Games of the Year

Creatures Docking Station

Creatures Docking Station Screenshot 1
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Set the Norns free!

Hatch your very own virtual life forms in this incredible addition to the hit Creatures series. Norns are endearing little creatures who grow, learn and behave just like real living animals.

Norns think and act for themselves and display real feelings such as hunger, pain, fear and boredom. They can even talk to you and to each other! Based on real biological principles, these furry little pets have their own biochemistry and Creatures digital DNA and represent one of the most advanced virtual life sims commercially available today.

Creatures Docking Station is a fully self-contained world with four large rooms and contains all you need to raise and train families of Norns. There are food sources, toys and loads of plants and animals in a working eco-system.

Disclaimer: The online features of Creatures Docking Station are no longer available.

  • Hatch any number of Norns from 7 different breeds at any time. Each creature is completely unique with its own personality.
  • The Norns in Creatures titles have digital DNA, so they can inherit characteristics from their digital ancestors and pass them on to their offspring.
  • Expand your game with a huge number of fan-created additions such as new rooms, toys or breeds!
  • Interact with your Norns and the ecosystem in a variety of ways and observe emergent behavior in action!
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

A huge childhood favourite of mine, now made more accessible to the general public. What's not to love?

Review from Steam

Twenty years on, this is still the definitive artificial life simulator. It shows its age, but still, nothing comes close.
Before I go on, it's worth mentioning that Docking Station was originally a free add-on for/version of Creatures 3. It is absolutely worth picking up the C3 'DLC' as it'll expand the game immensely. You can absolutely play Docking Station (and the free breed pack and science kit) on its own, but if you enjoy it, Creatures 3 is a great buy.
Docking Station is a bit of a sandbox. You're given the tools to hatch creatures and influence their lives, and are let loose to do what you want. You could raise them lovingly, guide them around the world, teach them how to fend for themselves. Help them not just survive, but thrive. You could pop them into the world and just observe the chaos. You could just torment them (when I was a preschooler, I was one of many to send someone hate mail for doing this. I'm not too proud to admit I didn't understand the difference between games and life).
There are three separate species of Creature built into the game, each with their own quirks. Norns are presented as the 'main' one, but there's nothing stopping you raising a horde of angry Grendels or an irritation of Ettins. You could genetically engineer (or splice, if you pick up C3) mixtures of the three, if you like. It's up to you. With the right mods, you could even crossbreed them.
Which brings me to my next point. What's absolutely stellar about Creatures, though, is its community. While smaller than it used to be, the fandom is alive and kicking, and there's twenty years of mods for you to explore. Dozens upon dozens of custom breeds, lots of new rooms, scripting changes both large and small, and even a port of the entire world of the first Creatures game into Docking Station. What fans have done for this game is incredible, and they're still making cool things to this day. As I type this, the 2021 Creatures Community Spirit Festival (or CCSF) is in full swing!
I might come back and edit this later because I could talk forever about the Creatures series, but I'd also like to post something readable instead of rambling, so I'll cut it here. Go get game. Game good. Bye.

Review from Steam

Creatures is why I pursued a degree in artificial intelligence and a career in software engineering. Without this game, my life would be dramatically different and dramatically poorer. This IS my childhood.
The Creatures 1 world map mod (C12DS) works perfectly with this software; I was up and running within fifteen minutes and I've been running the game all night. Modern hardware can handle a lot more creatures -- my population's up to sixty right now -- without bogging down, so wolfing runs will be a lot more interesting and fruitful than they were in olden times.
If you were a fan back in the day, this is a seamless way to get started up again without having to do a bunch of workarounds and patching. You just install and go. I highly recommend this release and hope this will revive interest in the ALife genre!

Review from Steam

Aaah! I'm so unbelievably happy to see the Creatures series on Steam! These games were a huge part of my childhood.
They're incredibly unique and still to this day (20 years since the latest entry in the series released!) have an active modding community putting out new objects, species, and even areas for your creatures to live in!
The creatures are also still one of the most realistic simulations of life out there (possibly still THE most realistic), they have simulated brains, digital DNA, they can catch illnesses, mutate in a huge variety of ways, and perhaps most importantly, they look absolute adorable!
(I've played these games for countless hours before they came to Steam by the way, pay no mind to my small number...)

Review from Steam

Played Creatures 1 when I was a child. Creatures 3/Docking Station have a less cuddly and warm feel but make up for it with usability and moddability. And cool sci-fi gadgets. And, of course, somewhat smarter creatures.
It's quite easy to make content and find mods made by a community that goes back over 20 years.

Review from Steam

I have been waiting for this day to come, for a Creatures title to be resurrected and brought back into the public eye. I've been playing since Creatures 1 came out in the 90s, and I absolutely love this entire series. Docking Station and Creatures 3 hold a special place in my heart, and have been installed on every computer I have had since their launch. Raising and breeding norns, and playing around with their Digital DNA in a bid to create super colored, super smart populations is my favorite thing to do.

Review from Steam

It is wonderful to see this game on steam, especially given how unique it still is, somehow, since good ideas in video games are often forgotten.
I can heartily recommend both the free DS and the purchasable base game, though I think getting long-term enjoyment from the game requires you to look into modding scene, as the game was originally shipped somewhat unpolished in some important areas. Specifically the genomes and brains of creatures themselves had lots of room for improvement, and it speaks a lot for the power of the game and the community that that is exactly what people did: the robust genome and brain system allows for huge amount of modifications and is simple enough to learn with the tools provived.
At the time of writing this review the bundled Genetics Kit does not run well on modern machines, but that is apparently being worked on. In the meantime I recommend looking up Creatures Wiki and downloading either CFE or CFF genomes, player-made additions that greatly improve the behavior and intellect of the creatures.

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