hhatcher: (cycle of violence)
[personal profile] hhatcher
So the final verdict, at least for me is :


The cell stage is a fun mini-game similar to flOw or other free flash games you can find on the web. Swim around, eat stuff, don't get eaten.

The creature stage is a longer mini-game where you either track down people who will frequently give you blue or green buttons in a simon-says game or run up and kill creatures and eat them.

The tribe stage actually has enough variety that it could be a game on its own. Think populous without the cool diety powers and the ability to ally with friendly tribes by playing maracas and didgeridoos for them.

The civilization stage is an RTS/Civ hybrid - you can either culturally conquer other nations by propaganda bombing them, militarily conquer other nations by physically bombing them, or economically conquer other nations by buying them out.

The space stage is an interesting exploration/RPGish game that quickly turns into a horror of micromanagement as your empire grows and then every 3 minutes one of your member planets can't handle a single pirate ship and you have to fly across the galaxy personally to blow it up. Sometimes they have an eco disaster and you have to fly across the galaxy to blow up a diseased cowlephant. There's an economic aspect of the game where you can personally fly across the galaxy and have a city on a planet build houses to increase their spice production. You design the houses and place them by hand, which is interesting once or twice, but then you have to do it for every single planet that you want to be productive.

Want to leverage your massive spice production into finances for your growing space empire? It's a good thing that nobody in your goddamned empire has a cargo ship, otherwise you wouldn't get to personally handle every single shipping transaction.

You can also build alliances, which are awesome until you realize that your new friends, like your member planets, will expect you to wipe their asses for them. "Help us, we have a sick cow on our planet!" "Oh god, there's a guy over here with a board with a nail in it, save us!"

Anyway. Basically, the game is is fun at the beginning and gradually gets less and less fun as the game progresses until I was longing to go grind some rep in WOW to save me from the tedium of Spore.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-09 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cambler.livejournal.com
Thank you for the honest review. I've been considering getting it.

Do you think my VERY computer-savvy kids (6 and 10) will enjoy it?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-09 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tranceboy.livejournal.com
Hm, do I think that two people who I don't know at all would enjoy this game? Sure, why not? o.O

The creature creator is pretty fun for a while, I can see kids getting a real kick out of that element of the game, but I don't know how long that would have held my attention as a 10-year-old.

It's likely that other people would find the game less tedious and micromanagy than I would, particularly a child with less "Go collect 50 bear asses for me" experience under their belt. I'd say it will probably provide $50 worth of entertainment - I played it for ~10 hours total before I got sick of it.

And if one of your kids really enjoys it, then I can see the game providing several weeks worth of entertainment.

The online content component is something that you may want to supervise a bit, the creature creator is fully capable of creating walking penis monsters that could be imported into your kids' gameplay experience.

(EA does have some kind of rating/feedback system for that, so presumably the chances are low of that being real concern, but the possibility does exist. That may or may not be an issue for you, but it's worth mentioning.)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-09 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cambler.livejournal.com
Well, I was getting at whether you thought it might appeal to kids, in general, based on your take on the game. Would the tedium experienced by an enthusiast adult not be experienced by kids, do you think?

And my kids would laugh at a walking penis monster and call me over to see and laugh at it, too ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-09-09 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tranceboy.livejournal.com
Like I said, might be less tedious for someone who has less lifetime bear-ass-collection experience than I do.

I'd say go for it. It's $50, worst case scenario. YMMV, TANSTAAFL, GIGO, etc.

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