One of the most innovative software programs ever made, Creatures 2 Deluxe Edition is an excellent artificial life simulation that, in my humble opinion, deserves much more praise than Will Wright's very fun but much more simplistic The Sims.
Perhaps the best way to describe C2D is to say it is a more sophisticated version of the Tamagotchi or, for the old-timers among us, Activision's classic Little Computer People. C2D lets you create a community of "Norns", cute Gremlin-like creatures who are hatched in a special incubator. While more of a software toy than a game, your ultimate goal in C2D is to create a species that can survive without beating each other or starve to death.
Fans of Little Computer People may expect C2D to be little more than a modern facelift of that classic, but C2D is actually a vastly superior product. The individual Norns you create don't simply interact with the world (and you) oblivious to each other's presence: they interact with each other in fascinating, and often startling, ways. Smart Norns who are generous will teach other Norns the skills and knowledge they have learned from experience. If, for instance, you teach a Norn the words "drop" and "apple" and associate meanings with the words, that Norn may potentially teach other Norns. And before you know it, a dozen Norns have dropped their apples! The world of Norns is an alien-yet-familiar and self-contained ecosystem, filled with numerous gadgets you can use to try to influence the Norns' behavior.
This deluxe version of Creatures 2 includes include a larger world, an expanded vocabulary with over 120 expressions, and a very cool Life Kit that lets you create Norns from assembling DNA. You can also set up a scavenger hunt for the Norns, and click on them to see what they are thinking or seeing. Dozens of parameters and infinite possible outcomes make Creatures 2 Deluxe one of the most unique and revolutionary programs ever made. Highly recommended to kids in your family and anyone with even a slight interest in artificial intelligence.
Note: If you love the game, be sure to also check out the latest version of the program, Creatures Gold, which allows Internet play and sharing of Norn DNA files. This product is still in stock at many on-line retailers, even if the program's creator Cyberlife Technology is now sadly defunct.
Note 2: GameWare Europe has purchased Creature Labs and is going to be re-releasing this wonderful series. In light of this fact, I have removed the download - look for the good news at the publisher's site sometime in the future :)Reviewed by: Underdogs