Review by StellaDrinker
A noble effort that comes wide of the mark
The game is divided into several phases and while you can skip stages you can lose out on some special bonuses if you do.
The Cell Phase:
Eat or be eaten, grow bigger and dodge even bigger creatures. This is quite a nice little mini game that doesn't take long to complete. You can customise your creature to a limited extent. This phase plays out exactly the same every time you play and the limited customisation basically makes it exactly the same every time you play. Since the phase is short, it's not too bad.
The Creature Phase:
You finally make it onto land, this is my favourite phase. It's here you really get to customise you create. You wander round the land to pick up new items that you can use to customise your creature. To complete the stage you must either make friends or eliminate the other creatures.
Making friends consists of a rather annoying mini game. Annoying because even if you do everything right, you creatures skills may not be a high enough level to succeed. Simply killing other creatures yields the same reward and will get you though the stage much quicker.
This stage also plays out in exactly the same way each time, variety comes from the way in which you customise your creature.
The Tribal Phase:
Again, make friends with, or eliminate the other tribes. You need to collect food in order to create new creatures and build new structures which allow you to play new instruments (for making friends) or arming you creatures with spears etc.
This phase is frustrating because it takes time to complete and there is absolutely no variety in the game play - it plays exactly the same each time you play it.
The Civilization Phase:
Pretty much the same as the last stage except this time you must grab resources and use them to build vehicles and planes to win over the other cities. You can design each building and each vehicle which may be fun for the more creative of you. The stage however, you guessed it, plays exactly the same each time you play it. It's saving grace is that you can get through it reasonably quickly.
The Space Phase:
Huge universe to explore, finally you get some freedom over what you want to do, explore, do missions, terraform planets, fight, make friends.
This phase it quite enjoyable and has so much potential. The flaws however are that the missions are basic and repetitive, and even on easy you seem to get constantly attacked by pirates and other creatures. Having to constantly revisit my planets in order to collect spice is also tedious.
Other than the space stage the stages are poor and repetitive. A good bargin bin game for sure. It's the sort of game you'll play through every now and again but couldn't face doing on a regular basis. Thankfully you can skip stages otherwise it would be unplayable.
You can access the editors without playing the game at all and upload your creations for others to use. This can be a lot of fun and allows you to satisfy your creative urges (that I found were sadly unfulfilled by playing the game)
Mostly pretty basic but passable. The effort seems to have gone on the creatures which is fine by me.
As already mentioned, most of the stages play the same each time and I can't imagine many wanting to play through them over and over.
Playing with the editors definitely is something that will keep me coming back though, and checking how they have been interacted with by other players.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Product Release: Spore (EU, 09/05/08)
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