Spore – a quick summary

8 years in the making, 5 hours to play through from single celled organism to galactic empire…

Half that time was spent in the editor too. A case of a brilliant concept, with lavish development, then bugger all actual game?

It’s not that Spore’s bad (the editor and creature stage is all rather good fun), it’s just tediously simple. The tribal and civilisation stages consist of nothing more than building a few structures, then conquering rival tribes and cities by one of a few simple means (eg; a dance-off). Then repeating that exact same mechanic a few dozen times, until suddenly your species has somehow developed spaceflight. Building your galactic empire, while impressive in scale, ultimately boils down to a similar mechanic – explore solar systems, talk to aliens, ally or conquer them, in the most Fisher Price way possible.

Making a game of “life and the universe” child’s play is quite an achievement in some senses. Will Wright has boiled down life and civilisation to a series of dance-offs and shooting ‘religion beams’ at the unenlightened. Some substance would have been nice though. Oh well. At least the creature creator is quite spiffy.

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