C64 Game Wishlist: Creatures III

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By Kodiak

Without the slightest hint of doubt, Creatures by Apex (published by Thalamus in 1990) was one of the finest developments in Commodore 64 gaming history.


Although widely perceived as a platform game, Creatures was technically a hybrid platformer-shooter or a variation on the so-called "run-n'-gun" style of games, set in a compelling environment built around a cartoonish graphical theme with a distinctive and consistent style that made it look much superior to most other late era C64 games.

I would, of course, elaborate on what makes Creatures a classic, but that's the subject for another "What Makes This Game Great" post, so I'll table that idea for now and focus instead on what form a Creatures 3 on the Commodore 64 would take.

First of all, however, I would like to comment on Creatures 2 and state the 2 big reasons why I personally think it was not a worthy successor to the original game.

  • While it was visually stunning and deserved an Oscar for its musical score, Creatures 2 lacked the single most important ingredient - in my view at least - that made its predecessor so compelling: an explorable scrolling environment.
  • Its interludes were not particularly fun and (again, for me) quickly became something to be endured rather than enjoyed.

So, somewhat disappointed by Creatures 2, I would like to see a better sequel to the first game... a Creatures 3, which for me would feature the following:

  • Fundamentally, more scrolling based exploration, but this time with the possibility of occasional back-tracking and the ability to explore a little above and below the default screen zone, thus requiring some vertical scrolling as well; I'm not proposing a Sam's Journey redux, just some degree of expanded play area in the vertical axis.
  • Momentum and possible "shifting camera" perspective on the scrolling, of the variety seen in the aforementioned Sam's Journey.
  • The weather effects of Creatures 2 (i.e. the lovely snowfall effect) worked into the scrolling landscape, plus a similar rain effect.
  • Creatures 2
  • An expanded suite of weaponry, including all or most of the original, but with some novel weapons as well.
  • More extensive use of hi-res / ECM graphics to make everything less blocky and more "next gen", but without losing the charm and essential vibe of the original design motif.
  • Liberal use of non-standard colours - see my Luma-Driven Graphics article for more.
  • Aircraft and vehicles that Clyde can commandeer to travel faster in certain regions of the new game world.
  • A Steve Rowlands sound track... okay, given it would presumably be impossible to persuade him to provide that, and close to impossible (one surmises) to replicate his style, something on a par by an elite scene musician; for me, this would pose the greatest development challenge in creating a Creatures 3.

A Creatures 3 would, of course, pose a monumental coding and design challenge for anyone taking the project on, plus it would likely require the approval of the Rowlands brothers or whoever else holds any rights to the original games, so its chances of ever coming to fruition might be slim.

That said, it's nice to dream of a further Creatures chapter for the venerable Commodore 64!

Similar posts:

What Makes This Game Great: Mayhem in Monsterland

Game Wishlist: Uridium II / Next


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