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Intriguing and compelling artifiicial life sim
The Creatures series is one of the earliest examples of the artificial life-style of game, like a more advanced Tamagotchi, The Sims or Little Computer People, and which is known for its combination of complex AI and if enjoyable, if occasionally frustrating, alien-raising antics. As usual with the series, Exodus requires players to bring up little creatures known as Norns by feeding them, teaching them and generally guiding them through life, with the aim of creating the ultimate population. Every aspect of their lives is under your control, although the Norns themselves act independently and respond in unpredictable ways to your commands, with rewards and punishments available for when they do or don't do what you want them to. One of the most interesting elements of the game is that of language, with your Norns capable of learning to understand your written commands and which can also tell you how they feel, so that you might better meet their needs. There are no plots or mission objectives here, so if you are the type of player who needs tightly controlled gameplay, then this is not for you. However, for anyone who likes experimental games, this is an intriguing experience. The game is set aboard a vast Ark, so there is a lot of exploration to done here with your growing army of Norns, and which feels like a genuine ecosystem as you progress, repelling invaders and discovering all sorts of gadgets and new facets of life as you go. There is quite a steep learning curve with Creatures, as there are vast amounts interactive tools and devices to discover and it does take time to figure out how to use them well. You also need patience to bring up your Creatures properly so this is not one for those with a short attention span either. If you are prepared to take the time though, this is a thoroughly rewarding and compelling slice of alternative gaming.