Maxis decided to release an offline title from The Sims in 2008. Instead of giving the green light to a new SimCity, Maxis chose to pursue an idea that would allow players to control the development of an entire species. This game, called Sporewould ask players to lead their own personal creation through five stages of evolution.
Spore was unlike most games at the time, with players building their species using an advanced creature editor, then battling for dominance on their personal planet – culminating in intergalactic warfare. The game received good reviews, but while many still use the character creator to create wild creatures and the game was featured in academic studies, there were no reviews. Spore title since 2009.
Spore has made great strides
Spore was divided into five gameplay stages with the outcome of each stage affecting the start of the next phase. The five stages were known as Cell, Creature, Tribal, Civilization, and Space. Players win the game by reaching a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy during the space phase, assuming their species was able to survive that far. Each stage allows the player to customize an aspect of their species beyond their appearance.
The cell stage begins with a meteor crashing into the ocean, giving players access to a single-celled organism crossing the ocean. Here, the player could choose whether his organism was a herbivore or a carnivore, and he had to dodge predators while trying to eat. During this time, players would also discover pieces of meteors that they could use to evolve their creature in the cell editor.
During the creature phase, the player would have access to a more advanced creature editor. At this point, players were traversing the planet and befriending or attacking other creatures. As players continue to interact with other creatures, their own kind will unlock new body parts and grow smarter until they can form a tribe.
The Tribal Stage turned the game into an RTS where players could no longer customize their creature’s appearance. Instead, they had control over the clothes their tribe wore. They should prepare for war against other tribes and make sure their tribe stays happy. Once they reached a certain population, a stage of civilization began reminiscent of that of Sid Meier’s Civilization, with players able to customize the appearance of their buildings and the vehicles used by their species. Once they captured the entire planet, the game would enter the final space phase, which resembled games like Stellaris – although not as advanced.
Spore is worth revisiting
The concepts and mechanisms involved in Spore were very advanced at the time, and something that hasn’t really been revisited since. While many games represent one or two of these milestones, there hasn’t been another title like Spore which allowed players to control one species across all five. The game sold well and received good reviews, leading to a few spin-offs, but nothing since 2009.
Maxis has built a solid foundation, and the community continues to have fun with it. Sporethe creature editor. With advances in video game technology, a whole new Spore could take the concept to the next level. Each stage could be deepened, the creature editor could be expanded, and there could even be a sixth stage added. One of the main criticisms leveled at the game was that some aspects felt superficial, and that could be rectified with another Spore.
While EA is apparently solely focused on The Simsthe gaming industry should review the Spore concept. With a little more time and advances in technology, a second Spore might be one of the best simulation games out there.
Spore is now available on PC.
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