The original Creatures was a gaming and scientific phenomenon of which the author Douglas Adams famously said, "I first saw this program in the same week that evidence was discovered of life on Mars. This is more exciting."
The game in brief
The user is presented with a large, living landscape - the surface of another world (called Albia). He exists in this world only as a virtual presence, a sort of remote-control existence, which the computer portrays as a hand-shaped mouse cursor. In this world are a range of locations and strange creatures, related loosely (and with considerable poetic licence) to Northern myth. The user begins near to the long-abandoned home of a family of Norns (Small Furry Creatures), where a few eggs, languishing in a broken-down incubator, are almost all that remains of the Nornir race.
By restoring power to the incubator, the user can hatch these eggs and interact with the newborn Norns. The home burrow contains a few other rooms, including a schoolroom, where the user can attempt to teach the Norns a language and other basic ideas. Other evidence round about will help the user to learn something of the ancient Nornir culture.
There are limited food resources available in the burrow, and soon the Norns will be obliged to move on. Had the babies parents to tell them about it, they would know that a great journey is a requirement of all Norns: a spiritual quest that is necessary to ensure the renewal of life and the success of the next generation. If their quest is not achieved, then these few creatures will have been the last of the Nornir.
Added by Jeanne (75663) on Sep 27, 2004
Press Release (Windows)
Creatures Sells 100,000 Copies in Less Than 100 Days
Virtual Life Sim from Mindscape Continues to Fly off the Shelves
Novato, CA, November 3, 1997 -- Mindscape Inc., a leading software developer and publisher, today announced that in the U.S. market it has already sold more than 100,000 copies of Creatures, a virtual life simulation that shipped in late July and continues to grow in popularity as the Christmas buying season approaches.
Creatures (which is available for both Macintosh and PC computers) introduces an entire world of Norns with lives and personalities of their own. Norns hatch from eggs, live and breed inside the computer, and have the ability to learn and act independently as they grow and explore their virtual world.
"People of all ages and both sexes are absolutely enamored of their Norns," said Mindscape CEO John Moore. "They love to talk about them and e-mail them to their friends, which has made Creatures an incredible success story. This word of mouth, especially on the Internet, has helped Creatures reach a level of consumer awareness that is very rare for a computer game. We expect to sell more than 200,000 Creatures by the end of the year."
A Creatures strategy guide written by the game's developers, UK-based Cyberlife Technology Ltd., has just been released. Sybex publishes the 180-page guide, which retails for $20 at most major software resellers and bookstores. The CD-ROM is also now available at Toys R Us, Comp USA, Electronic Boutique, Price-Costco and Babbages.
In November Mindscape intends to release an accessory product called the Creatures Life Kit #1. The kit will feature six new Norns and will be available wherever Creatures is sold.
Creatures has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, and NBC News and has received several industry awards praising its innovative application of artificial life to an entertainment product. Windows Sources magazine named it a "Stellar Award" title, and popular software reviewer Ron White of PC Computing magazine gave it his top (5-CD) rating. The San Francisco Bay Guardian recently named Creatures the "Best Creative Effort in a Computer Game for 1997." Word-of-mouth and strong reviews have also been largely responsible for making Creatures a best-seller in Europe and Australia, where it shipped in December 1996. Since then loyal users have posted more than 150 independent Creatures Web sites worldwide, including several Norn photo albums and even a few on-line "stud services" for breeding strong and long-living Norns.
- Parent your Norns by teaching them to eat, speak and interact with you and
- Encourage your Norns to breed and nurture their offspring
- Empower your Norns to cope with dangerous life forms and life-threatening
- Play with your Norns as they explore their virtual world and learn to use
their cyber resources
- Watch your Norns display real emotions and feelings from hunger, pain,
even sexual attraction
- Share your Norns with other proud parents worldwide through e-mail and the Internet
The Virtual Pet Craze
Creatures entered the booming virtual pet market on the heels of the wildly popular Tamagotchi pocket key chain. The Tamagotchi originated in Japan and was released last spring in the United States amid a flurry of media attention and consumer demand.
In addition to publishing Creatures, Mindscape has embraced a corporate strategy to be the leading distributor of virtual life software. In June 1997 the company signed an agreement with PF.Magic to distribute PF.Magic's popular Dogz and Catz virtual pets titles in the United States. Dogz was the world's first virtual pet when it hit stores in 1995 and together with Catz has sold close to one million copies worldwide for the personal computer market. Mindscape will also distribute AQUAZONE, a virtual aquarium from Pulse Entertainment that will be released in North America this fall. AQUAZONE was originally published in Japan and is one of the best-selling PC products in Japanese history.
Creatures is available at all major computer software resellers in the United States and Canada. It comes on a CD-ROM disk that runs on Windows 95, Windows 3.1 and Macintosh. Customers interested in inquiring about Creatures or other Mindscape products may call the company at 800/234-3088 or 415/897-9900. Product information and technical support is also available over the Internet at www.mindscapegames.com.
# # #
Mindscape Inc. is a leading developer and publisher of consumer software for the home, entertainment, education and reference markets. Mindscape is headquartered in Novato, Calif., with offices in Canada, England, France, Germany, Japan and Australia. The company's subsidiaries include Strategic Simulations Inc. (SSI) of Sunnyvale, Calif. Founded in 1980, Mindscape is part of Pearson, plc, the London-based international media group that focuses on the information, education and entertainment markets.
Added by Jeanne (75663) on Apr 26, 2004
Back of the box
Prepare to unleash the world's first artificial life-science experiment...inside your computer! Harnessing cutting-edge CyberLife Technology and the real-world input of scientific disciplines from genetics to behavioural psychology, Creatures propels advanced computer simulation into breathtaking new dimensions.
Ready to begin? Than take control of the machinery of life itself, and create your very own on-screen bio-silicon entities. Creatures will display real "feelings," from hunger and pain, to frustration and sexual attraction. Marvel as your Creatures exhibit realistic, experience-based behaviours - breeding, evolving and waging a struggle for survival amid the world into which you've brought them.
But whether you choose an experimental psychological profile for your Creature, or string together a genetic code of your own design, you must keep one over-riding directive in mind: Their life is in your hands.
Added by Kic'N (4260) on Apr 07, 2001