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Showing 1-10 of 58 reviews(2 star). See all 742 reviews
on 11 September 2008
Spore is a disappointing game.

I was looking forward to it because it reminded me of a web-based experiment called "Technosphere". This was a 'game' where you created a creature and let it free in a virtual environment. It e-mailed you when it was reproducing, when it was hunting, when it died. You felt connected to your creation. Spore does not do that.

Strategy games like Civilisation have always involved me. But Spore does not. Just lots of scurrying about.

The 'final' space game stage is supposed to be the most involving. But again it's just a lot of scurrying about. Doing repetitive missions, chasing whining planets, with no real involvement with your environment or the creature you created in the first place.

Spore reminds me of 'Black and White'. A game that had a lot of great ideas, some potential, but which was just lazy - populous with a tamagotchi. Spore is just as lazy - a sequence of mediocre games that I could play on my mobile phone. No involvement. No interest.

I would have given it 1 star, but the creature creature is genuinely interesting. Just not very well implemented in the game.
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on 19 August 2016
Don't buy this. I have been unable to play this. I like the game, but it crashes on startup and it is now unplayable. Not only that, but for some reason I was not able to register so I have now lost all my data. It's not worth the hassle.
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on 24 September 2008
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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on 22 September 2008
DRM issues aside - and Spore is not the first, nor will be the last game to employ needlessly restrictive protection schemes - what you have here is a series of minigames which are ultimately mediocre examples of their genre.

Ironically, the shortest and simplest of these minigames - the Cell section - was to me the most fun to play, by a considerable margin.

Having purchased and played the full game, it's easy to see why EA decided to release the Creature Creator as a separate, chargeable, download - it's by far the most technically impressive aspect of the entire product, and the only one which makes any attempt at innovation in its own right.

Overall: mediocre, dull, short-lived and vastly over-hyped.
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on 25 September 2008
DRM is not the main point in this review, but a lot of people are rightly annoyed that *Spore* is one of a number of recent games to come packaged with stringent procedures for copy-protection. In effect, you are only renting the game when you buy it, since you can only install it a limited number of times. While some say you could phone up EA, EA has a bad reputation for supporting customers, and what if you want to play it in five or ten years - who knows whether EA will even exist then?

There is another point to me made, however, which concerns the various technical problems with the game. Type 'DasmX86Dll.dll not found' into a search engine and you will quickly encounter a lot of vitriolic disappointment. Having played the game for a couple of days, I got this error and cannot get the game to work.

The game itself is a pale shadow of the ambitious project it must have been when it was first conceived. In effect it consists of four underheated if colourful phases, before the slightly deeper space exploration phase. There is a lot of fun to be had designing stuff, but the gameplay itself is simple and repetitive. Regular PC gamers will get bored quickly. Especially the second phase is very repetitive and drawn out. By contrast the Tribes phase is over too quickly and only very simplistically represents your advances.

EA - aside from the DRM thing - have released a half-finished game. Not only this, but the game - tragically - is a pale imitation of the great thing it might have been. It'll distract you for a day or two, but you'll quickly get fed up with it if you're older than 15.
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VINE VOICEon 12 September 2008
"Evolve your race from a cell to the stars! Be god! Conquer the universe!" I suppose we were all really rather silly for believing that the makers of "The Sims" were capable of such depth in a computer game; after all their idea of additional depth has (for the past 5 years) been to release endless "expansion packs" of new furniture, dance moves etc for your virtual doll house.

I think there are plenty of reviews already complaing about DRM, and complaining about the lack of depth of each of the stages of the game. What I'd like to do is point out the missed opportunities that Maxis had here:

1.) Evolution. When the earth cooled and organisms started developing in the primordial soup, they weren't able to get a new paint colour and stick a few extra mouths on whenever they died. The whole point of evolution is that which doesn't work dies, that which does, reproduces. If Maxis had wanted to be intelligent and sophisticated then they would have made your creatures characteristics develop as a result of its behaviour, environment, and ecological niche, not with an artificial "buy your adaptations" session like you were customizing your car in GTA III.

2.) Emotional attachment. In Black & White I had an emotional attachment to my benevolent kung-fu cow. Know why? Because I'd worked to get him the way I wanted him, and he stuck with me throughout the game, and if something bad happened to him it actually MATTERED. Throughout Spore my creatures are totally disposable, making the game practically unloseable. Therefore I don't care about my creature, so I don't care about the game.

3.) Creativity without reward. Creating creatures/spaceships/buildings isn't really my cup of tea, so it's a neat feature that I can borrow the things other people have made; clearly they've spent a lot of time on them. I don't really understand why they bothered though, when there's so little variation between each of the effects you can have on e.g. a spaceship or a vehicle. You can have a 1960's style flying saucer or the Galactica and they just shoot out the same little generic missiles, plink plink plink. Other than a brief flash of admiration for people's skills in crafting replicas of known creatures and craft from the rather tedious creation system, there's not much fun to be had for me.

4.) A Sandpit where you're the flea. By the time you get to the universe / space travel level, you're tired. You've clicked a lot, you've danced to lots of little creatures, and you've even played the didgeridoo. So you should see the growth of your empire and feel more empowered as you go along, but instead you feel like the janitor of the universe; moving things around, sweeping up, looking for needles in haystacks...

Overall this feels to me like a game without a mission or purpose, a series of unconnected Flash games that probably deserve to live in a web-browser, not on a very hyped game currently displayed on billboard hoardings throughout the land and every spare banner ad on the web. Regardless, this is probably going to sell by the bucketload...

BTW if you like the tribe stage try Company of Heroes, if you like the Civilization stage try Civilization IV, if you like the galaxy stage try Master of Orion III.
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on 9 September 2008
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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on 9 September 2008
Once I got passed the issues getting this game to actually start on my PC (I had to install it 4 times before I could launch the game) it was fun at first as I found each stage rich in innovation but thin on gameplay, making this something I will only play for a short time then never pick up again. If I could log into the EA server to experience other users creations this might have more replay value but sadly this feature seems very broken at the moment and there is no indication of when it will be fixed. No doubt it will be at the point where I've forgotten it ever existed.
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on 10 September 2008
If you are around ten years of age, or alternatively if you're the type who enjoyed spending hours customising your Sims or decorating their house, you will probably enjoy this game.

However... if, like me, you're the type who enjoys deep strategy games or open-ended RPGs, and you were hoping Spore might deliver a wonderful blend of the two based on evolution, survival, and technological progress, you'll get very little from Spore.

Spore is broken down into 5 stages. None seem to contain any meaningful choices beyond what your creature looks like and whether it's warlike or peaceful. It's an extremely linear progression rather then an open-ended sandbox experience.

The first stage is the cell stage. This is a fairly enjoyable arcade-style affair, with the basic goal of eating things smaller than you (or plants, if you prefer to go veggie) and avoiding things bigger than you. Defeating creatures will unlock new parts you can 'evolve' with, but there are only half a dozen to find so it will not take you long. The whole stage will most likely be finished in 10-20 minutes, which is a shame because it's the least disappointing stage in the game - the only real let down being that you are forced to evolve to the next stage when it feels like you're still very small and primitive compared to the other creatures floating around.

The second stage is the creature stage. Here you are stricly a nest dwelling omnivore/herbiove/carnivore - no other options exist. You can defeat or befriend other creatures in order to gain DNA points, until you eventually have enough to advance. This stage might last you an hour or two, but as with the previous stage there is no consequence to death and so few options that even on the most difficult setting you'll inevitably get through it without too much trouble. The customisation options for your creature are fun, but due to the way different parts have different 'ability points', you'll find yourself having to choose between your creature's effectiveness and the way it looks. This would be fine by me if the game mechanics for this made sense - but they don't. I can have six 'spikes', and they'll be as effective as just one. Yet I can take a single Ram's horn (the 'upgraded' evolution of a spike, according to Maxis) and find it vastly more effective. It makes no sense.

The third and fourth stages (tribal and civilisation) are fairly similar in that they both resemble extremely simplistic RTS games which offer virtually no options and absolutely no challenge (even on the hardest setting) to anyone who's played an RTS before, and would receive scores of around 1/10 or 2/10 if released as separate games. Having your created creatures/buildings/vehicles do the running around is a nice novelty, but a novelty does not result in good gameplay.

The final stage is the space stage, and whilst it's better than the previous few stages - obviously most of the development time was spent here - it doesn't offer you much more than a space exploration game with some novelty terraforming gizmos to play with. Given that you can only have a single ship and have to micromanage virtually everything in your empire, it's also extremely tedious. It's certainly no Master Of Orion or Galactic Cilivisations.

Overall, Spore is a collection of 5 extremely sub-standard games, moulded together with the gimmick of being able to customise a few things and see your own creations do it all. It would be great if doing it all were much fun, but the whole experience is so very shallow and linear that you might as well just buy the creature creator instead and enjoy 90% of the fun that those who buy the full game will have.
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on 9 September 2008
When you first play Spore it is quite fun and different, the creature creator and later on building and vehicle creators are nice to user and you can pretty much make what you like.

It's only when you start looking at the depth and the way this game is run that you start to see the major issues with it. The initial stages of the game are very short and are basically tutorials for the Space stage. Once you have played through these (a couple of hours at most) there is no real need to ever do those stages again.

The space stage is also flawed with far too many random events happening to allow you to do what Spore was meant for at this stage and to go out and explore the galaxy, populating and meeting aliens on the way.

If you add to this the limited installs that you get with the game, three per copy and only on account per copy. Then unfortunately you realise that you don't get a lot for your money, there is a lot of work needed on this game to make it anywhere near what has been promised over the years of waiting.

In conclusion, there is a lot to like about the game but unfortunately it is far outweighed by the negatives.
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