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25 of 28 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
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spore is a bore
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...
Published on 19 Sep 2008 by Mangoman


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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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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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars How to lose fans and irritate people, 24 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. Od Smith "d2kvirus" (Coulsdon, Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I'm sure I echo a lot of sentiments here whenI say there's a lot to love about Spore, but there's too much to hate about the way EA have gone about things it that have made it quite possibly the most pirated game in history.

As soon as I heard about the game, I wanted to play it. That's the sort of things all games should have - they should make people want to play it as soon as they first hear about it, and live up to that hype and potential.

WhatEA have done, though, in their bid to stamp out piracy/second hand gaming (delete as you see fit) is to take a game that people want to play, and give them a reason not to buy it - this is not whatpublishers should do, as it affects their bottom line from a business standpoint, and froma consumer standpoint it loses them customers. In other words, if you give customers a reason not to buy your product, you give thema reason to spend their money elsewhere.

The fact is that I really want to play this game, but EA's attitude in treating all their customers like criminals has given me no choice other than to steer clear. I know it's good from whatI've heard from people who do own the game, so it does live up to the hype and potential, but I refuse to buy a game that will load software onto my computer that will probe whatI have on my hard drive and, according to some reviews and comments, delete files and programs that look as if they are used to pirate games. The irony being, of course, that the pirates were way ahead of the DRM and cracked it,so the people who just want to play the game and don't care about shelling out their money are punished.

If there was any sense at EA, they'd admit their mistake and back down on the DRM, and release the game as is, and nothing more. I'd buy it,as allI want is the game afterall, and I'msure plenty of other people feel the same way.
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25 of 28 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DRM ... the slippery slope to selling less, 11 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. Andrew Buckley (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I have to add my opinion.....

The DRM in this game is a total put off. I like to be able to take games off when I don't need the distraction that their presence offers. To be limited to 3 installs is a bad idea... I just hope that EA don't do the same with C&C Red Alert 3.....otherwise I won't be buying that either. Personally this could be very harmful to EA as there will be a hard core group of users who will simply refuse to buy games from EA. And thinking about it this may actually encourage piracy because someone outthere may have already cracked the DRM.......why pay lots of money for something you can only use a limited number of times when you can download a hacked version for free. The only real way to stop piracy is to sell the product at a reasonable price that lots of people can afford
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars kids love it, 2 July 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
This is my first review for anything. I was not going to buy after all the bad reviews and we had to buy a new computer for this after my son asked for this for xmas 2009. My husband was adamant not to buy it also. 18 months on it is the most played game we have ever had. My son loved Flannimals, likes biology, history, liked Star Wars, drawing cartoons and weird creatures and my daughter likes design, Sims, Twighlight, and they both love it. Best of all is the very detailed space section at the end. Quote - "I know you don't like computer games Mum but you have gotta see this." Of interest - my sporty son does not play it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DRM: PC Games are supposed to be a product sold to fans, not a service rented to criminals., 9 Sep 2008
By 
Stardock "Are Ace" (Gamers Bill Of Rights) - See all my reviews
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
What do i think of Spore:

It's quite good fun, but............
Do you regularly upgrade your PC?
Do you regularly reinstall your OS?
Do you frequently find yourself without an internet connection?
Do you dislike the idea of being dependent on an internet connection?
Do you like revisiting old games long after the parent has gone bust?
Do you dislike the flakey & undependable online support mechanisms used by the games industry?
Do you like to be able to archive patches for that "hmmm, lets have another go" moment years later?
Do you like to think of the games you purchase as a product you own?
Do you dislike being treated as a criminal?
Do you dislike your favourite developer have the above attitude forced on them by the publisher?
Do you have a great deal of respect for Stardock for their Gamers Bill of Rights?

If the answers to any of the above are "Yes" then do NOT buy Spore, it will leave you feeling dirty, used, and abused. Thanks EA.
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75 of 86 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad DRM, Average Gameplay, 9 Sep 2008
By 
F. JANSEN "Fabi" (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 DRM in this limits you to three installations, I for one mess about with my gaming machine a lot and reinstall my OS on average every other month. You have to call EA and explain why you need to activate it again after the three.

A friend has had that exact problem with the game already: A new PC a few days after the first install, then installed on the new PC which came with XP. He then upgraded that to Vista, and installed it again. Now he can not install the game again without calling EA every time.

I, for one, will be finding myself a fully functional pirated version instead as those work without problem. I can only suggest others do the same.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very mixed bag. Could have been so much more., 9 Sep 2008
By 
S. Ballantine (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
This is a fun game but imo it just does not have any long term appeal.

There is just not enough depth to any of the stages to give much replay value.

The first two stages (cell and animal) and short and fun with an arcadey style of play but I probably wouldn't play through either of them more than 2 or 3 times.
The next two (tribal and civilisation) are both too short and too easy, even on hard difficulty. There is also zero strategy involved, it's just a case of build as many units as you can and attack/convert your neighbour, repeat this for the next tribes/city and just keep going. I've only played through them once but am not looking forward to returning to them.
Finally, the space phase. This is the only stage that has any hint of depth at all and there is certainly a fair bit more to do than the other stages. In the end though, it just felt empty, there is little/zero sense of achievement because you're basically omnipotent. Exploring is fun at first but rapidly becomes monotonous.

Now, a lot of people are probably thinking I've missed the point of the game. Perhaps I have, all I know is that although I had fun playing some parts of it, there was nothing like the level of depth I expect from my games. I was hoping for a populous style tribal phase, a Civ IV style civilisation phase and a master of orion 2 style space phase. What I got were tribal and civ phases watered down to the point that they were no fun or challenge at all and a space phase that is just... dull.

Added to this we have the DRM issue. This is a real pain for me. I bought one copy for me and my wife to play but I then find that although I can install it on her PC, I can't register an account for her because the serial code is already locked to my email address... So, she can use my account right? Not exactly.. I won't go into any more detail there but suffice it to say, I was not expecting to have to mess around for several hours just to get the damn thing to run on our own home machines! On top of that, it's used up another activation, I'm not sure if I've got one or none left now. I expect I'll never find out because I'm unlikley to play it again but that's hardly the point, I've paid my money, I have the disc, I should be able to install and play it whenever I want.

Conclusion:

From a programmer's point of view, Spore is undoubtedly a marvel. The technologies that make the whole thing hang together are astonishing. However, from a gammer's point of view, I DON'T CARE! All I want is a game that's going to keep me entertained and sadly, despite all it's promise, that's not Spore.

As for the DRM thing, I'll be VERY carefull to find out more about the protection on games I buy in future. (particularly EA ones) If they have anything like this then I won't bother because frankly, it's not worth the hassle.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Say no to DRM!!!, 14 Oct 2008
By 
L. R. Smith (Colchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Spore (Mac/PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Wanted to get this game, but then read about the insane DRM on it. If I'm paying this much for a game, I want to own it, not feel that I'm renting it and have to go begging to EA's customer service if I run out of activations (which I would, as I'd have it installed on 2 machines and refromat regularly.

The main reason for this sort of DRM is NOT to stop piracy, but to kill the second hand market for their games.

Shame on you EA....
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Spore (Mac/PC DVD)
Spore (Mac/PC DVD) by Electronic Arts (Windows Vista / XP)
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