Title

Impossible Creatures

Not since “Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties”has a game inspired such diabolic cackling in the PCF offices. But in a good way.

Web

System Requirements:

Body 550 words

Microsoft normally find themselves stereotyped as monsters by the online community, for twisting every little thing to their ultimate profit. It’s nice to see someone in the game publishing department has a sense of humour then, because in Impossible Creatures it’s your job to build similarly twisted monsters for the benefit of mankind. Aw…

Seemingly inspired by The Island of Doctor Moreau and other classic 19th century sci-fi,

fIt’s been developed by the same team who brought us the groun-breaking strategy Homeworld

There are two parts to this mammoth-whale cross of a demo: a campaign mode in which you take the part of Rex Chance, war-correspondant, searching for his long-lost scientist father on a group of mysterious islands near the Galapagos owned by the wealthy industrialist Upton Julius: and a skirmish mode where you can take either the part of Rex, or of “Whitey Hoosen”, the notorious whaler, and henchman of Julius

Whichever you take on, you’ll have to understand the basics of Creature Combination.

Sorry, something of a Dr Evil moment there.

Left Box

Box-out – A Design For Life

Just four of the myriad monsters you might consider for your mutant masses.

The Rambo

Taking a Ram’s head and back legs, and a Grizzly Bear’s claws and body gives you a fast attack bruiser, who can dish it out, but who cant take it.

The Jeffrey

Spitting on the plebs from on high, the Jeffrey is formed from combining the Archerfish’s head with the rest of the Snowy Owl. Fly, my beauties!

The Bomb

Mix a Lemming and a Porcupine, and you get a creature that can tunnel right into the middle of pack of enemy mutants and let rip with a devastating Quill Burst.

The Loner

Stick a Skunk together with a Wolverine, and you get the most bad-tempered, worst smelling critter this side of that side.

Big Picture

Pyle it on!

Quickly throw up some pylons, so your monsters can live!

Build a better beast

Your creature Chamber – Design some beasts, queue up production and let ‘er rip – well them rip. and rend, I guess.

Currently selected creature(s)

Sample Captions

001 For some reason we’re not allowed to mention Richard Gere’s name with relation to this ferret.

002

Title

Need for Speed 2 – Hot Pursuit

A bit like Trivial Pursuit but played in a sauna

Just a wee snippett of an enormous game here. Alright, you don’t get to kill anybody in this one, and your car doesn’t dent when it hits a tree but with every race won and cop shook off you get points. And what do points mean? Well, in this case they mean lots more cars and tracks, making this sort of the technical heir to Carmeggedon.

Title

Earth 2150 – Lost Souls

Apparently cod stocks are low too!

Web

System Requirements:

Windows 95 / 98 / Me / 2000 / XP

Pentium 266 or better (Pentium III 500 recommend)

64 MB RAM (128 MB RAM recommend)

The original Earth 2150 was a suprisngly good independent production from the previously unknown xxx, an eastern european outfit way back in ****. The engine may have lost its polish (no pun intended), but the gameplay is still surprisingly good.

This demo version allows you to play as any race in skirmish mode, where you fight over the ruined new york, or the risen aegean sea

Title 1/2

Knight Rider

Horses turn the tables in this jousting game… who’re we trying to kid?

Mmm, mmm. Another production from the man who’s only polite appellation is auteur – David Hasselhof. Way before Baywatch and his career as a german pop-star took off, he was playing spare tyre to the first non-human star of the 1980s, KITT, the super-car. KITT has kindly agreed to resurrect Michael Knight’s career one last time for this car-chase game.

In this Demo you find yourself chasing a man called Garth. Normally KITT would of course trundle over him like he wasn’t there, but Garth has managed to get his hands on a helicopter, clever man. With Michael Knight’s encouraging whimpers ringing in your ears, try and keep up with, or even outpace Garth.

Arrow keys – Accelerate / decelerate and steer left / right

Left Control – Brake

Spacebar – Turbo boost

A – Night vision toggle

Z – Ski mode left

X – Ski mode right

E – Select different camera

Enter – Respawn (use whenever Kitt is upside down)

Esc – Pause (brings up game menu)

Title

WarCraft III

A gaming stalwart this one. Having narrowly avoided a lawsuit from Games Workshop with its first production WarCraft – Orcs and Humans, the boys at Blizzard have built up what amounts to a games dynasty. Old Grandpa ‘Orcs and Humans’ and Mum ‘Tides of Darkness’ are now firmly ensconced in the John Romero Home for Faded Games, so young Reign of Chaos has had to sell himself extensively to support them in the manner to which they’ve become accustomed. The young whippersnapper has suceeded in doing so quite marvellously, becoming the quickest selling PC game ever released.

Interestingly, because of the 4.5 million advance orders, the developers Blizzard focussed on producing the game rather than promoting it any further. So what you see before you is the first demo they’ve released, in pristine form, to convert those heretics who’ve not yet bought their meistework. (Or at least that’s what the press release says. Reading between the lines.) It features the entire prologue to the game, following in the cloven footsteps of Thrall, an Orc Far Seer, as he leads the Orcish horde across the oceans to the new land of Kalimnor.

The first level is a simple tutorial to show you how to move our units

Box-Out

Back to Basics

1. Before you even start recruiting your horde, you’ll need a few

Who’d’ve thunk it? It’s not only hobbits who like living in holes – if you want to expand your horde you’ll have to dig out some pits for them to retire to after a long day.

Body

Title

Lord of the Rings – Fellowship of the Ring

[presumably unusable strap joke follows]

[What’s the difference between being the evil lord of Mordor and having piles? When piles clear up, you get your ring back…]

600 MHz Processor

Windows 98/2000/Me/XP

128 MB RAM

There are three distinct areas in this demo. The book of Lord of the Rings gave Bilbo and Frodo’s home, Bag End, the feeling of a mythic country inn, with great hanging hams and more kitchen than house, something the movie only suggested. So for all the Bilbophiles who are out there, the first level of the demo has you controlling Frodo himself as he runs around the lushly detailed interior of the old hobbit hole, before emerging into a positively kiwi Hobbiton.

The second of our levels is Weathertop, the ancient abandoned fortress where the Fellowship first meets the Nazgul. Here your avatar is the more combative Aragorn. Now you might not remember it from the book or movie (mainly because it’s not in either) but this area is infested with wolfish Wargs (vaguely reminiscent of one of Impossible Creature’s duller creations), wandering orcs, and a special suprise for you when you reach the top. (And no, it’s not Gandalf in suspenders.)

Speak of the devil, (that’s Gandalf not the balrog) because the final demo level sees you as the most wonderful wiz there was, accompanied by the gruff tough dwarf Gimli in the truly fear-inspiring halls of Moria. Kill a few more Orcs using Gandalf’s wide selection of spells and prepare yourself for the bridge scene…

Controls

W, A, S, D – Movement

Shift – Sneak

Control – Block

Space – Jump/Kick

E – Use

R – Put on the One Ring

I – Inventory

1 to 5 – Select Gandalf’s spells

This is only a taster level, so it’s not very large, but if you want to stretch it out why not try helping Ted Sandyman find his mill-pin?

If you can catch this irritating mini-hobo, he has some information that could be helpful. It’s just the catching that’s tricky.

It appears that old Hal has a problem too with his weathervane

And as a clue, it moves when the wind blows.’

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GriddleOctopus

There are few harder things in life than introducing yourself, especially in print where mellifluous nuance can turn to indulgent wankery. So. I am definitely a 'writer'. You could also call me an 'artist'. I could probably put the words 'designer' and 'consultant' here too, but they feel crass.

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