Spore is a much-vaunted PC game from the inventor of The Sims that is simply immense.
Spore's an innovative title that attempts to chart life itself from its infantile beginning to its end. And yet, much like life itself, it's not exactly perfect. It has some issues that keep it from fully tapping into its vast potential but it's still one of the most original and interesting titles to come out in this or any other year.
In terms of scope, ambition and length, Spore reaches for and, for the most part, meets its lofty goals.
A whole new world
It's been a long time since life on the planet Thoria emerged from the primordial ooze. In the intervening years, a civilization of four-legged reptilian carnivores - coaxed carefully along the evolutionary ladder by my guidance - has come to dominate the planet; they've even managed to go off-world and have encountered three alien species within the local cluster of stars around my home planet. Soon, I hope to guide my creations to the center of the galaxy.
That was my first experience with Spore, as I led my creatures from the mud and the muck to the stars and the galaxy beyond. But the best part is that soon, you may encounter my marauding conquerers during your own time with Spore and taste their bitter wrath courtesy of the game's multiplayer portion. Being able to create digital life is one thing but to set it loose upon the world to prosper and multiply is quite another thing altogether.
Things are primitive and wild in the Cell phase. Remember the cardinal rule of survival: eat but don't be eaten.
NEXT PAGE: The flavour of life
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