Impossible Creatures

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Impossible Creatures on Steam

MSRP: $9.99

Platform: Windows

Release: 1/7/03

Steam rating: 97% positive


Before I start even talking about the game here, can I just say how utterly impressed I’ve been with THQNordic recently? They’ve acquired a lot of quality games & series over the last several years, and rather than just letting them languish, they rework and remaster and make readily available some really excellent games.  The version of Impossible Creatures available for purchase on both Steam and GOG.com have been fixed up to place nice with modern operating systems. For me, it was a no brainer to just rebuy the game, rather than continuing to tinker with decade old CD-ROMs.

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I can’t say that Impossible Creatures has held up all that well graphically, but I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s easy to play a dated-looking strategy game than it is to play one of pretty much any other genre. Once you get past the visual roughness (and truly, I didn’t find it was that bad), the game underneath is absolutely fantastic.

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I love that most of the resource-gathering and base building elements are somewhat simplified here so players can focus on the unique mechanic of creating their own creatures for battle by combining two more common creatures.  There are only two resources to worry about – coal and electricity – and one type of henchman to do all your gathering, building and repairing.

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The army builder will let you combine two animals to create a super-soldier type of creature – your finished creature will draw pieces from both base creatures as you indicate.  These choices determine what abilities your finished creature will have, and how powerful its attacks will be, as well as other stats like defense and speed. Early on in the single player campaign, you’ll have access to a very limited amount of creatures, opening up more and more options as you progress through the 15 scenarios.

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I haven’t gotten the chance to replay the campaign – I only just went through the tutorial, and then lost myself playing in the army builder – but I remember it being fiendishly difficult.  Since I’m not so great at RTS games overall, that probably means it’s a comfortable difficulty for most people.  The re-released on Steam reactivated the long shut-down multiplayer aspect of the game, and if you choose to play multiplayer, you have access to all available creatures right off the bat.  There’s a small but dedicated modding community (to up the number of useable creatures, you’ll want to check out Tellurian.

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This game is absolutely still worth the $10 asking price.  It’s currently on sale for 75%, and for $2.49, if you’ve ever enjoyed an RTS and you don’t have a copy of this, I can promise you, you’ll get your money’s worth out of the Army Builder even if you never actually play the game. I mean, look. I made a coyote porcupine that looks like a damn wolf-corgi. How cool is that?

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