Spore on the PC is no ordinary game. This is another unexpected creative game made by the creators of The Sims and SimCity. In The Sims, you are able to control the characters and manipulate their environment. You can create characters of your choice and build the house you’ve been dreaming of. While in SimCity, your leadership and ability to handle a city are challenged. Spore, on the other hand, is a game that features the long struggle in the life of a creature that you create, as it evolves from a living cell into an intergalactic space traveler. Here, you can mess around and play with the creature as you wish.
In order to understand Spore, you must look at it piece by piece. It starts with a comet crashing on a planet (you can choose the name of the planet). This comet carries different microorganisms and spreads them all over the planet. And surprise, surprise! You are one of those microorganisms. Of course, you need to feed it to let it grow and develop into a bigger form. Basically it begins on the "Cell Stage".
In Spore you begin your journey on a primitive sea where you devour other organisms and you can be a carnivore, herbivore, or an omnivore. This provides you DNA points and you can use it to evolve into your choice of another creature. There are different forms of evolution you can choose from. These forms give you different abilities such as, water jets that let you move faster on water, or spikes that add up to your defense, and so on. However, once you start on evolving, meaner and stronger creatures show up and this makes it harder for you to find your prey.
Also, adding points for your amusement, the creatures give expressive behaviors. They can panic and run away when they know they are being chased or being eaten. Their eyes present the most animated actions - a rather very cute way of conveying how they feel.
The cycle in the "Cell Stage" is quite easy. You eat, and then you evolve. As this simple process progresses, your creature becomes larger and larger until you complete the evolution meter shown at the bottom of the screen. When this happens, it signifies that you are ready to grow your legs and live on land. This is where you now enter the "Creature Stage". At this stage, you can interact and communicate with other land creatures. You can be an ally to some clan of different creature types or you can be their foe. You can gain points again and use them to evolve and earn some valuable parts.
Your strategic methods are challenged when you reach the "Tribe Stage". You need to raise your tribe and let it survive all throughout the game. You also need to prepare your tribe for wars and battles against other clans. This is somewhat similar to being on the "Creature Stage". However, this stage isn’t really that hard for real-time strategic gamers. In fact, you only need 5 heads on the poll to proceed on the next stage, the "Civilization Stage".
The "Civilization Stage" in Spore is a much more complex version of the "Tribe Stage". Your aim is to be the ruler of the whole planet. You need to invade other cities through force, conversion, or with some business negotiations. And it’s up to you how you govern and direct your city.
In "Space Stage", which is the final stage, you can start your own colonies on some other stars and planet; and expand it. Dominating other planets is also one of the best features here. You can crush and exterminate those puny and primitive species without mercy. You can even rule over the universe! You can act and play as the beginning and end of all living species of this game.
It can be a dizzying experience going through millions of years of evolution; but playing the games does give you a surreal sense of working your way through the ages. Playing Spore is relatively easy; and except when you have to use the keyboard to type the names of the items you want to build or create, you can play almost the whole game just using the mouse.
One thing you can say about Maxis games, they’re all infused with charm and Spore is no exception. The game colors are warm and vibrant. You have to have a system that’s rock solid and a bit on the high-end side though, to make the game run smoothly.
The fantastic music and sound are decidedly classic Maxis. The tiniest chirps and squeaks creatures make just seem so authentic and yes the dialogues do sound adequately alien-like. Although the music is a bit minimalist, it can get your blood pressure up when combat kicks in, especially with the drum roll. Some sounds get drowned by the creatures’ feet thumping on the ground and other sounds of nature.
While Spore is such an amazing product that seemingly succeeded in being ambitious and memorable, you really can’t call it fabulous as a game. There’s not much depth there really. Rookies may feel quite at home but veterans might find themselves looking for more. Still, Spore has been quite successful in giving us the universe in a box, when it was probably just reaching for the moon or stars.