Sunday, September 25, 2011

Video Game Review: Creeper World

Every real time strategy fan is familiar with the dream of an RTS game where you can "just build," either because they share the dream themselves or because they know someone who does. It's the player who builds turrets and power plants instead of infantry and tanks, the player who believes if you win a battle before you reach the highest tech tier available then you've failed. They're called turtles, and their goal in an RTS is not to defeat the enemy, but to create the perfect, self-sufficient base.

Sadly, there's not a lot of games available for turtles. Strategy games like Command & Conquer usually include base-busting superweapons that make turtling impractical, and tower defense games ramp up the difficulty so fast that before long even the most perfect base won't be able to hold off the enemy anymore.

Creeper World, which you can get for 10 dollars from indie developers KnuckleCracker, claims to finally give the turtles what they want: a strategy game where it's just you and your base against the creeper, a literal flood of destructive evil that can only be, at best, held at bay.

Does it live up to the claims? Not really. The creeper stops feeling like a threat after about the second level when you realize you can completely lock it down forever by putting a single blaster next to the spawn point. As for base building, the network system usually ends up creating a clunky mess, and the fact that there are only about 9 types of structures you can build ever means you won't have a lot to play around with.

Aside from the developers' obnoxious non-stop boasting (For example, the developers' real answer to the question, "What is Creeper World?" : "You ever play a game and then years later you talk about that game and how cool it was? [...] Well that's Creeper World.") there's nothing particularly wrong with this game, it's more that there's not anything particularly amazing about it either. I wouldn't spend 10 dollars on it myself, but I guess I can see how someone else might.

KR Rating: GOOD

No, what I really have a problem with is....the fans...

The fans rave about Creeper World!
The following are real comments posted about the level pack Creeper World: User Space.

william1647:
Best game ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Psilo707:
Best game I've ever played. Ever. 5/5

relaxrelax:
I bought starcraft because of the creep description, it was supposed to... well do what the creep does in THIS game! Slowly take over everything!!

Seeing comments like these is like hearing someone say that american is the best kind of cheese, or that they decided to try filet mignon because they heard it was similar to low grade hamburger meat soaked in ammonia. I'm not sure whether to call them stupid or just feel bad for them. Their taste in games is so primitive and backwards it still thinks the wheel is a fad.

Particleman:
That'ssss a very nice civilization you have there. It would be a ssshame if something happened to it.

Now that a lot of people have played Minecraft it's hard to hear the name "Creeper World" and not think of the green suicide bombers from MC. Apparently if your brain is made of cheddar it's equally hard not to bring up that coincidence in the comments. You literally can't go for more than 10 comments without someone bringing up Minecraft. This comment wins for mentioning the similarity in the most obtuse and roundabout way possible.

GoeyJoe:
This is the BENCHMARK for a perfect strategy game. No planes, knights, killers etc. Everyone just needs to quickly and effectively to reach our goal. The upgrades are a great idea. Units, menu bar, the informations are extremely well thought out. !!! A STROKE OF GENIUS !!!

This guy almost started to make a legitimate point about simplicity and purity of strategy (or something) but quickly got distracted by his own stupidity. I'm not even sure what he's trying to get at here. How is a strategy game with knights worse than a strategy game with, say, marines? What the hell does he mean by "killers?" Did he forget that this game does actually have planes (well, aerial drones), or that upgrades have been a regular feature in RTS games for years? What does everyone need to quickly and effectively do? Move? Shoot? Molest a goat? What?

The comment has no answers for you. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, marinated with the unknown, baked in a puzzle for an hour at 450°, and then garnished with a conundrum.

Near the end you can see where the commenter's brain exploded and the shards of shrapnel from his skull managed to type out the rest of his post. Sadly, most of the pieces seem to have hit the exclamation key.

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