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Summary:

Yesterday, the long awaited Spore was finally released here in the US. Spore, a product of Sims mastermind Will Wright, has been in development for some 8 years with the public knowing about the game for about the last 3-4 years. The lengthy development time along […]

Yesterday, the long awaited Spore was finally released here in the US.

Spore, a product of Sims mastermind Will Wright, has been in development for some 8 years with the public knowing about the game for about the last 3-4 years. The lengthy development time along with multiple release-date delays built up a huge amount of anticipation for the game.

Spore is a multi-genre “massively single-player online game” developed by Maxis and designed by Will Wright. It allows a player to control the evolution of a species from its beginnings as a unicellular organism, through development as an intelligent and social creature, to interstellar exploration as a spacefaring culture. It has drawn wide attention for its massive scope, and its use of open-ended gameplay and procedural generation. (Wikipedia)

In addition to the game itself, there is also an extensive online database of all the creatures users have created called Sporepedia. It currently has over 8.4 million user-created creatures. (If you have a Spore account and are logged in, feel free to check out my Spore profile.)

My initial impression of the game is that it is incredibly addictive and fun. There are a slew of complexities that make the game a different experience for every player and helps keep the game fresh. I’ve been playing the game on my MacBook Pro (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM). Initially the framerate on the game felt really slow so after reducing some of the graphic settings in the game everything felt incredibly smooth. It was a bit of a letdown that the game wouldn’t run at full graphic capacity on my MBP. I’ll be doing a full, in-depth review in the coming weeks on game play and performance.

Spore Origins

Last week, Spore Origins for regular iPods was released. And now, 5 days later, Spore Origins for the iPhone/iPod touch has been released and is available for purchase in the iTunes App Store for $9.99.

Spore Origins is essentially just the Cell Phase of the regular Spore game that consists of you, as a microbe, swimming around eating other creatures. You then upgrade/evolve your creature as you gain more DNA.

Overall gameplay is really smooth and the tilt control works better than I thought it would. It’s not an incredibly complex game but it’s still a lot of fun.

Have you played Spore or Spore Origins? What has been your initial impression as far as performance and game play goes?

  1. Going to download it -NOW-. I’ll post another comment with my thoughts…if I can leave it alone long enough to do so.

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  2. Not available on the HK App Store yet… :'(
    Although I still might try this, i am abit disappointed to read somewhere that you can’t transfer your creature to the full desktop program, nor go beyond the Cell phase, but I guess would be asking too much of the iPhone to fully compute so many possible limb permutations. Not even the Macbook has enough graphical power to handle the full Spore version! (Specs require more than the intel 950GMA built-in ‘video card’).

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  3. Yay, it just got released in HK! (Sad to constantly be monitoring the App Store… haha)
    It’s quite well polished and alot harder to survive than I thought! Having some trouble on level 4 after getting my first evolution point. But it is a fun console game, and hilarious when you map a fresh photo of pavements to the creature’s skin!
    Given its ultimate limitation of only staying at Cell phase, i think the game would be a better bargain at something like US$5.99. For $9.99 I would have hoped for abit more longevity by allowing syncing to the desktop version (For example, if you’re on Creature or Tribal phase, you can still issue some basic commands, even if not as graphically impressive as the desktop version).

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  4. Mentioning the launch of this game without even a word about the Amazon.com firestorm of negative reviews regarding the aggressive DRM in Spore is… well I don’t know. Come on guys, you can do better than that!

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  5. Jeremy,
    I guess Josh didn’t have time to surf on every available webpage regarding Spore, but its good that you contributed that link for us. I didn’t realise that it has caused such a stir. EA is probably betting alot of marketing dollars on this game, and wants to protect is franchise. But I don’t agree with DRM when its that restrictive. Not being able to uninstall it leaves the trojan horse there for other restrictive games from EA.

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  6. I was thinking about buying it, as it seems like its a great game. But the idiotic DRM changed my mind.

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  7. Michael,
    True true. I guess I was just really fired up about (and disappointed) about it. I was seriously ready to plunk down $50 and then when I saw all the ratings on Amazon, I thought… “something must be whacky here. There’s no way over a thousand people are giving it a 1-star rating.” Then I started reading up on the DRM in Spore. Geez, they really blew it.

    Anyway, I feel like people should be aware of it! I follow a lot of Apple blogs and no one, large and small, has commented on this. Okay, I’ll calm down now. :-)

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  8. The DRM is really not that restrictive. The Amazon responses are making a mountain out of a molehill. Most of them haven’t even bought the game. How can you comment on someting you have no knowledge of?

    As for the DRM, you’re allowed three concurrent installs. If you change you hardware or get a new computer you just contact EA on their support site and they’ll quickly reset your counter. On the Mac (I don’t know about the Windows version) you can even play it without the disk in the drive. Your serial number is tied to your EA account when you first install it.

    You can install and play it without going online, but I think half of the fun of the game is the online content.

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  9. This is a great news. Thanks buddy for the update.

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  10. [...] well. EA, for instance, who’ve already brought a lot of big titles to the platform, including Spore Origins and Sim City, will be bringing a slew of new games to the table this [...]

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