Spore Creatures in Review: One Big Step for Sporekind
Spore Creatures is the highly anticipated sequel to Spore Origins, and rides high on expectations that this version will be as good as, if not superior to its predecessor. Those familiar with the original are in for a pleasant surprise – Spore Creatures offers a different kind of experience. While Spore Origins is mainly about survival and evolution, Spore Creatures focuses on exploration, puzzle-solving, quests and interaction with other creatures and both friendly and hostile engagement with each. Aptly called an ‘evolutionary adventure’, Spore Creatures focuses on evolution but gives it a variety of twists on the otherwise familiar gameplay – incorporating other game elements into a unique storyline.
You guide a creature through a dangerous terrain – helping it eat smaller creatures and fill up its DNA bar in order to evolve, and navigate a treacherous environment filled with with both passive and active enemies. To interact with objects in the environment simply tap them. You can add to the creature’s inventory of offensive and defensive weapons, discover new routes and interact with other creatures in a friendly manner.
A handy mini-map view allows you to survey a particular location. There is a nest for the main site and smaller areas – in this nest you can pull up creature editor to customize the creature’s appearance, add or subtract parts and recharge lost health.
Socialization is a new kind of interaction – with certain creatures, you can choose to befriend them or attack them. If you choose to socialize with them, they ask you to bring them specific objects in the immediate vicinity to earn their goodwill. Attacking them and winning the fight means more points for evolution.
Let me note that compared to Origins, Spore Creatures is more challenging. There are 20 levels spread out in 4 different environments, and to complete each level successfully the player needs to collect a certain number of points or fulfill quests. There are boss battles for example, that require some ingenuity in order to emerge victorious.
The game is unstructured enough to allow the player freedom to explore the environment. Because the environment is populated with flora and fauna, it’s more difficult to move around especially using accelerometer controls. While the tilt controls run quite smoothly and can even be calibrated to suit one’s preference, the small physical space to work with makes it difficult to move around freely.
The graphics are just as gorgeous as the first, and even better yet: each location is breathtaking and the ambient sounds in lieu of a musical soundtrack heightens the experience. The user interface is very friendly, simplifying an otherwise convoluted set of instructions.
I appreciate, most of all, the socialisation aspect of evolution. It lends variety to the gameplay and enhances the game’s depth and replayability. There are tough choices to be made, with corresponding benefits and trade-offs.
I’m having problems similar to many user complaints – I can’t remove body parts I’ve added to the creature. Moreover, the mini-map could use some tweaking such as identifying the nest for each location. Finally, the price tag is a little steep and worth reconsidering unless more levels and environments are added.
All in all, Spore Creatures retains the uniqueness of the original but ups the ante by providing innovative twists to the gameplay. It is definitely a step in the right direction in this evolving series.
|Title:||Spore Creatures||Developer:||Electronic Arts|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0||Min OS Req:||2.2.1|
|Price:||$6.99||App Size:||72.3 MB|
Action/story/adventure games are driving considerable quality at the App Store. Check ‘em out!