Creatures (1996 video game)

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Creatures 1996 Windows Cover Art.jpg
Windows cover art
Developer(s)Creature Labs
Designer(s)Toby Simpson
SeriesCreatures Edit this on Wikidata
Platform(s)Windows, Macintosh, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance
ReleaseNovember 1996
Genre(s)Artificial life

Creatures is a video game developed by British studio Creature Labs and published by Mindscape for Windows, and was ported to Macintosh, PlayStation, and Game Boy Advance. It is the first game in the Creatures series.


Creatures is a game which allows the player to hatch and then raise anthropomorphic beings.[1]

Creatures is an artificial life simulation where the user "hatches" small furry animals and teaches them how to behave. These "Norns" can talk, feed themselves, and protect themselves against vicious creatures. It was the first popular application of machine learning in an interactive simulation. Neural networks are used by the creatures to learn what to do. The game is regarded as a breakthrough in artificial life research, which aims to model the behavior of creatures interacting with their environment.[2]

According to Millenium, every copy of Creatures contains a unique starting set of eggs, whose genomes are not replicated on any other copy of the game.[3] An expansion pack, called "Life Kit #1" was released for purchase later.[4]


Review scores
Next Generation5/5 stars (Windows)[1]
Game.EXE99% (Windows)[5]
Computer Gaming World4/5 stars (Windows)[6]
PC Player4/5 stars (Windows)[7]
Jeuxvideo.com14/20 (GBA)[8]

Next Generation reviewed the PC version of the game, rating it five stars out of five, and stated that "Some will doubtless find the appeal elusive, but Creatures still offers one of the most obsessive and entertaining experiences anyone can have in front of the computer."[1]

Creatures sold 100,000 copies by November 1997. At the time, John Moore of Mindscape explained that the company "expect[s] to sell more than 200,000 Creatures by the end of the year."[9] Global sales of the game neared 400,000 units by February 1998.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "Finals - The power of life: Creatures". Next Generation. No. 35. Imagine Media. November 1997. p. 206. ISSN 1078-9693.
  2. ^ Alex J. Champandard. "Top 10 Most Influential AI Games". AIGameDev. Archived from the original on July 6, 2009.
  3. ^ "Artificial Life - Evolving - Millenium Interactive". Next Generation. No. 23. Imagine Media. November 1996. pp. 56–58. ISSN 1078-9693.
  4. ^ Smith, Peter (1998-01-31). "Creatures Life Kit #1 Review". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on 2003-07-05. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
  5. ^ Давыдов, Петр (March 1997). "Пособие по Разведению Норнов" [Norn Breeding Guide]. Game.EXE (in Russian). No. 3. Компьютерра. pp. 30–33. ISSN 1819-2734.
  6. ^ Jepsen, Dawn (November 1997). "It's Alive". Computer Gaming World. No. 160. Ziff Davis. pp. 314–315. ISSN 0744-6667.
  7. ^ Folkers, Alex (February 1997). "Test: Creatures - Virtuelle Viechereien" [Test: Creatures - Virtual Little Creatures]. PC Player (in German). DMV-Verlag. p. 136.
  8. ^ Romendil (January 10, 2002). "Test: Creatures". (in French). Gameloft.
  9. ^ Anderson, Jill (November 3, 1997). "Mindscape Sells 100,000 Creatures". GameSpot. ZDNet. Archived from the original on May 20, 2000. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  10. ^ Jebens, Harley (February 11, 1998). "Creatures Multiply". GameSpot. ZDNet. Archived from the original on April 18, 2000.