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Creature that Ate Sheboygan, The

Entry updated 10 April 2015. Tagged: Game.

Board and counter Wargame (1979). Simulations Publications Inc (SPI). Designed by Greg Costikyan.

Creature is an entertaining and highly playable game inspired by such 1950s B-movies as Godzilla (1954) (see Gojira) and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). One player constructs a gigantic Monster, equipping it with abilities drawn from a list including flaming breath, flight, spinning giant webs and radioactive emissions, and attacks the eponymous American town, with the goal of causing as much destruction as possible. The other player must attempt to evacuate civilians before sending in the police and National Guard to defeat the monster. As an exercise in pure Game Design, Creature is impressive. The two sides are highly asymmetric (see Worlds in Balance) and a wide range of different games can be played depending on the powers chosen for the monster, yet, as in its predecessor Ogre (1977), the gameplay is well balanced and fast-moving. There is little in the way of explicit background, but the complex of films and popular folklore on which the game is based make it easy for players to identify with the two sides; many participants enjoy personalizing their monstrous creations as versions of such subcultural icons as Mothra, the huge atomic moth which is the anti-heroine of Mosura (1961), or Gort, the Robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Ultimately, Creature makes an impressive testimonial for the potential pleasures of light-hearted mass destruction. [NT]

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