SPORE is a unique natural history stimulator from EA games. It has elements of strategy, sandbox, action, and role-playing genres, but doesn’t really fit into just one of them. Will Wright, the creator of The Sims universe, referred to this game as SimEverything. By downloading SPORE, you download the full cycle of life on Earth.
SPORE is a beautiful game. It gives you the sense that some things, some tiny micro processes are always here, even if you don’t notice them at first, and its graphics is what convinces you most. The animation takes all the tentacles and blobs created customly by users and makes their motion look real and authentic. There aren’t any bugs or crashes, which is almost unbelievable for the game of such an enormous scale.
The game consists of five different stages: on a cell stage you are given a simple set of creation tools and have to make some kind of a primitive organism. Apart from some design decisions, you choose food preferences for your creature, and the adventure begins: your cell alter-ego moves across your screen in search of food and safety grabbing new body parts on the way. The second stage is dedicated to a life of the creature. The rules are simple: meet other beings, befriend them or hunt them, and make a tribe get to the third stage. On the tribal stage, you enter a kind of strategy game, where you control your tribe and ravage villages of others. Somehow devastating makes you smarter when you get to the civilization stage, where you can not only ravage but build the cities for your species and conquer others with the help of economy and religion. The final stage is your own space oddity: you’re in control of a spacecraft that discovers new stars and explores planets around them, looking for life.
The greatest thing about SPORE is its amazing customization: some players spend weeks in creature editor to share their hilarious results with the whole community. But it works not solely with creatures: you design your cities and aircraft in that same fashion, mixing anything with anything. For those who prefer action over design, there is a set of ready-made creatures, and you can always download somebody’s creation from official forums.
However, there is something that keeps us from giving 5 points to the gameplay. Professional and amateur gamers, when reviewing SPORE, very often claimed it to be boring, and, frankly speaking, it could be. Every particular stage is not very entertaining, and that’s what keeps SPORE from becoming a real action or RPG game, but together they still make up a story that is one of a kind.
Get ready to face a lot of mouse-clicking in SPORE. You click to eat, to kill, to build or befriend. While the early stages are quite easily controlled with keyboard buttons, it takes all of your mouse-clicking abilities to move your spaceship, so the pain in the wrist is guaranteed. All the clickable objects are responsive and controlling goes smoothly in overall. But that would be nice to switch to a keyboard sometimes.
Replay Value: 4.5
As a game that has endless customization possibilities in its core, SPORE has huge replay value. The creature is a pleasure of its own, but there are excellent opportunities with playing on different stages: they gradually unlock when you play for the first time, but then you can choose your favorite stage and take your time with it. SPORE doesn’t force you to move on, and that’s what’s great about it. Besides, on every stage, you notice the differences you could bring with another game strategy.
SPORE is an epic, and we are thankful it exists. There’s no other game with such fantastic editing possibilities in combination with lovely graphics. Its stages are a mix of genres so that even if you’re not happy with one of them, you can always proceed to the next. SPORE has something for everyone, and that’s what so problematic about it: it doesn’t delve too deep into either one of its elements making the gameplaying mechanisms uninterestingly humdrum.
- Graphics 5
- Gameplay 4
- Controls 3.5
- Replay Value 4.5
Endless replay possibilities;
Mix of different genres;
Gameplay can get boring sometimes;
Too much mouseclicking.