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The 5 Best Things That Happened to Me While I Played Spore

5. I became a real-time strategy gamer—and it didn’t hurt a bit.
We only had 30 minutes of playtime, so I zoomed straight to a part of the game I’d never seen before (the Civilization phase) based on a gaming genre I generally avoid like the plague (RTSes). This is RTS-lite, but not so lite as to be boring: I needed to build resources and keep my people happy and productive. I needed to attack other cities with the appropriate firepower. Then, I needed to decide whether or not to convert them from, say, religious cities into military cities. Is itStarCraft 2? No, but it’s also not Webkinz.

4. I felt ok about stealing other people’s Spore creations, especially because they’re way better than mine.
I would like to think that the Spore Creature Creator is a vehicle for my creative genius, butas most of the Internet learned two weeks ago, I’m just as debased and untalented as everyone else. So I was pretty happy to learn that I could play the game with any creature already in the Sporepedia. (This was also useful given the time limit.) I chose a beastie created by someone on the Spore dev team, so it was reasonably well-evolved, had more or less the correct number of arms and legs, and didn’t look like a ballsack.

3. Unlike at restaurants with really long menus, I didn’t get overwhelmed when confronted with too many choices.
Spore is not a simple game. In fact, I won’t even try to describe its many layers here, because you will become very bored and possibly frightened and angry, and damn if everyone doesn’t shoot the messenger. Suffice it to say that this is a game with many, many facets, starting with its overarching organization and drilling aaaaaaaaaall the way down to the way you control an individual creature’s movement. Did it take me a few minutes to sort out what was what? It did. But by the end of my 30-minute playtest, I had completely mastered any commands needed to get around and do stuff.

2. I made a new planet habitable, which turned out to be easier than sorting my own home recyclables.
I can’t say that I played Spore’s Space phase, because I only spent about 5 minutes with it, but what a 5 minutes it was. I traveled to another galaxy and happened upon a planet too hot to sustain life—until I began terraforming it, adding clouds and mountains and dropping weather systems that began to transform the fireball into a nearly palatable place to live. There were so many terraforming options at hand, it was a bit like being in the Spore Planet Creator. Great fun.

1.Will Wright made me a space ship.
What more could a girl ask for? *sigh*

July 2, 2008