By Al Giovetti
The Mindscape division of The Learning Company, Inc. (NYSE: TLC), a leading software developer and publisher, has released the sequel to Creatures, a virtual life simulation that has sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide. Creatures 2 is now available in the United States, the UK, Europe and Canada.
Creatures 2 will delight users with the most realistic virtual pets in the world. Norns still learn, talk and reproduce, but they are much smarter now. A dramatically expanded vocabulary and 120 new facial expressions let them tell their owners when they are happy, sad, hungry, depressed or frightened. A new interface also makes it much easier to play with them.
Mindscape President John Moore commented on the question of whether virtual pets are a passing trend or a true category in computer entertainment: "The extraordinary demand we've seen for Creatures 2 proves that virtual pets are not a fad, rather a new category of entertainment software that is here to stay," he said. "The appeal of virtual pets reaches far beyond the traditional market for computer games, and Mindscape will continue to lead this new genre by using the world's most advanced artificial life technology in the Creatures product line."
UK-based CyberLife Technology Ltd., creator of Creatures, developed the sequel for Mindscape. CyberLife has been commended by scientists around the world for its groundbreaking advancements in artificial life. Richard Dawkins, noted Oxford University zoologist and author, has commented that Creatures "is the most impressive use of artificial life I have ever seen."
Also new in Creatures 2 is a scavenger hunt that activates five new features as the Norns pick up a variety of items. These features are:
∑ A neuroscience kit
The internal systems of Creatures 2 Norns are more complex than those of their predecessors. The new Norns have improved digestive and immune systems, as well as actual organs. New brain lobes and neurotransmitters increase their intelligence and learning ability. An import tool will safely upgrade original Creatures Norns into the Creatures 2 environment.
About Creatures 1
Availability and System Requirements
Mindscape and Virtual Life
Mindscape also publishes the AQUAZONE line of virtual aquariums, including AQUAZONE DELUXE. AQUAZONE was originally published in Japan and is one of the best-selling PC products in Japanese history.
CyberLife's mission is to lead a major change in the development and use of computer technology: the power to synthesize intelligent behavior in the form of biologically based software organisms and environments.
CyberLife is pioneering the new field of cyberbiology-the convergence of biological concepts with modern computer technology. This trend beckons a new era of people-friendly, intelligent, self-sufficient technology brought about by living computer systems.
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