Spore: You can be a winner in the game of life!

As is the case with all of Will Wright's games, Spore is immense in every sense of the word: in terms of scope, ambition and length, the game reaches for and, for the most part, meets its lofty goals. It's an incredibly innovative title that attempts to chart life itself from its infantile beginning to its end. And yet, much like life itself, it's not exactly perfect. It has some issues that keep it from fully tapping into its vast potential but it's still one of the most original and interesting titles to come out in this or any other year.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Spore is a good game held back from greatness by a few flaws and gameplay mechanics that won't appeal to everyone. But there is plenty to like about the game and if you dig its particular style of open-ended gameplay, you'll definitely enjoy yourself.

A Whole New World

It's been a long time since life on the planet Thoria emerged from the primordial ooze. In the intervening years, a civilization of four-legged reptilian carnivores--coaxed carefully along the evolutionary ladder by my guidance--has come to dominate the planet; they've even managed to go off-world and have encountered three alien species within the local cluster of stars around my home planet. Soon, I hope to guide my creations to the center of the galaxy.

That was my first experience with Spore, as I led my creatures from the mud and the muck to the stars and the galaxy beyond. But the best part is that soon, you may encounter my marauding conquers during your own time with Spore and taste their bitter wrath courtesy of the game's multiplayer portion. Being able to create digital life is one thing but to set it loose upon the world to prosper and multiply is quite another thing altogether.

Spore: You can be a winner in the game of life!

Things are primitive and wild in the Cell phase. Remember the cardinal rule of survival: eat but don't be eaten.

The Flavor Of Life

Spore's gameplay is a little hard to describe but in a nutshell, you create life over five discrete phases of development--Cell, Creature, Tribal, Civilization and Space. Each phase has its own set of goals that need to be completed before your species can evolve and move onto bigger and better things. The big decision that determines how this will all play out is what your created life forms eats. If they eat plants, then they'll take on the role of a friendly, diplomatic species that will work its way through tribal and civilization phases using good will and a strong pocket book. If their diet consists of meat, however, and they'll frequently resort to wiping out whatever gets in their way as a means of conflict resolution.

Spore's first stage is set in the ocean at a cellular level. At this early stage you mature as a species by roaming around and eating other creatures, which eventually lets you move onto dry land to live as a more advanced being. This is when you begin to add the final physical details that will define your how your species looks and acts. Throughout the creature stage, you'll uncover new body parts, such as different types of legs, arms, eyes, and weapons that you can use to customize your creatures before you head into the tribal phase where your creatures begin to build primitive cities and evolve. Overall, each of these early stages offer a great deal of variety, and the creature creator, which almost counts as a game in and of itself, is supremely easy to use.

Spore: You can be a winner in the game of life!

The Creature Creator offers up a lot of interesting options, allowing for a wide variety of specimens to be created.

Comments [21]

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I'm still not sure whether I'm going to get this or not. It looks cool, but there are so many games coming out.


I wanna pick this up, maybe I'll do so a few weeks after I get situated with my new school schedule...


if i had the money i know i would but i just picked up mercs 2 and soul caliber 4. Add on top of that the fact that i also want this fable 2 gow 2, the expensivee one with the lancer, and anything else thats good this year. And i still need to upgrade my paintball gear (8 in. barrel wtf.)


I would love to get it. I might go and do that. I have nothing better to do, lol. And I love the "Flavor of Life" reference, lol. GP might not have noticed, but it made me laugh.


Dr_Jones wrote:

Can anyone tell me how to change my profile pic?

Just go to where it says "edit your profile" and follow the prompts.

Spore looks like a highly addictive game. I just hope it's not as addictive as Sims. If I wasn't paying attention that game could've sucked my whole "real" life away.

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