these sad creatures didn't realise was that evil demons already lived on this new planet and they are a very bad-tempered bunch! Needless to say, they should have been happy where they were because everyone has now been captured and awaits 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!

Clyde is the cutest little thing and the game employs this theme throughout for all of its critters, be they good or bad. He is equipped with a rapid firing weapon, which is handy because many of the baddies can take numerous hits before they die. Power-ups are available, I love the 'wriggler' effect the most and there are much more 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. End of level puzzles are particularly cruel (and very funny) with a harsh time limit to beat before a fellow Fuzzy Wuzzy meets their bloody death at the hands of a sadistic demon!

I love the aesthetics of Creatures. The artwork is stunning with beautiful colours and superb attention to detail. Everything looks amazing but is spoiled by rubbish push scrolling. Sure, this method works for other games but not Creatures that desperately cries out for proper scrolling! Audio is excellent and I believe all sound effects will use the DMA hardware on the Atari STe, what a shame they didn't go the extra mile and use the h/w scrolling or Blitter...

I was never a huge Thalamus fan and when Creatures was released in 1993 it left me feeling like it was a cheap Amiga port. Sadly, I still feel that way with regards to the lame scrolling but there is also a pretty good game lurking. Gameplay is well balanced and is always fun with a great sense of humour but there are better platformers...

LINKS

 - I made two video recordings for y'all to enjoy ( one ) ( two ) :^)
 - This screenshot sums up the artistic nature of Creatures - I love those ghosts!
 - Hard Drive games are available from 8BitChip and D-Bug and Old Games Finder has the floppy disks.