View Full Version : Spore

29th September 2008, 16:11
Is anyone playing Spore?

I got hold of the game last week and although I've not had too long to play it yet I've been really enjoying it. My first lifeform has just reached the end of the tribal stage, so I'm looking forward to the next civilisation part.

With the magazine previews for this game I was unsure what to expect. Many of the previews gave the impression the game would end up being like a simulation type game such as sim earth. While this would be interesting I find these games can get quite boring after some time. Most just showed the life form evolving screens and the types of life forms you could make. So I was very glad Spore didn't turn out to be like this.

The game has great scope, taking you though 5 stages of evolution, from the very beginning, though the evolution of small celled creatures in a rock pool, though to the evolution onto land, the forming of a basic tribal structure, and then onto a full civilization that eventually becomes so technologically advanced that the final stage is in space with you exploring and colonizing other planets, while defending your own. So the scale and scope of Spore is amazing.

The first stage focuses right in on a single life form early in its evolution floating around in some water. You pilot this single creature eating and trying not to be eaten. Finding a mate and then evolving it with new body parts into something better.

After this you eventually evolve enough to grow legs and venture onto the land. At this stage you start to be allowed to explore and to interact with your environment and other evolving creatures. Having to kill and eat some of the other species can be a little sad at times because some of them are quite cute and defenseless. However that is evolution!

The game really gets interesting once you reach the tribal stage. The controls switch from the direct control of a single life form form your evolving species, into a more RTS based control system with you able to select one or more of your tribe and give them orders. This is also the first stage where you are given initial management of buildings and how the tribe evolves as a whole.

The tribal stage reminds me a bit of megalomania and similar games. With you managing your little tribal village, collecting food, producing more tribe members, constructing buildings, and then visiting other tribal villages to either make friends or war with them. The main goal of this tribal stage is to defeat your strongest enemies and at the same time secure peace and good relations with other tribes. As you do this goals are met and your tribe's totem pole is built. Eventually your tribe evolve beyond the tribal stage into a civilization, and this is at the point I have reached.

Past this point the game is meant to get even better. With the civilization stage mentioned as being similar in a way to that of the Sid Meier classic. And once your civilization evolves enough there is also the similar goal of the space race.

But Spore then takes it further, because after the civilization stage and you reach space, you then get to explore space, visiting and conquering other worlds, and defending your own in a space based RTS final stage. I'm really looking forward to playing this final two stages.

So who else is playing Spore? And what do you think of it?

For me the best way was to not know too much about it prior to playing it the first time. That way it is all a great surprise as each part unfolds and evolves as you progress. great game and so far deserving of 9/10 from me.

29th September 2008, 19:48
Nice one! Thanks for the detailed review. I've heard of this game but never played it. Sounds interesting!

I've just bought a HD3850 for my aging AGP computer and overclocked it loads. I'm not upgrading to multicore until the Intel i7's are released. I'm therefore looking out for some games to play. I'm bored of FPS's at the moment after Bioshock, Stalker, Crysis and COD4 - the artificial intelligence is still rubbish - but something like this sounds great.

One of my favorite older games is Populous the Beginning and Spore's world view in its screenshots reminded me of that! I used to play that online all the time, great game. In fact, I was playing it (the very last level) when the Twin Towers came down.

Spore looks to be a nice take of the evolving society idea and I'll be sure to have a look.

29th September 2008, 21:50
The world view is a little bit like Populous the Beginning as you can see the curvature of the planet as you rotate it. It is also not as serious as some of the big RTS games, and you can construct both your species and the buildings and vehicles however you wish using building blocks and colouring palettes.

It definitely takes the evolving society idea much further in scope than any game I've played before. And it borrows heavily from the best of the past. You instantly see elements from classics such as the Amiga games Populous, Megalomania, Sim City and many more, but also more recent ones such as Black and White.

Definitely worth getting and playing.

Be warned though. It can get very addictive and consume your free time.

30th September 2008, 09:05
I've now played through the Civilization section and am into the Space part.

The Civilization section was quite good, but also quite simplistic, especially if you are used to RTS games. You only have access to 4 types of building in each city (houses (to increase population), Entertainment (to keep your population happy), Factory (to make money), and Gun Turrents (to defend your cities). How you place them effects the happiness of your people. You also get to build and design each building from the ground up which is pretty cool, and the system works well.

The same building system is also used to design and make the vehicles you have access too. You initially have a land vehicle for combat, trade or religion. Each of your cities is designated as one of these three types and can then only produce that type of vehicle. Combat is obviously to attack and defend, trade is to open up trade routes between your cities and neighbouring ones, and religion vehicles are used to try and convert another city onto your side by preaching at their doors.

The other two types of vehicle are sea and air. Again you have the same three types for sea, and these allow you to reach other cities on other continents. Finally air becomes available late in the stage and you can then design and build your first aircraft to attack or defend from the air.

This civilization stage only takes a couple of hours to complete. You start off with your founding city, designing your city hall and buildings. You then venture out and either capture or make friends with the other cities you find. Whilst at the same time taking control of spice fountains that are dotted around the planet and are used to generate income. Each city ot spice area you control increased your territory, with the final goal being to take control of the whole planet.

Once you complete this stage you are ready to venture into space, and this is where things get really interesting. Yo design and build your space ship, and then have a few basic missions flying around your planet to get used to the controls. You initially are given a radar, scanner, tractor beam, and laser. One of the first missions is to scan an animal that looks a bit like a cow. You then get to beam it up to your ship, and then back down to a city. And finally seek out the same type and shoot them all with your laser. :lol:

Once that is over with you get to leave the planet and this is where the coolest part begins. When you gain altitude you leave the atmosphere, the planet shrinks, and the then see the solar system. You can select any planet or moon and fly to it, and go down and explore the surface. But go out further and th solar system shrinks until you are in the galaxy map. I'm not sure how many solar systems are in the game but it looks like a lot! You can then pick systems, fly directly to them and start moving in closer into their solar systems and then planets.

The goal of this final stage is galactic domination. As I said I'm not such how large the star system is in the game. I've only just started the missions in this stage. Scanning another system and reporting back, then taking a colony to the planet and setting up the first colony to mine spice. And I've visited another planet and done some scanning, was then attacked by defence ships and flew back to report my findings to the home world.

I'm looking forward to discovering more and developing my ships systems enough to gain the terraforming abilities. It looks like you are then able to completed redesign planets, repainting them and sculpting their look. Quite cool.

I'm yet to meet my first alien culture properly yet. So far I've just encountered a dead planet with a destroyed city. I'm looking forward to some space battles. :)

30th September 2008, 11:42
The scope of this game sounds huge. Still, after playing space games like X3 I'm used to big universes!

I hope you didn't anal probe those poor inhabitants. I know I shouldn't generalize about E.T's and all that, but I've heard these rumours see...... ;)

30th September 2008, 11:56
I hope you didn't anal probe those poor inhabitants. I know I shouldn't generalize about E.T's and all that, but I've heard these rumours see...... ;)

What makes you;) think they have anuses????

30th September 2008, 12:08
Good point Buleste!!! :D ...but if something eats it's got to have some waste pipe orifice to probe?

Harrision, let us know how many lifeforms are anal-positive on your travels. But no probing!

Perhaps we're going a little off-topic here? The norm for Classic Amiga! :D

30th September 2008, 13:56
All depends if you add one as you are evolving the lifeform! ;) (only joking!) :lol:

The space stage is bloody hard. I had a play around this morning and it starts off nicely enough, setting up a colony on another planet and starting to mine. Then meeting some alien races. One was very friendly and quickly allied themselves with my race. However this war mongering alien suddenly appeared, stole my colony, attacked my ally and made me fall back to my home world as they are now constantly attacking it. Quite hard! And I hardly got to explore far yet either. Abut 25 systems or so I think. Maybe less war like tactics will work better next time! :lol:

30th September 2008, 14:34
You had to try to be a Klingon didn't you!!!;)