Spore - hands-on

Sept. 20, 2007

So, you're aware that Spore is a life simulator in which you (as a Play-Doh-wielding god) raise a species up from a single-celled organism all the way through to a planet-destroying scourge of the galaxy.

We're on the same page, right? The game, rather like the whole concept of life itself, is far too big to describe in the space allotted - so check with Mr Google if you're not up to speed, then rejoin the printed-page party right here as soon as you can. As we're doing the tribal dance. Baby.

After microorganisms come nature trials on land: basically, collecting DNA points from fighting, being friendly or simply nosing through fossils lying about the place. The more you develop the brain and body parts of your little chaps/chapesses and the more sociable dancing you instruct them to do, the more little mates can trail around after you.

As soon as you have a posse of three, well, that's where Will Wright goes all Kubrick on us. The music from 2001 fills your speakers, as your odd little quadruped green chaps with bums for eyes (or whatever) re-enact the bone-crushing scene in which the apes are forcibly evolved by the Monolith, the camera spins and (as if from nowhere) a tribal hut appears.

This third stage of Spore will kick in two hours into the game - the preceding microscopic and Attenborough-inspired antics lasting a half-hour and an hour-and-a-half respectively. It's all about uniting various tribes of your bum-eyed (or whatever) greenskins through either sociable or violent means - or, more likely, a mixture of the two.