Review by GarageDoorOpen9

"WOW!!! Wonderful in almost all aspects!!!!!"

Spore is an unbelievable game!!! For what looked to be a piece of garbage in the commercials, EA's Spore turned out to be well-rounded and extremely entertaining. It puts you in the position of God, basically, and gives you the tools necessary to create the cute, cuddly, ugly, or murderous creature of your dreams. The Creature Creator is simple, and quite in-depth for a game that seems to be on the childish level. Before I get started on the level reviews, I'd appreciate it if the people who hate creation/customization games to stop reading now.

You start off as a pre-made micro-organism trying to survive in a tide pool. This is the Cell Stage. You choose your diet, herbivore or carnivore, then go off on your way to round up some food. Very soon into this stage you get to take a trip to the Creator, which is where you can customize your little one-celled companion with intuitive drag-and-drop tools. You then go on trying to eat without being eaten. This is a stale and repetitive stage, but it only lasts about 20 minutes.

Level Score: 8 out of 10

Once you decide to develop legs, you leave your cozy tide pool to evolve on land. This is the shining aspect of the game, the Creature Stage. You and a few of your species find a nest, and settle there to evolve furthermore. The Creature Creator becomes even more in-depth, developing more parts, more complex color options, advanced part placement options, and it's all at your disposal. Not all parts are unlocked though. You roam the land, interacting with other species to gain knowledge and more Creator parts. You can choose for your species to be savage murderers, or peaceful diplomats. Whatever path you choose there are always rewards to be gathered. I can guarantee you that you will eventually become emotionally attached to your Spore Creation, and you'll feel a tingling sense of accomplishment each time it moves on.

Level Score: 10 out of 10

Choosing to evolve after the creature stage brings you to the Tribal Stage. You'll lose your personal connection with your creature here because you control a large quantity of your created species instead of just one. The controls are a bit difficult to figure out in this level, but once you decipher its "mystery", you'll have a decent time playing around with the different abilities. Once again, you can choose to conquer tribes or to ally them, with each tribe you conquer or ally successfully giving you a piece of a totem pole and some new resources to build up your little village. This level halts character creation, so be sure to finalize your creature back in the Creature Stage before you evolve. On the bright(er) side, you can edit the clothes of your species, giving them masks, rings, hats, armor, and various other tribal knick-knacks. The monetary system here is based upon fruit instead of DNA like in the Cell and Creature stages. Once you complete your totem pole, you have the option to move on once again.

Level Score: 9 out of 10

Next comes the Civilization Stage. Here, you can create your own buildings, structures such as town halls, homes, entertainment centers, even factories. The Structure Creator is VERY in-depth. It allows layers of columns, blocks, roofs, etc. You can add doors, windows, even flags, and custom lighting!!. Just when you think the creation feature can't get any better, the do. You develop the option to create vehicles. Possible types include land, water, and even air vehicles! You design everything, from the chassis to the spoilers and even the paint job. Create economical trade cars, religious ships, or destructive war tanks, your call. You can still edit your citizens' clothes, and will be able to for the remainder of the entire game. As you build up a city, rival cities emerge, and you have the option to convert them to your religion, establish a trade route with them, or flatten their economy with war. The goal is world domination in this level. The money is all based off of the spice trade. You go around capturing spice geysers as well as cities, as you cash it in for what is called Sporebucks, the money in this and the next level. This level was definitely a highlight of this game.

Level Score: 10 out of 10

The final frontier of Spore is the cosmos. Yes, space. You design a spacecraft, just like designing a car, boat, or plane. You can equip it with weapons, religious symbols, or economic banners. The main idea is to go around colonizing planets and collecting spice and exchanging it with other empires to make Sporebucks. You go on various missions for the other empires also. I have nothing much to say about this level, because, quite frankly, it's crap. This level is extremely boring and repetitive. You can't customize the planets, which you get the image you can due to the misleading text exchanged by you and members of your species. The controls are overly difficult, and the interface is too crowded with unnecessary gadgets and tools. EA took a beautiful game and blemished it with a feeble, yet respected attempt at intergalactic glory. Don't let this repel you from this game though, it is still fun, and I encourage you to finish it, even if the space stage is ridiculously and unnecessarily long.

Level Score: 5 out of 10

Overall Game Score: 42 out of 50, excellent and pleasing game, few minor defects, a must-buy.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/27/08

Game Release: Spore (US, 09/07/08)

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