Spore (Mac/PC DVD) from Electronic Arts
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Description of Spore (Mac/PC DVD) by Electronic Arts
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From the creator of The Sims comes the most ambitious video game ever made: here you don’t just control a single family or city but control an entire species from a single cell organism to a galactic conqueror. As impossibly complex as that might sound, the most impressive thing about Spore is just how accessible and fun it all is. The game is split into six evolutionary phases, starting with almost action-style gameplay at the microscopic level. From there you move to the creature phase on dry land, before going on to the tribal phase and the beginnings of society and technology. From there it’s onto the city phase, which plays a bit like SimCity, and from there to the Civilisation phase which plays something like, you guessed it, Civilization. The final phase takes part in outer space where by hook or by crock your species must reign triumphant.
Each phase has its own editing tools associated with it for things like vehicles and buildings. By far the most fun though is the creature tool, which allows you to create your own fully animated lifeform from scratch using a huge range of limbs, facial features and colourings. What’s also interesting is that the other planets in the galaxy aren’t all pre-populated by the game. Instead, by connecting online you can upload your races, and download those from other people, to fill the galaxy with civilizations from other players around the world. Any one of the six phases would normally be enough for any one game on its own, but this looks like it’s going to turn out to be the world’s first everything simulator.
Take complete control of your creature's fate as you guide it through the following six evolutionary phases:
Tidepool phase: Fight with other creatures and consume them to adjust the form and abilities of your creature. It's survival of the fittest at the most microscopic level
Creature phase: Venture onto dry land and help your creature learn and evolve with forays away from your safe haven. Carnivore or Herbivore? Social or Independent? The choice is yours
Tribal phase: Instead of controlling an individual creature, you are now caring for an entire tribe of your genetic craftwork. Give them tools and guide their interactions as you slowly upgrade their state of existence
City phase: Bring your creatures' race into a new golden era by building up the technology, architecture, and infrastructure of their city
Civilization phase: Once your city is established, your creatures begin seeking out and interacting with other cultures. You can have them do so with an olive branch or a war cry either way, the goal for your creatures is to unify the planet
Space phase: The time has come to move on to other worlds in your solar system. Make first-contact, colonize, or terraform, then venture further to find other solar systems scattered throughout a magnificently rendered galaxy. A 'mission' structure provides new goals and paths to follow as you begin to spread through the universe
A suite of flexible, intuitive creation tools leverages the creative imagination of the player. Creating an entire universe of creatures, plants, buildings, vehicles and planets has never been so easy or so fun. An infinite variety of design choices is just the beginning
The world you explore is populated with creatures, plants, buildings and vehicles developed by other gamers and downloaded from a central database. The server chooses creatures and civilizations that best match your chosen environment, your experience level, and your creature's ability. In turn, your creatures are uploaded to the server to be shared with other gamers
With procedural animation, your creatures and vehicles move based on how you construct them. They behave and interact based on your input and by their in-game encounters. That means there's no pre-determined path you must follow the game evolves based on your decisions
Wonder what another gamer was thinking when they created and evolved a creature? Uncover information about each creature's origin in the Sporepedia, yet another way to explore the truly endless universe of creative expression that is SPORE.