Amid the sometimes tired deluge of sequels and copycat adventure games featuring gangsters who steal cars and shoot innocent pedestrians, there can be hidden gems. Will Wright, the creator of the Sims franchise, is fashioning just such a gem: Spore. Developed for PC, Spore is a strategy game revolving around the development of your species, then the advancement of your civilization. You continue exploration through a universe so staggering in size you could literally play it forever and still only see a tiny part of it.

You start with a simple amoeba, and develop it into a unique creation by combining a collection of shapes and limbs. This forms a creature of almost infinite diversity thanks to the unique shape generation system that allows you to stretch and scale each part. The creature even correctly identifies and animates crucial joints and limbs. It's quite impressive, but it doesn't end there.

As you breed these odd creatures, a sense of personality, community and culture develops, requiring you to mold their civilization. You do this in a similar way to before, using base shapes and stretching and combining them to create a truly individual world. But then what?

Well, your creatures will eventually develop transport, allowing you to leave the gates of your kingdom and explore the outside world. At which point you'll eventually stumble across other creatures and civilizations generated at random by the computer.

You'll marvel at the vastly different look and behavior of the creatures and gape at their alien cites. And then you'll conquer them. But not necessarily using weapons - you can conquer them via other routes such as economic power and dependency. But mostly, to be safe, you'll want to kill them. This is a life simulation after all and what does life seem to do best? That's right, destroy other life.

Many games would stop there, but not Spore. Moving on, you'll soon discover flight and space travel that enables you to view your world from space. Flying out further you'll see the solar system and even explore other planets.