One of the greatest-if not THE greatest PC games to ever be released, is the Maxis masterpiece called Spore. Its been a while since I wrote a review, mainly because I have gotten re-addicted to Spore and Warcraft 3.
What makes Spore so fun? Well when you start out the game, you are set with a group of planets to choose from, simple, then you are set to evolve from a small innocent cell to a space traveling monster. Lets go through each of the stages now shall we?
Cell Stage: When you first play Spore, you will be greeted with the Cell Stage. This is where I usually get my ideas of how I want to run my Spore game. You can choose from the start whether you want to eat small plants or other creatures. Later on you can add other mouths to become an omnivore or switch to your opposite! As you squirm through the various layers of the cell world, you will ecounter other creatures that will either run from you or try to destroy you. If you defeat certain cells or break the random meteors in the water, you gain new items that can be used for either defense or speed. I personally like to stock up on weapons such as the poison, electric, and thorns to defend myself from the highly annoying electric speed cells you encounter in the pool. While this stage does get pretty fun and addictive, it ends after a good 30 minutes of play and you move on to the Creature Stage.
The Creature Stage: The creature stage can be one of two things for you, either extremely fun, or extremely boring. I used to find it fun back when I originally played the game, and even didn’t move on to the next stage to continue playing and eliminate every creature from the continent. Now however, I don’t find it as fun, and it gets boring after a while. Basically this is where you finalize your creature, by finding skeletons on the ground or by killing Alpha versions of another race, you gain new items to evolve your creature. To ally other races, you simply have to dance, pose, etc. to them. This can get harder as you move more into the continent, and eventually you will meet an Epic. Epics are extremely large creatures that can generally kill you in one hit, if you find one, they usually have a ton of items surrounding them. Now you can either distract it by leading it to another race, then sprint/fly/jump to the items and pick them up. To actually use the items you gain, you have to kill or ally races to gain DNA points, then use it to evolve your creature. I personally always try to get wings and fly around the continent. There are mods that even let YOU be an Epic!
Tribal Stage: The Tribal Stage is generally though of as a introductory to RTS gameplay, its not that hard, and all you have to do is either ally other tribes or destroy other tribes while gathering food. Its quite simple to figure out using the in game tips, however most gamers will be unimpressed with the ease of this stage and the lack of any depth. Still, it offers a great 30 minutes of gameplay, as long as great doesn’t include an editor for creatures/buildings. The next stage is where the majority gamers will have the most fun in Spore.
The Civilization Stage: In the civilization stage, you take over Spice Mines to gain your currency for the remainder of the game-Spice. However your race has become so large that other factions of your own race will arise to destroy you! You can take either a religious path, where you convert other bases to your culture. A trading path, where you buy the other cities, or good old fashioned military takeover. The possibilities are endless, and the AI can be either extremely easy or very devious. you also get to construct different buildings in your bases that affect your income, happiness, defense, etc.! All of this stage is basically customizable. I usually play this when I’m in the mood for a quick RTS with better graphics than, say, Warcraft or Age of Mythology. The graphics are actually amazing even when zoomed in, and the other tribes can be allied or conquered in so many ways that no game is the same. Very polished area of the game, and my personal favourite.
Space Stage: Now, I’m not going to lie here, the last 4 stages can be easily beaten in a few hours. Making the early part of Spore very quick, and most people wont want to replay them a million times (I might want to do the civ stage a million but thats just me). However once you get to the space stage, prepare for the largest game you have ever played. With a set begining and end, nobody has ever completed the space stage entirely. To complete the space stage, you first must make your spaceship, which will be your only means of transportation, no more classic RTS features. In the space stage, you travel across all of the planets in the Spore universe, and you can make every single one a colony. Beware however-there are other nations (most notably the Grox) who want to destroy you. You can take over planets in various ways too. The Space Stage also packs in many fun minigame type things, such as abducting creatures to place them on other planets, nuking planets, and more. To win the general game, you simply make it to the center of the world, then you are considered to have won. To actually beat the game though, Try to take over the entire galaxy. One person has conquered an entire arm of the galaxy, however to conquer all of them would be a feat that only the true addicts of this game can accomplish. I haven’t ever made it to the center, so if you have, please comment below!
Spore overall is one of the most creative games ever made, with nearly every creature in the game editable, and endless possibilities for all, you will NOT get tired of Spore. I run this game on a custom built PC with tons of VRAM and RAM, and the graphics are far beyond many console games and even many PC games. The gameplay is all wonderful, most of the game can be controlled using the mouse! If you don’t have Spore, well, you don’t have Spore!