Spore is the latest creation of Will Wright, the man who brought the world The Sims. Wright aimed to create the ultimate Sim with the player in control of a species from the start to the ultimate frontier.
There is no story per say in Spore, you could say you create your on.
Spore, in reality is 6 different games. The bulk of the gameplay will take place in the 5 stages, Cell, Creature, Tribe, Civilization and Space. The “6th” game is the creator that is used mainly for creatures early on and for buildings and vehicles in later stages. For the most part each stage of the game is a different game. The cell and creature stages play more like action adventure games, while the tribe and civilization stages are more like real time strategy games.
Before I go into more detail on the different stages, the game plays very differently depending on whether you choose to be a Herbivore or Carnivore. Herbivores have it easier as to survive is just to find plants around, why Carnivores will have to kill more since they need to kill to eat. Due to this fact it is a lot harder to play as Carnivores as your need to kill will label you as a “predator” making the creature, tribal and civilization stages more difficult as most tribes, except for the weakest beginning ones won’t trust you.
The cell stage does a good job of always making you feel small as whenever you grow in size and become stronger, there is always a new, bigger and stronger threat to make you feel small. The developers made this a part of all the stages, the feeling that your always smaller than someone else until the end, however it only truly works in the cell stage. In the other stages with maybe a minor exception of the creature stage, it just gives a game a lack of a sense of progression. Since the game is always trying to make you feel small, whenever you get ahead someone bigger shows up and makes the game seem endless.
The creature stage was a personal favorite as it played the best. Exploring the world, defeating/befriending creatures and finding new parts was lots of fun. This stage is probably where the creator is the most useful/fun to use. In this stage you will find a lot of new body parts for your creature which will allow you to improve/drastically change your original creature design. There are two gameplay mechanics in this stage and that is impressing/destroying other species. It is easier to “Impress” as a herbivore than it is as carnivore. If you impress more during this stage it makes it easier to befriend tribes and civilization in later stages, vice versa if you kill a lot it makes it harder. There is, however, a middle point but depending on what kind of vore you choose your basically lead into one direction or another.
The tribe and civilization stages play the same, but on different scales. The tribe stage has your creature start to wear clothes, use weapons/instruments and have houses. Instead of controlling a single creature like in the previous stages, you now, control, well a tribe. As you conquer/befriend other tribes you gain new instruments/weapons and your tribe grows larger. From here you move to the civilization stage which ends any view of your creatures outside of talking to other civilizations. You now create a city hall and vehicles to combat other civilizations or use religion to take over cities.
The game sports a very cartoony look, it doesn’t push what PCs can do but that is the point, like WoW, the graphics keep it so anyone can play game, and not exclude would be buyers like the Crysis series. The audio is well done with the various creatures and sound effects.
Spore is a very enjoyable gaming experience that just about anyone can enjoy. My only real gripes with the game is that the “lack of a feel of progression” I touched upon earlier and that once you really start enjoying a stage, it tells you to move on to the next stage. However I recommend giving this game a shot.