Will Wright must be on drugs. Going on what we’ve seen in Spore, the man behind Sim City and The Sims believes evolution happened in a puff of smoke and that luminous, no-eyed beasts make for effective civilisations. But while Darwin might not approve, this makes Spore one ‘life sim’ which is accessible, deep, and downright charming.
Like The Sims, you’ll create and control your endearing avatar, guiding them through a virtual existence. Rather than choose baseball caps and jeans, here you’ll shape spines, add tails, and, with the help of a wide selection of phallic limbs, strip your monster of all dignity.
Your ultimate goal is evolution. Managing diplomatic relations with neighbouring, tribes, using mating calls for inter-creature reproduction, and even a space ship creator to launch enterprising space programs makes for a brilliant bit of escapism, even allowing players to unleash a vicious streak by venturing online and completely undoing a thousand years’ worth of another player’s planetary progress.
In an industry which professes to cater for females by simply adding either puppies or the colour pink, Spore dares to bring a sledgehammer to demographic boundaries, and, in the process, provides an experience with universal appeal.