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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Months of fun so far...
My husband bought this for our 4 children (3, 7, 10 and 13) for Christmas and I was worried after reading these reviews that it would be rubbish. However they have a Spore rota next to the PC now, they are still wildly enthusiastic having played this almost every day since then. They enjoy creating the creatures and the eldest 3 have detailed knowledge about the differing...
Published on 26 Feb 2009 by sally

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming.
The biggest problem with this game is how limited it is compared to what it could be and what I think we were led to believe it would be.

Think about how varied animals are in real life, how many different environments they are adapted to live in, how different they are, their size, their biology, their behaviour, their diet, etc.

Now look at Spore...
Published on 8 Sep 2008 by K. A. Belarouci


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming., 8 Sep 2008
By 
K. A. Belarouci (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
The biggest problem with this game is how limited it is compared to what it could be and what I think we were led to believe it would be.

Think about how varied animals are in real life, how many different environments they are adapted to live in, how different they are, their size, their biology, their behaviour, their diet, etc.

Now look at Spore. There is precisely one environment your creature can live in at a given stage, and that's the water in cell stage and the temperate land every other stage. There are precisely 3 diets - any vegetation, any meat or both. Customisation is limited to selecting body parts that will allow a few different attack moves, a few different socialisation moves and a few abilities which don't really matter very much. You can create an animal without arms or legs but the fact the game only provides a single environment which isn't well suited to it and the game also seems to have its idea of what the "correct" path for evolution is it's pretty pointless to do so.

Where are the animals which live in the sea, where are the animals that live underground and in caves, where are the birds (you can glide a short distance, but you're still essentially a land animal), where are the parasites, where are the differences in cold blooded versus hot blooded animals, where is the VARIATION? Creatures can be made to look different but they are basically all the same with a few inconsequential differences.

The second main problem I have is there's really no evolution by natural selection at all in this game sadly. What features a creature has is not affected in any way by what came before, you can completely remove all features and completely reshape your creature in one fell swoop. The one tiny nod to evolution is the way your creature has behaved at a stage can give it one of three sets of abilities when it moves onto the next stage, but this has nothing to do with its physical characteristics. It's a shame really since this could have educated children somewhat on how evolution works and in this incarnation it does the exact opposite.

I would have given the game 3 stars for sort of having an interesting idea but failing to implement it in any meaningful way, but I'm going to give it one star for the DRM which has been mentioned in all the other reviews.

The best thing about this game is the technology that went into it. Procedural generation of content is a brilliant idea, and if actually incorporated into fun games, could change games forever. Think about games where you fight the same monster over and over. You could have the computer generate different attack patterns, animations and even models, within limits, to create an infinite variety of content with very little work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Contains malware, poorly thought out end game, buggy, 6 Sep 2008
By 
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Once reaching the space-age you realise that it is nothing more than a series of minigames, shoot pirates with your ship, do repetitive missions. There are no macromanagement features, you must attend your homeworld every time it is attacked, even if its capable of defending itself without you because they accuse you of not helping. This does not add a challenge, it adds boredom and frustration.

This also contains the malware SecuROM, this limits the installs of the disc to three, if you install it on 3 machines thats it your disc is now useless, if you upgrade your hardware 3 times your disc is useless, if you have to uninstall for space, if there are errors in installing the game they can all make the disc uselss after three installs, either forcing you to buy another copy, crack it or not play. Essentially EA are renting software which you are purchasing, here is how SecuROM works:

No installation option for SecuROM? Check.
Installed without my knowledge or consent? Check.
EULA for malware contained in a hidden directory so I cannot read it? Check.
Games bundled with SecuROM malware? Check.
Difficult for me to identify, locate and remove it? Check.

And the final nail in the coffin is the amount of bugs, including but not limited to:

* Random crashing (primarily in the Space Stage)
o Many cases is when zooming out to galaxy from Homeworld
o Dasmx86Dll.dll is the cause mostly.
* The bug related to the DasmX86Dll.dll file and the WINMM.dll file
o Also people have got the d3dx.dll error. (I think thats spelt correctly)
* SPORE not loading upon startup
* Unable to download user content
* License Server Issues
* Graphical Glitches
o Texture Corruption (In some cases, Major corruption)
o Main menu freeze
o Planet fine, Galaxy map just black (Toolbars etc still work)
* Mobile Graphics Card Issues (Even supported ones)
* Possible SECUROM issues
* Public Content / Buddy Sharing issues
* EA Downloader not detecting SPORE installation
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware DRM, 25 Sep 2008
By 
J. Roberts - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I will let you know that i have not brought this game but have witnessed it being played by a friend. However i will not be making a purchase (even though i was really excited when i first saw it) due to the DRM. the DRM technology used within the game installation package is ILLEGAL!!! (in a lot of countries anyway). UK law states that a full disclosure of the software, its intended purpose and what it actually does HAS TO BE CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED TO THE USER at the time of installation or before. UK law also states that software cannot cause intentional harm (granted bugs in software design appear all the time but these are not intentional) to the users data unless the user is made aware of the proceedure (i.e deleting and locking files is ok providing the user is made aware of the action). The DRM contained in this game does NOT make you aware that it is being installed and has been known to cause backup software to fail (although i doubt this is intentional). The fact that it acts like a route kit (hiding and locking itself within the core of the operating system) without giving the user the ability to remove it without specialist tools (Or in the case of most cases that i read about so far, wiping the entire hard drive or replacing it also works) means that it is in breach of UK law.

I would recommend that potential customers wait until EA release a version without such intrusive DRM which i believe they will be forced to do so in the not to distant future.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spore is a bore, 19 Sep 2008
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Spore must be the most over-hyped, let-down in gaming history.
After literally years of hype, and anticipation over what we were promised would be one of the most innovative games ever, which would change the way we play games forever, I've been left feeling conned.
Even most of the reviewers seem to have been taken in by their own hype, offering high scores in what must be blind justification for the years they've followed the progress of Spore and told us how great it's going to be.
Will Wright, the games creator must think we were all born yesterday, and that if he tells us enough times how great it is we'll believe it.
Whichever it is, the hype will certainly have shifted units of what is at best only a mediocre game.
After putting over fifty hours into Spore, (I've only stuck with it for so long in an attempt to find where this revolution in gaming is)I'm left feeling that perhaps I'd have enjoyed it more if it had not been wrapped up in such high expectations.

Spore might be best described as a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none. Part RPG, part RTS, part God game in Civillisation style, part The Sims, it does none of them particularly well, due mainly to the very simplistic gameplay, and lack of depth in any of the various game modes.
The so called 'Innovative, and revolutionary' creature creator, which allows users to create their own graphical content, use it in their own game and upload it for others to use is a no-brainer really. Having witnessed the huge amount of modded content that's been created and made available online for Wright's other title The Sims, all that he's done with Spore is include the means to create and share within the game itself, making it much more convenient. While I applaude this, and accept that this is one of the best features about Spore, I'd hardly call it revolutionary, and neither does it make up for the lack of game.
While playing a game in say the Space age, the programme is constantly downloading other users creations and including them in the multitude of star systems, and planets in my game. This ensures that there is allways a wide diversity of species to discover. However, before i finished my first game I'd stopped caring about new discoveries since allthough they may look and move differently that's about as deep as they get. Any abilities given to them are mostly obsolete to gameplay by the time you get to the Space age anyway, where you will spend most of the game, and won't have time to just mosey around planets meeting the locals. Why? because you'll be constantly zooming around in your spaceship doing the same missions over and over.
This is where Spore is both infuriating and lazy. For example, I'm given a mission to save a planet from eco-disaster within four minutes, I didn't choose it, I was given it, and the timer is already ticking. I've just arrived at the planet in question where i have to eradicate creatures infected by a virus. I'm thinking i'll take in the sights while i'm here, have a look at the user created species I've never seen yet. I've only managed to track and kill half of infected creatures when i get a message that my homeworld is under attack. I have to quickly finish the mission and zoom back home to fight off an attempted invasion.....no time for sight seeing then. By the time i've stemmed the invasion there is already another eco disaster happening, or a planet invasion. Throw in building up your colonies production/defences, and collecting spice from them (essential to your economy) in the little time you have spare in between the same few missions, There is not a lot else to it.
I hate timed missions anyway, but when i repeatedly get the same one forced upon me every ten or twenty minutes in a game I believed would encourage me to explore, and wonder in awe at the Spore users creations, i feel like the missions and constant invasions (not that they are challenging or interesting anyway) have become a ball and chain.

You won't spend nearly as much time in the various earlier stages as you do in the space age, but due to the shallow gameplay i was bored and ready to move on anyway. Which is a shame because there is fun to be had for a while, it just gets very repetitive and boring too quickly. When i started playing the creature stage I did get a sense of awe at first at what i did think was going to be quite original. My first creature was a carnivore and i did get a real feeling of being a predator. In this part of the game at least, the decisions I had made in building my creature made a difference to how I hunted and interacted with other species. I learned very quickly that to plough headlong into a herd of herbivores to get lunch would result in an early grave. However, I felt much more like i was in a 'Wildlife on One' documentary when i skulked around the herd waiting for the opportune moment to pick one off. This 'creature stage' of the game was my favourite. I could see innovation there, they just didn't develop it to it's full potential. Again, it becomes old much too quickly due to it's linear gameplay, and the lack of something to do. It's a real shame because I could see a good game here by itself with some work. Much better than the poor RTS gameplay of the later stages.

The endgame in Spore is to discover what is at the center of the Universe, and who the mysterious Grox are. I couldn't spoil it for you as I've not got that far yet, and i doubt i ever will if it means endlessly grinding the same missions, and repelling endless attacks by the other empires.

I've given Spore a poor 1 star for what little fun there is. I may have given a mediocre 2 or 3 stars had it not been so over hyped by it's creators as being so revolutionary, (there's no more innovation in there than in any other new release) because although no one likes a liar, I detest those who do it to get their hands on your money.
It does not bode well for Will Wright's next release 'The Sims 3'. I will certainly not be putting in a pre-order for it, because i simply do not trust what he says after Spore. The developers must have known it was not what they said they were selling us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shallow gene pool, 9 Sep 2008
By 
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Everyone else seems to be moaning about the limited instalations of this game but thats not going to be a problem for me as I finished and got bored of it in a day. The only problem is that I cant really sell it on because I've used up one of it's 3 lives.

I started off quite optimistic, swimming around the primordial soup, eating other microorganisms and custimising mine but I was quickly hurried along to the next stage on land. I had expected a deeper aquatic phase.

The next stage also showed promise and it is good to put your imagination to use in a game and bring a little of your self to the party. This was the best part of the game for me but all the modifications you've made up until now mean nothing because once you get onto the tribal stage, it just becomes a (not very good# RTS game and your lovingly created creatures dont make any difference.
The longest stage is the space stage and it's rather boring. Theres no more customisation, it's just a space trading game crossed with an RTS #but an RTS where you only control one vehicle).

In all. This game had a lot of potential but its been rushed out and it's no where near as in depth as it could have been. Maxis are capable of so much more.

If you can help yourself, dont bother with this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 24 Dec 2013
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Spore feels like several different games haphazardly glued together and boy does it show. The problem is that you're far of better getting a game which each section of spore tries to emulate, because they do it better. For example the tribal phase is basically a rip off of a extremely dumbed down and ridiculously easy Age of Empires. Another major issues with spore is that your actions don't have consequences, for instance should you drag yourself the space stage, without beating yourself to death with your own keyboard, you'll find the way you developed your creature in earlier stages suddenly have no impact on gameplay, in fact you'll rarely even seen your creature as your perpetually locked in a spaceship. But dont worry then you have the horrible space combat and awful planet terraforming.

In summary spore tries to copy many good games and in the end fails miserably and i haven't even mentioned the horrible DRM but to sum it up; ITS HORRIBLE! What i will give spore credit for is the creature creator which is mildly amusing, for about 2 hours tops. Just another horrible EA game with a horde of pointless overpriced DLC content with treating customers like crap as long as the moneys still coming in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All rendered very unpleasant by DRM, 8 Sep 2008
By 
R. A. Sansom (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
For those of you unfamiliar with the term DRM, it stands for Digital Restrictions Management. It's the stuff that stops you sharing music straight from your iPod and such. At the best of times it can be irritating, at worst insulting.

Spore, however a great game it may be, is choc full of the stuff. It's hampered by many factors, including the fact that you can only install it 3 times EVER, at which point you'll have to call EA and provide proof of purchase to install it again. They don't have to grant you that priviledge however.

Also, the game installs extra software known as a rootkit (made by SecuROM) on your machine without your consent, essentially classed as a virus. There is no removal tool for this software, and it is required to play the game, checking every ten days to make sure it is genuine, and running in the background as a process.

You may want to play the game anyway, as you've heard it's awesome. By all means, go ahead. But draconian practices like DRM are giving consumers a big collective headache, and there's simply no need for it. Until they remove this kind of twaddle from Spore, I wouldn't touch it with a 20ft barge-pole.

Shame on you, EA. You should know better than this.
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834 of 939 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DRM is worse than you think., 12 Sep 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
If you buy spore you'll probably be tempted to take it back to the shop after a couple of hours play. I know it can be tempting to see what it's like, so find a friend who has it and try it out. Whatever you do, don't spend your money.

First, the DRM aspect:

If you're thinking: "Why is everyone annoyed at the DRM thing? I only install games once or twice anyway."
That is exactly what EA want you to think.
The install limit is not just deducted every time you reinstall the game, there are many other factors such as windows or hardware updates which will result in your limit reducing. Say you or a parent upgrades your PC or reset windows, you will be losing install numbers without even noticing. If the game is having problems and you need to reinstall, EA says that's your fault, and it will cost you. If you install the game on your laptop and PC, that will cost you too.

"So what's the problem, if I reach my limit I'll just phone up EA?"
Heh, the last word is definitely the one to emphasize. Many have already reported having to wait days to get more points on their limit, some are simply denied. You will need to take time (and money, yes you pay for the call per minute) out of your day to beg EA to let you continue playing YOUR game. You will need to apologize to EA for installing YOUR game that YOU paid for with YOUR money too many times. Exceeding the installation limit is seen as an error on your part and EA aren't pleased they're having to waste their time fixing your game so you can play more. Thus, they charge you whilst you call.
That call centre won't be around forever, in a few years time you won't own the game, you'll just have a useless CD and case, you're effectively renting the game for full price.

If you don't protest, this will become the industry standard.
It doesn't matter what you're thinking at this stage.
You CANNOT let EA get away with this.

For those of you interested in the actual game:

I guarantee, this part was written with all DRM thoughts out of my head.

Without a doubt some of the worst gameplay ever.

Imagine with this concept how amazing a game like this could be, then scrap it and replace it with some mini and incredibly limited design program which lets you attach horns to your creature, the result will be similar to Spore. In other words, the game is a prime example of something that "lowers the bar".

The idea of being able to evolve your own creature is incredibly tempting and Spore had the potential to be a ground breaking innovative game. The problem? It's unbelievably basic and oh so simple you'll feel a desperate urge to do something more productive with your time. Unfortunately in this case, despite the gameplay being incredibly basic it's also very tedious and you'll be doing the same thing over and over again.
That's the first real problem with the game, a 6 year old wouldn't struggle. The other problem is the stages.

The creator of the Maxis games responded to critical reviews with: "I've all kinds of people say they hate different stages, there's no consistent criticism."
Yes it's true, some stages are far better than others, but it's the staging of the game that ruins it, I'm amazed the developers didn't realise this. The game would've been far better if it had run consistently (i.e. you build a city on your planet, then have all that city and the ability to operate it whilst you're exploring space) but sadly this is not the case. There are 5 stages, whenever one starts, only your creature data is passed over (which isn't much, just the visual appearance really) and nothing else. Once you've finished the stage, there is very little point continuing as you will have maxed out most things. The huge flaw is due to the fact the game is simply split into these 5 stages, thus effectively making 5 "mini games", not one of these games is worth the money you're paying for the game, and so it's never actually all that fun.

The first "Water" stage is one of the best, which is incredibly worrying since it's a very simple 2D minigame of a fish swimming around collecting food and DNA points. This is the one point in the game where the evolution idea actually works, its well implemented (adding spikes to the right parts makes a difference), and it's actually fun. It lasts about 15 minutes and you'll soon be excited about developing your creature further.

That all changes with the second "Creature" stage, your creature has evolved legs and can now walk on land. The planet looks incredibly dull and you won't be looking at anything whilst moving around as there's nothing to grasp your eye. Your objectives for this stage are to kill or make friends with other species, and change your appearance and skills. Once again, it's incredibly basic and any form of combat involves constantly clicking a button or two. If you've ever played an MMORPG, it is very much like an offline version. That's right, the tasks are all "Kill X amount of Y, go back, do it again". The result is something dull, tedious, effortless, pointless and it's at this point where you'll be planning your journey back to the video game store. In fact I still find it insane they've taken one of the major flaws with MMOs (grinding) and topped it off by putting it in an offline game...

The next "Tribe" stage is the icing on the cake. Your creature is now fully developed and you can't change it's appearance or features anymore, that part of the game is completely over and it never was put to much use anyway. The whole concept of Spore is over in a couple of hours, of which included about 15 minutes of fun. The stage itself is practically laughable, you'll be fighting other tribes in one of the worst attempts at an RTS (real-time-strategy) of all time. You'll be doing very little and end up leaving your computer on, hoping that it eventually completes to the next stage itself. Here I have to mention something about the advertising and hype of the game, here is a quote from the game author on this stage:
"A lot of people don't realize that there are actually some simple strategies for gathering food in Tribe. You can steal it from other tribes. You can domesticate wild animals and they'll come live with you. You don't have to hunt other creatures; you can domesticate them. If you manage to domesticate a really strong creature and he's sitting in your pen behind your hut, he'll actually help defend your tribe as well."

Sounds interesting huh, all those possibilities... Well guess what. All those activities are done with more or less 1 or 2 clicks of the mouse in Spore, and they are down-right pointless. This is the problem. There is no real multi-tasking involved and very little to actually do. You're always following a strict path which is very dull and tedious, if you take alternate routes, they are pointless and not worth taking. This is what annoys me, the way the game is talked about and hyped by the developers and some reviewers which could only have been bribed or played the first stage only. The game is actually incredibly cheap and takes huge amounts of short cuts in order to give the player something to do.

The gameplay in areas is just absolutely awful, it's as if it wasn't planned at all. It's not entertaining to just sit there clicking the same two buttons for 2 hours.
I won't go into the last 2 stages, but I will admit that they are slightly better. There is more effort put into them and they do at least have a reasonable amount of gameplay. However, this is instantly countered by the fact you may aswell go buy another game similar to the genre of that stage and it will be a great deal better. The game does not flow very well between phases, and thus the programming behind Spore is reasonably basic with no clever outcomes.

In fact, the game really shouldn't have taken long to make at all. Most likely so much time was spent on each and every stage, it stopped the game from really excelling anywhere. The game does a good job at making the creatures "cute", but that won't blind many people of how empty it actually is.

This review is long I'm aware, but I'm really hoping I got the point across. Do not buy this game, if you are tempted to try it then find alternative methods such as playing with a friend.

Spore is a massive dissapointment and is quite frankly, a pathetic attempt at what could've easily been a ground breaking game, had they put in the effort and planning.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Months of fun so far..., 26 Feb 2009
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
My husband bought this for our 4 children (3, 7, 10 and 13) for Christmas and I was worried after reading these reviews that it would be rubbish. However they have a Spore rota next to the PC now, they are still wildly enthusiastic having played this almost every day since then. They enjoy creating the creatures and the eldest 3 have detailed knowledge about the differing abilities and possibilities for evolving their little pals.
Yes possibly an adult may tire of this but it's our most-loved game by far.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spyware ridden excuse of a game, 8 Sep 2008
By 
D. Carr (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
The DRM on this game is pretty awful. You can only install it a MAXIMUM of 3 times on your computer - which doesn't help if you have hardware issues or get a new PC a few years down the road. Also, you need a constant internet connection as the game dials home (read EA) every few days to make sure you haven't stolen it. That's right. They INSTALL SPYWARE ON YOUR PC.

If you want this game, be prepared to be treated like a criminal by EA.

The Spore DRM is reminiscent of the Sony root kit. It installs software that you definitely don't want or need. That software can do whatever it wants on your system and there is no uninstall for it. In other words, by installing Spore, you install a piggy back Big Brother-permanently.

The saddest part is that the actual pirates will have a better game experience because the spyware that it installs on the system will have been removed by software pirates.

If you purchase, you will not be buying the game, but renting until a time that EA either
1. goes bust
2. deactivates their "activation servers" (that allow you to play the game) when they are no longer financially viable to run.

Buyer beware
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Spore (Mac/PC DVD)
Spore (Mac/PC DVD) by Electronic Arts (Mac OS X, Windows Vista / XP)
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