I was excited by Spore. When this game was revealed, it suggested a rich, immersive experience that would involve developing a species from the ground up – shaping their evolution from the microbial stage, right through to the emergence of intelligence and through to space-faring civilisations. Unfortunately, the game didn’t live up to the hype, proving to be disappointing, especially in the latter stages.
The good: The depth to which you can design your creation is pretty incredible. You can give them as many limbs as you want, shape their eyes, their height, skin colour, everything. This extends to the next stage (when your species crawls out of the ocean and becomes a land creature). Even the point where your creatures develop early civilisation (think hunter-gathers) is quite entertaining. Unfortunately…
The bad: … at this point the game wanes, and becomes very samey. Your options for developing your civilisation are limited, and the more advanced you get, the worse this gets. By the time the game takes you to interstellar space, you’re faced with a frustrating and confused four-X game where you have only one ship, yet are expected to put out fires across multiple planets. If the game had evolved into a Civilisation/Master of Orion-style simulation once it reached those stages, it would have excellent. Unfortunately, it didn’t.