Sporadic Entertainment

For you who haven’t ever played Spore — and have no intentions to do so — here is a simple description of the whole idea. Spore is not one game, but five games. The first four can be pretty much finished by anyone without gaming experience (like yours truly) in about an hour each. The last one is (allegedly) the game of galactic expansion, trade, and conquest, and the one where definitely people will spend most of their time. However, unless they’re very experienced gamers, or have talked with other gamers, or read forums for hints and tricks, after 4-8 hours you’ll lose interest quickly — you’ll shortly see why.

The first game (“Cell stage”) is very simple: move your single-cellular organism around, eat plants (if you’re vegetarian) or other animals, and grow by adding features to your ‘cell’. It’s way simple, and will appeal to anyone familiar with micro-games — it’s about at the same level of challenge, you can’t really “lose” the game, you just take a bit longer if you “die”, and it’s generally plain, simple fun. There is not much to learn, no serious tricks to master, no real skills needed — just click around and eat things, avoid other creatures with a flick of your mouse, and that’s all.

Still, you feel some empathy with your little buddy which you’ll be able to personalise as you eat more and more things. However, it doesn’t look like anything squashed on everybody’s profile on the social Web in September — these “more advanced” critters will just be available on Game #2.

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