in Review

Sim Everything


Sim creator, Will Wright, one of the most influential people in gaming history brings his most ambitious project to the masses with Spore.  This title allows players to experience life from single-cell organism to intergallactic superpower.  And its pretty fun.
Spore is at its best when you are creating.  Which is good, because you spend a lot of time developing.  You start out developing your cell, then you give it legs as it hits the land and you keep going.  Eventually you’re designing the look of buildings and vehicles in your cities while writing your national anthem.  All the creators are very intuitive and powerful.  You can go make a creature that looks good or just go for the appendages that net you the best stats.  But you probably want to focus on looks for Sporepedia.
Sporepedia is this revolutionary service that is integral to the Spore experience.  Every single creature, building, and vehicle you see in this game was made by someone else in-game.  Whenever you design something, it is uploaded to Sporepedia, a searchable database of all user generated content.  Already there’s tons of stuff on there that looks really good, and its great to know that it could show up anywhere in my game.
That’s my creation at the start of the post.  He’s called Ugh, because he looks so stupid.  But he’s got great stats.
As you intelligently design your creature, the gameplay evolves too.  At the cell stage, you just swim around and eat, it’s all done with the mouse.  Then you move to the land stage, where you run around in a third person view and can manage both social and violent interactions with other creatures.  After that comes the tribal stage, which is like a strategy game, with the player sending his troops to attack other tribes.  Then there’s the civilization stage, which plays like an RTS.  At the end of that, you’ve taken over your planet and head off into space.  In space you can colonize or destroy planets, go to war with other worlds, do business, stuff like that.
I thoroughly enjoyed each stage while I was going through it, and am sure I’ll get many more hours out of the space stage, which I don’t think has an end.  A lot of people are complaining that the gameplay isn’t deep enough, but I think it’s engaging while being easy enough to welcome less experienced gamers.
Overall Spore is a lot of fun.  The creature creator alone is a blast, and seeing your creature flourish is a real pleasure.  This is a one-of-a-kind game, and if your PC can handle it, this is a must-buy.