Creatures Online Examined: Part Two

A Look at the Basic Stats of a Creatures Online NornMake sure to view Part One to find the actual Creatures Online video! This is the second part in a series of posts about the various features shown in the recent gameplay video. Jumping right in, the Owner’s Kit in Creatures Online appears to include the basic information that any player would find useful. It is nice to see that a pregnancy will be listed with this information, but that could mean that a Breeder’s Kit has been completely removed from the game. The section about the Creature’s Genes ties in with the collectible nature of Norns that I’ll showcase in another post. One interesting addition is that the original owner is shown on this screen. Although not completely confirmed yet, this seems to indicate that Norns can be shared between players. The only drawback is that a Norn’s name looks to be locked in… Better hope that no one uses terrible naming conventions!

Taking a Look at the Areas of SphericusThe World Monitor shows that there are four areas within Creatures Online. These seem to be similar to the metarooms that many Creatures players are used to, with the addition of population limits. This is another aspect that would make a wolfling run impossible. Sometimes I start with at least six Norns just to see which genes get passed down and whatnot. One benefit to this overview is being able to see which Norns are in each area. Not too bad!

The Notification System in Creatures OnlineA notification system is shown in the gameplay video. One of its main features appears to be a way to alert a player about a Norn in trouble. In this case, a Norn was starving. This actually happened quite a lot, making one question just how independent these Norns could be, or whether food was too scarce.

Violent Punishment in Creatures OnlineI nearly turned off the video and completely wrote off Creatures Online at this point. Why? All Creatures players know about the punishment system: You either type “no” or spank a Norn for not behaving. I’ve never been a fan of the spanking, but one spank usually gets across a point! Punishment in this game isn’t a gentle spank… It’s a violent slap across the face. The hand literally wound up to smack this starving Norn (from the above notification) right across the face. The previous Creatures games did feature violence, including fatal wounds from Grendels and too much punishment. Yet the simple use of one spank or slap was understood to be an acceptable form of teaching. I can’t even fathom smacking a Norn across the face in this manner. I’m not someone who’s offended by violence, either, and this made me gasp out loud. This seems inappropriate for older players, and I don’t understand how this will appeal to parents looking for a game for younger players.

Traveling Down a Ladder in Creatures OnlineCreatures Online did away with the lifts from the previous Creatures games, which seemed like a great idea. No more “eat elevator” syndrome! The replacement is a ladder system that Norns can climb up or down on. Only this Norn started climbing and kept climbing… And climbing… And climbing. Maybe he was just being very careful? It took him something like a full minute of real time to make it to the bottom of this one! When your life span is only a matter of hours, that amount of time could be a killer! And one wonders what might happen if a Norn passes away while climbing on a ladder… Hopefully gravity is kind to the fallen ones in Creatures Online!

Working Towards Goals and Social SharingWe also got a glimpse of the Achievements screen in Creatures Online. As expected, it includes sharing buttons for Facebook and Twitter. Hopefully there is no requirement to link these up when using the game. To be honest, having achievements is a neat idea for this type of game. There are all sorts of goals to work towards, although many seem like they could take awhile. Playing with 250 toys could certainly take up a lot of time! The rewards add another uncomfortable reminder about all of the currencies within the game, though.

A third part of this examination of Creatures Online will be out again soon! Feel free to comment with any agreements or disagreements: I’m always happy to discuss anything related to this game! No release date yet, though.

Images Credited to Fishing Cactus

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