Impossible Creatures is a 2003 steampunk real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Microsoft Game Studios. Its unique feature is that the armies used in gameplay are all created by the player, and involve combining two animals to make a new super creature with various abilities. The concept was inspired by H. G. Wells' novel The Island of Doctor Moreau. The player-created armies are capped at 9 creatures; each one is a combination of any two animals from a list of 76 (51 with no downloads). Many animals possess inherent abilities to add more strategic depth to the game. There is an extensive single-player campaign as well as online multiplayer functionality with different game modes, add-ons, custom maps, mods, and scenarios.
Impossible Creatures was followed up later by a free downloadable expansion entitled Insect Invasion which added new creatures and abilities to the game. The last official add-on for Impossible Creatures was released in 2004.
Julius is confronted and defeated at the end of the game. The reasoning behind Rex's latent abilities is at last revealed: he is the accidental first product of the Sigma technology, a human combined with thousands of animal traits. As the game closes, Rex is shown with his pupils missing, a trait common among Sigma-created creatures.
On a small chain of South Pacific islands in post-depression 1937, a great scientist toils over his discovery: technology 30 years in the making known only as Sigma Technology. Dr. Erik Chanikov has discovered a method to combine two normal animals into completely new creatures which have the strengths of both and the weaknesses of neither. However, Dr. Chanikov does not yet realize that the very people who claim to be his allies will instead attempt to circumvent his work. You are Rex Chance, freelance war correspondent and down-on-his-luck adventurer. You must help Dr. Chanikov's brilliant assistant, Dr. Lucy Willing, protect the doctor and his groundbreaking discovery from the evil clutches of Upton Julius and his motley crew of enforcers.
","thumbnailUrl":" -46c2-4943-b7be-e95c31441a01/imgingest-187598892924933042.png?auto=webp&fit=crop&height=675&width=1200"},"name":"Impossible Creatures demo","applicationCategory":"Games","applicationSubCategory":"Strategy Games","image":null,"description":"On a small chain of South Pacific islands in post-depression 1937, a great scientist toils over his discovery: technology 30 years in the making known only as Sigma Technology. Dr. Erik Chanikov has discovered a method to combine two normal animals into completely new creatures which have the strengths of both and the weaknesses of neither. However, Dr. Chanikov does not yet realize that the very people who claim to be his allies will instead attempt to circumvent his work. You are Rex Chance, freelance war correspondent and down-on-his-luck adventurer. You must help Dr. Chanikov's brilliant assistant, Dr. Lucy Willing, protect the doctor and his groundbreaking discovery from the evil clutches of Upton Julius and his motley crew of enforcers.
Age of Empires is the critically acclaimed, award winning Real Time Strategy (RTS) game with a legacy spanning more than 20 years and nearly a dozen titles in the franchise. Known for its strategic gameplay founded on historical civilizations, the series spans a period of time from the Stone Age to early modern time, and even includes an episode exploring the legendary creatures and lore from mythology.
The launch of Company of Heroes Online represents our first foray into Massive Multiplayer Online Real-Time Strategy (MMORTS) gaming. Initially designed for the Asian market in 2008, Company of Heroes Online was one of the first free-to-play games deployed in the Western market. Based on our highly-rated WWII franchise, the game reimagined the Company of Heroes experience with the command tree which provided an RPG style progression.
Any game with such careful attention to its visual design could easily be let down by a sub-standard engine, but that's certainly not the case here. Impossible Creatures' visuals remind us a lot of WarCraft III, albeit with a fair bit more detail on many of the units and significantly more camera control (you can zoom out to a sensible level, or zoom right in to peer at your creatures close up, as well as all the usual panning and rotating controls). Comparisons with the recently released C&C Generals are inevitable but a bit unfair, as the games are trying to do radically different things with their graphics; however, Impossible Creatures doesn't ever feel like the inferior game in graphical terms, even though it doesn't have C&C's stunning explosions and whatnot.
Much of this is, again, down to the amount of effort which has gone into the presentation of the game. Every creature, every character, every building and every animation in the game has been crafted beautifully; even the animations where your workmen build new structures are fun to watch. The excellent graphics engine is only the picture frame to hold the remarkable work that's been done by the designers and artists who worked on Impossible Creatures, and once again we were struck by how utterly different the game is to almost every other RTS we've ever seen.
The central plot of the game - which is amusing in a Saturday morning cartoon sort of way - revolves around our hero, Rex Chance, heading out to a remote chain of islands to search for his long lost father, a brilliant scientist. As it transpires, he's worked out how to combine the genetic information of animals to create ferocious fighting creatures, and lo and behold, a nasty man (the truly hamming-it-up Upton Julius) has captured him and is using the technology for his undoubtedly evil purposes. Guess what? You now have to breed creatures of your own, battle the evil forces, and rescue your Dad. More corn than an Odeon giant bucket, but it serves its purpose and the script is generally amusing and well-written, not to mention well acted.
The gameplay, then. This revolves around three elements; collecting genetic samples of wild animals, combining those samples to create deadly cross-breeds, and then battling it out RTS-style with these cross-breeds. Unfortunately, this is where Impossible Creatures starts to fall down a bit. Collecting the samples, in effect, involves sending Rex out with his gun to shoot animals with collecting darts at the start of each mission, although sometimes you may have to wait until you can build a few creatures to clear bad guys out of areas with valuable animal species in them first.
This, then, is the fundamental problem with Impossible Creatures; as amusing as the concept itself is, the ability to create your own creatures doesn't actually change the gameplay much from that of a standard RTS game. You effectively end up making up your own versions of standard units from other games, and sticking with those - so there are animal close combat melee units, animal fast scout units, animal ranged attack units, animal naval units, animal air units... After a few hours, suddenly you discover that you're playing Command & Conquer with furry tanks and planes, and not a shockingly good version of Command & Conquer at that, when pure gameplay is taken into consideration.
In fact, the gameplay is almost entirely and unashamedly "tank rush" based; there aren't a lot of very clever strategies to be employed here, because despite the apparently vast range of creatures you could create, there aren't really all that many worth creating. A few have attacks which provide useful status effects, such as the skunk which can cause a stink that hampers enemy movement and attack speed; but in reality, you'll find yourself relying on units with lots of hit points and powerful attacks rather than anything even remotely subtle.
That said, it's not all bad, and multi-player games in particular can be quite good fun - but this is strictly lightweight stuff, with even large games generally ending in under an hour. The single-player is also a very engrossing experience even after you realise that the creatures aspect is something of a gimmick, simply because it's an amazingly well-presented and designed single-player game which has a beautifully tuned difficulty curve and plenty of incentive to keep on playing.
Do we like Impossible Creatures? Somewhat grudgingly, we'd have to say yes. While acknowledging that the gameplay of the title isn't going to be remotely interesting to hardcore strategy fans, the fact is that the game is extremely charming and (dare we say it again) beautifully presented, and will have massive appeal to more casual PC gamers who feel a bit left out in the cold by very hardcore RTS titles, or who want a fun game that won't tax their machine massively.
Much of the game is based around strategising, making the best use of limited resource allowances. Would it be beneficial this turn to research hunting and utilise nearby (and tasty) wildlife? Or would the smart move be getting the technology to forge huge swords, subsequently enabling you to gleefully conquer rival cities?
IAPs: The full game unlock IAP costs £4.99/$4.99. This removes the ads, enables you to peruse statistics, and provides access to Search, Zen, ExPuzzle, Double Puzzle, Bubble Puzzle, and Blitz modes. 2b1af7f3a8