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The never-ending game

It’s been almost three years since Spore was first announced in 2005 at the Game Developer’s Conference. Since then, fans and critics have been gushing over every detail and lamenting over every delay. It’s no wonder why there’s so much hype about the latest title from Will Wright, designer of other infamous time suckers like The Sims and SimCity. Everything revealed about Spore so far reads like a bullet pointed list for an awesome title - minus all the bull.

Spore looks like an every-game. As you shape the evolution of a single-celled organism into a space-faring race of advanced life forms, Spore’s laundry list of self-contained game types hit on just about every popular genre and iconic classic. The Cell Phase will have you hunting down bits of food and dodging enemies much like a classic 2D arcade action title. Once you’ve managed to start exploring land the Creature Phase takes over. Likened to Diablo, this phase will have you hacking, slashing and learning new abilities as your creations grow in intelligence and evolve further.


Above: Spore’s flexible editor will let you create anything from stylized tanks to creatures that look like South Park characters

Spore’s attempt to fuse different genres continues in the Tribal Phase, which plays like a real-time strategy and lets you choose whether you want to conquer your neighbors. This leads into the Civilization Phase, which lets you further sculpt your race as you attempt to conquer the planet through the use of brute force or clever diplomacy.

But it looks like it’ll be the Space Phase where Spore fully blossoms, which changes your goal from world domination to taking on the entire galaxy. It’s here where the game’s scope explodes into 4X proportions with tons of systems and planets populated with foreign races to forge friendships with or crush with your iron fist. The biggest win condition in Spore will be reaching a quasar placed in the center of the galaxy. But you’ll need to figure out how to deal with the largest NPC race whose giant empire blocks the way.

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