Review by thedrizzle404

"A game to push your creativity and imagination."

Spore itself is a fantastic game. It's designed for people who love creating things. If you do not enjoy creating things, this game will not be very appealing to you. However, if you love to create and design, this game has you covered.

It is the first of its kind, and they did a very good job. The game has some flaws, of course, but that is not surprising. Any "new" game is going to be flawed, especially if a game of its kind hasn't been created before. I believe Maxis did a very good job this time around.

Graphics: 8/10
Nothing incredible, but still fairly good. I love watching epic creatures in the background on Cell Stage gradually come into the foreground, and then eventually shrink into nothing. Some of the special effects are nicely done as well. Creatures clip a lot, but that's going to happen no matter what when players are allowed to make whatever they wish. There are some amazing things to be seen in space, however. I like watching a large blue gas planet rise from the horizon from a planet's surface. I also enjoyed the other galactic formations, like a star being born. For a game with graphics designed to be somewhat silly and fun, there are some cool things to be found.

Audio: 9/10
Simspeak. It's become very famous in Maxis games, and this game has plenty of it. Most of the voices in this game are entertaining and silly, which goes nicely with the mood this game sets. A couple of the voices are somewhat annoying, but overall, I would say it was done well. I like how creatures make different sounds depending on their mouth type. It adds a little realism to the game.

Story: - / -
There is no official story. You get to make the story. Your time line and eventual history is the story. The only pre-made story exists in the space stage, after you have completed your missions.

There's options to write a biography on everything you create. If you're a creative person, the story will be fascinating. If you're not, there will be no story.

Game Play:
This part will be divided into sections, since this game is essentially 5 games combined.

Cell Stage: 7/10
The first stage of Spore. It's fairly fun and interesting. However, it does lack depth. Your options are limited a lot here. You're supposed to be a simple organism, so I understand why there's not a lot of options here. The game play here can get very frustrating if you're playing on hard, as every other creature will evolve much quicker than you, leaving you as a helpless cell with nearly no defenses.

Creature Stage: 10/10
My favorite stage. In this stage, you finally get to start giving your creature its unique appearance. To start off, you are given mouth choices that depends on where you ended cell stage. (Carnivore, Herbivore, Omnivore) You are also given special abilities that suit the play style you displayed in cell stage. This is all very fitting, since the creature you create is supposed to be evolving. The game play itself never gets very deep in any area, but it touches quite a few aspects, which may actually be funner. There's much exploring to be done, and there's no time constraints. The amount of different creatures you can create is literally only limited by your imagination.

Tribal Stage: 6/10
This stage was also fairly fun. It didn't go as deep as I would have liked, but it was still interesting. Your tribe is actually created where your nest (home) was on creature stage, which adds a nice bit of realism. There's a silly video involved in going from creature to tribal stage, which is also a nice touch. This stage, overall, ended up feeling like a filler to get from creature to civilization stage, rather than its own stage. There's not a whole lot to do.

Civilization Stage: 9/10
A decent stage. There's another silly video from the tribal stage to civilization stage. This stage gets deep into creativity. You get to create your buildings and vehicles. There's a decent variety of things to choose from when creating either one, giving you yet another opportunity to create anything you can imagine. Your people also follow beliefs that are based on your history, so another plus for realism. One thing that was a little disappointing was the fact that adding certain weapons or wheels to your vehicles didn't change how the vehicle functions beyond its general categories. (IE, a rocket launcher will not cause your vehicle to launch rockets) Everything you do is purely cosmetic. This is not exactly a bad thing in itself, but it would have added more depth to your creative and strategic abilities if you were allowed to design, say, sniping vehicles, or heavy vehicles.

Space Stage: 9/10
At last, the final stage. This stage begins with a short storyline quest to introduce you into the universe. Once you actually enter the universe, you are completely on your own to do whatever you wish. Space gets somewhat repetitive. There's not exactly a ton to do here, aside from exploring and expanding your empire. Diplomacy isn't deep, and missions aren't very unique. They're usually "fetch" missions. The resources aren't really varied much either, aside from their value. While there are quite a few problems, as you can see, there are many more fun things to do in space. You'll just have to use that imagination of yours to create some unscripted activities.

Overall Game Play: 9/10
While nothing in the game gets extremely detailed, it does give you a broad variety of options that touch many areas, which is much nicer. The main goal of the game is to give you all the control over everything that happens as much as possible. You'll find yourself having lots of fun if you're creative. If you would prefer a game that has a set script, you'll find yourself very disappointed.

Re-playability: 10/10
You can play this game as much as you want, and always find something new to try. What happens if you blow up every planet in the galaxy? I don't know, perhaps you can find out. What if you made your creature float? The list goes on, but you have to have an imagination and be creative. (I bet you're sick of hearing that, but it's what this whole game is based on)

Final Score: 9/10
If you're a creative person, this game is well worth picking up. You will be entertained for a very long time. Despite its flaws, this game has a lot going for it, and I personally can't wait for a sequel. It's an amazing game worthy of your game library.

However, if you have no imagination and the creativity of a potato, this game will be boring and you shouldn't waste your money.

Final Thoughts:
I love Spore, and I play it quite often. I like looking at Spore as the rough draft to a much better, more detailed game. The creators will surely use what they've learned from this amazing game and create something truly incredible. Until then, however, this game fully serves its purpose, and entertains me very well. I'm certain if you liked Sims, or any other game involving creativity, you'll enjoy this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/06/10

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

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