Sunday, September 7, 2008

N00b Reviews: Spore

Oh, me? What have I been up to lately?

Schoolwork, homework, paperwork, SCIENCE! (With a smattering of political convention watching in there for good measure.)

But that's not why I'm posting tonight. Oh no. Spore came out today, and I IMMEDIATELY grabbed up a copy and played a session. So it's time for...

N00b Reviews!! By the casual* gamer, for the casual gamer.

Spore is everything it was expected to be. The short review: It's the sim game to top all previous sim games. If you even passably enjoyed any previous sim game and don't have problems with game addiction, go buy this.

I played through an "Easy" game in one sitting tonight, and... well, hot damn. It's incredible. Firstly because you can play through an "Easy" game in one sitting, especially someone like me who is slightly less than hardcore. Seriously, this game delivers on all fronts. The creature/house/car/boat/plane/saucer-editors are intuitive and satisfying; the gameplay is enthralling; and I came across a species of animated Cock'n'Balls on my home planet, which I consider a plus. You really end up rooting for your little species, even if they are a pig-snouted, stumpy, googly-eyed, tangerine-colored biped who are collectively known as "MsWiggly".

The city-building aspect is somewhat less than fully absorbing, though, and it took me a while to really get a handle on the custom paint schemes for the non-creature editors. Oh, and if you have anything against competing with a species of animated Cock'n'Balls, maybe because you are a parent of a small child or a religious prude or a super-radical-feminist-lesbian or something, you might see that as a minus.

I'd say it gets top marks** for successfully entertaining me from a single cell all the way into space. It gets even topper marks from me, because I prefer playing games like that in full-on cultural domination mode and it enabled me to completely forego that pesky 'combat' thing - but for the more competitive of you, you can also easily rely on combat as well. I'm absolutely going to try again on a stricter difficulty at some point, but right now I'm enjoying flitting across the galaxy in my flying saucer in easy mode.

Not too much else I have time to say. I must go attempt sleep now, or else risk being very cranky in the morning.

I promise I'll try to make more time for you during this hectic school year, my adoring fans. Or whatever. =P

* By "casual gamer", I mean the kind of person who will not grind whelps for XP or phat lewts. I mean the kind of person who, when confronted with a monotonous or frustrating game, puts it down instead of treats it as a challenge to their testicular fortitude. A.k.a. "us normal people".

** No, I will not give you a numbered score. Those things are lame as hell, and completely arbitrary.


  1. How much time counts as "one sitting"? I'm not fond of saving and coming back to a sim game, since I tend to forget at least one detail of my strategy before I can pick it up again.

  2. One sitting was between six and eight hours for me.

    The strategy isn't overly complicated like other universe-building war-faring sim games. It may actually be rather limited depending on what you're expecting; hardcore gamers may want to look elsewhere (I highly recommend Galactic Civ for that).

    I'd also like to add that Spore only allows one account per game purchased. Thus, let's say if both I and my boyfriend wanted to have our own Spore universes, as may be the case. We'd have to buy two damn copies of the game.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

    Demerits to Spore!