Quick Spore review

Spore is 99% 80% 90% excellent. It is extremely open and fluid, probably one of the best gaming environments ever made, easily the ‘grandest’. The stages themselves are not the greatest games of their genres, but its easy to get past that. The one account per installation is very upsetting though, and the DRM is annoying for other reasons.


Ugh, I’ve now gotten two games to space stage. The combat mechanics seem very sloppy, although I hope i get more used to them. At first, space is basically glorified whack-a-mole. There are problems and only you can solve them. They each take a minute or two to solve.

However, In both games, an aggressor has suddenly appeared on my doorstep and begun simultaneously attacking 2 or more of my colonies. Now I’m not sure how they do it, but I have only a single space ship (plus some flying puppies they call “allies”). I think in this case, the game designers short changed the combat AI in space stage, and instead made it a whack-a-mole/bullet-hell style game. I like hard games, but if I wanted bullet-hell or whack-a-mole, I probably wouldn’t be playing Spore.

Space would be a lot more fun if it were like the other stages, none of those eco or pirate events, and the same combat restrictions for you and your enemies. Oh well.

Edit 2:

I’ve played farther through space now and have some updates. It is still somewhat whack-a-moley, but I’ve learned how to compete when fighting, despite the mechanics being ugly. So is easy whack-a-mole better than hard? Well it makes it a little more open-ended, but a lot of the cool stuff I try to do still gets interrupted by someone’s eco-disastor, or a couple trivial pirates. You are able to ignore warnings, but in order to decide whether its ok to ignore, you basically have to investigate by leaving the planet or system.

Once you advance in space a few things get to be chores. Spice collection gets a little tedious. If you don’t do it every 5 minutes on a fully developed planet, you’re wasting spice. Also energy replenishing is one of those things where the only time you absolutely need to do it, is when you don’t have time, so I get into a “click rhythm” where I do it on any planet I trade on.

The targeting system is still very broken. If I’m trying to fire a laser at the ground to kill an animal, over half the time I’ll click the ground, but it will think I mean one of my 4 allies and start firing on them (no damage at least), and I have to maneuver my ship several times. This really adds to the tedium since I can’t just quickly complete ecological emergencies.

This makes Space still the worst stage yet, but a little better than I initially thought. Probably a case of shipping a quarter too early, all the other stages are really fun and feel throroughly tested, space seems to have skipped a large-scale beta.

I’ll add some space-age tips in a new post.

More to come…maybe.

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