RTS

Zen and the Art of Base Building

So there is a game that is popularly known by all 14 year-old kids around the world as Minecraft. In it there is a popular creature called a creeper.

creeper.png

This post is not about Minecraft.

This post is about a game that originally started as a flash game and has worked its way into the Steam marketplace. This game has captured my heart and is probably the only Real Time Strategy (RTS) game that I play. I mean sure, I used to play a little bit of Command and Conquer back in the day, but not nearly as much time as I have put into Creeper World. Here’s what it looks like:

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 10.17.02 PM

It’s simple, you have a base (which is in the top left corner of that picture) and you have to link up with those three green flower looking things.

The catch?

The blue liquid known as creeper slowly fills up the map and destroys anything it touches.

So the whole game is solely adding connectors to the base and amassing energy to give power to blasters and mortars which can repel the incoming creeper threat, all while trying to connect to the goals. Once all of the goals are connected to the base flies off into the sunset (a warp gate) to a better place (another mission).

For a game where the enemy AI is only as smart as spilled milk, it is ridiculously addictive. I would find myself building a fortress of collectors and reactors protected by dozens of blasters, repelling the threat while still somehow shirking off the true objective. These games are only supposed to be 10-20 minutes or so, but I would find myself spending 40-50 minutes filling up the map with as many units as I humanly could.

By the end of it, I understood the creeper. Like my enemy, I too enjoyed the sprawl, slowly crawling across the landscape as I completely annihilate everything in my path. What did it do? Flood the world with evil? How much more honorable am I flooding the world with industry!?

No fear of retaliation, I finally understand what it feels like to be Caesar as he parades through his conquered land. The creeper emitters are locked down, but I won’t complete the level just yet. I insist on harvesting all of the resources of this land before I move onto my next conquest. I am become creeper, destroyer of… creeper?

So, it’s safe to say that I grew a strange fondness for this game. I realized that I enjoy games that have a tipping point and then a victory lap to follow. Creeper World is no exception.

And then Creeper World 2 was released. I wasn’t as much of a fan, it had a different style of play that I just didn’t enjoy as much. Oh well, not much more to say.creeper.jpg

But then… Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal was released. It’s on Steam. I’m not sponsored or anything, but I’m pretty sure it’s just one dude who is developing these games because he enjoys making them, so I really can’t help but link to his page to support him.

This game is an overhauled version of the first and it came out a while ago, I’m just now writing about because I recently got an itch to play it again. Now you can destroy the creeper emitters and harness their power to build the most indestructible base ever to exist. No longer do you have to contain the threat and run away, now you can eliminate it.

It is overall a much better game than the first, and it has so much more to offer. It has more building types, larger map support, more terrain, more creeper, and more base-building zen. Best of all it has a super expansive collection of player-made maps which usually start with an ocean of creeper that you have to just blast your way through.

This is one of those rare games that I can’t help but give my gold seal of approval on. It is the Oblivion of liquid-enemy based RTS. I would say it is the Oblivion of RTS, but I’m not an RTS player so I’m not really the most credible source. Either way, I thoroughly enjoy playing Creeper World and I’ll definitely keep playing it for the years to come.