Archives for : June2008
Gameplay: I have only just reached the Civilization Stage, so I can only comment about the Cellular through Tribal. The Cellular stage is pretty straightforward with some surprises. I expected that my creature would use asexual reproduction while in the primordial soup. Instead, you have to find a mate and modify the offspring prior to hatching. Another surprise was that where you place the cell parts counts. For example, if you put spikes along the side of your cell, your overall “attack” rating goes up, but in order to actually use them in battle, you’ll have to rub up along side another cell.
The Creature stage is similar, except you’re on land, and you pick parts with different types of attacks and dances. I don’t think it is necessary to consider the exact placement of each part any more. You’re still fighting (or wooing) the other creatures in the realm, and you can bring in allied creatures to your “pack” to be more effective. This stage plays a lot like battles in World of Warcraft without being so tedious. The Tribal stage reminded me of every RTS I have ever played, but vastly simplified. There was nothing really notable about it.
The game plays pretty smoothly on my Macbook Pro. It’s much smoother in a window than it is full screen, but I have not tried it at a native resolution.
The install process: The installer did claim to require root access, even when I attempted to install the game in my home directory. I performed a Time Machine backup before and after the installation to see what it was changing. Aside from /Applications/SPORE, only one file was created: /Users/dpk/Library/Preferences/com.transgaming.tginstall.plist, presumably for Cider. I’m no super Mac genius, but I don’t see anything indicating that an alternative DVD driver was installed, or anything else harmful. If it’s using SecuROM, it doesn’t appear that it exists while the game is not running. FWIW: The disc does not have to be in the drive in order to play the game.
Finally: It’s definitely kind of fun so far. Once I do a complete run through to the Space Stage, I will probably go back and tinker with the creature designs a lot more, and I’ll play at a higher difficulty level to see if the challenge makes the game more fun.