MacMost Now 132: Spore For Mac

Gary Rosenzweig takes a look at Spore, the new game from Will Wright and Electronic Arts. Spore is a game that takes you from a single-celled organism to galactic domination.

Video Transcript
Hi! This is Gary. Well, Spore is finally here and it's on the Mac. Let's take a look in this episode of MacMost Now.
Well, Spore is a long anticipated game from Will Wright, the creator or SimCity and the Sims. And this is the successor to those games. This is the all-in-one game where you take a single-celled organism all the way through civilization up to colonizing the stars. It's really five games in one. Let's go and take a look.
Well, the basic idea is you play a simple life form and make choices to help it evolve. In this first stage here, you float around in a primordial ooze and eat and evolve. This plays like a simple arcade game and doesn't last for too long. But it is visually rich and it can be challenging at times. It's really just a quick introduction to how you use the creature creator and how you move around.
The second stage moves your creation onto land. This part plays like a 3D platform game. You run around the landscape and eat plants or other animals. You can make friends or just kill anything that gets in your way.
The third stage puts you in charge of a town of your creatures. At this point you're biological evolution is over and you concentrate on building on and expanding your tribe's influence. This plays a little bit like the original WarCraft game.
In the fourth stage you're in charge of an entire modern city. You also grow to take over other cities by force or influence and, eventually, the goal is to rule the entire planet. This part's a little bit like the real time strategy games, such as Age of Empires or Rise of Nations.
The fifth and final part of Spore puts you in outer space. You create a space ship and then travel between the stars looking for a planet to colonize, invade, or to trade with.
At the very heart of Spore is the creature creator. At the beginning you use this to modify your single-celled life form. Then you continue to use it to modify your land creature in the next stage. You also use this interface to create outfits for your creatures, design the buildings in your city, the vehicles, the sea ships, the airplanes, and eventually, even the space ships.
The game's two best assets are the interface and the graphics. The game looks spectacular. Every little piece of it is a work of art; every creature you create, the landscapes, the planets in outer space, everything. And the interface is extremely intuitive, considering that the game is very complex.
The game has a lot of hidden depth, as well. For instance, in the fourth part when you're actually controlling your city and taking over the planet, you can modify your nation's national anthem. There's a little anthem composer interface in there that's extremely easy to use to create a piece of music.
Now, some problems with the game are that it may be too easy for hardcore gamers. I was able to easily get through all the levels without any difficulty at the normal setting. Now, for casual gamers, it might be a little bit too complex. And there's this goal driven thing in the game where every level you're driven to accomplish the next goal and some parts of the game seem to tell you to stop and smell the roses, and other parts of the game are telling you to hurry up and get to the next part.
And there are a lot more details on this game that I'm not even going to get into here. Like, for instance, the creatures that you create are uploaded to a central server and may actually make appearances in other players' games.
As a Mac game, I was really impressed by the stability. The game only crashed once in about ten hours of game play. That's really something for a 1.0 version of a game that hasn't been patched yet. And I was even able to switch to Windowed mode and check my email and surf the web while playing my game in another window without any problem.
So if you're into real time strategy or you want to see what all the hype is about about the most anticipated game in years, go and check out Spore.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

MacMost Now 30: Spore for Mac

Gary Rosenzweig reports from MacWorld Expo about Spore, the long-anticipated game from Will Wright and Electronic Arts. Spore will be released for both Mac and PC. Part of the Mac version was demoed at the Expo.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now and the first day here at Macro there was a surprise announcement from electronic arts. They announced that the long anticipated game spore from Will Wright and electronic arts ,was going to be out for the Mac. And the release date is scheduled to be sometime this year. With me is April Jones from electronic arts. Why don't you tell everybody a little bit about spore. '
{Amy Jones} "Hi, well for those who haven't heard, spore is a game that is loosely based on the idea of evolution. Where your creature starts out as a little cell in a tidal pool and throughout the game play, it evolves eventually into a race of beings that explores space, and it goes through a serious of five different phrases. However we're also excited to announce that you can jump into any one of these evolutionary phases if you'd like. You don't have to play straight from cell to space. And even more importantly the creature creator that you see behind me here, you can jump into that at any point in time as well. Create a creature from all these different parts of your own design. You know, ten legs, ten arms, ten eyes, one eye, one arm, its all up to you as well as vehicles and buildings. And the things that players create are actually uploaded into other players worlds. So that's part of why we also think this is a perfect thing for Mac, is because it is all about creating and sharing. And that's what we know that Mac players love to do, so spore's the perfect match for Mac players."
{Gary Rosenzweig } 'Excellent, well spore has defiantly been one of the most anticipated games probably of all time. So, to hear that the Mac community is going to be involved is very exciting.'
{Amy Jones} 'We're very excited that we'll be able to bring it to them. And its going to be shipped simultaneously with the PC version. And as you mentioned ,we don't have a launch date quite yet but as soon as we can announce a date we will. But for now we just hope everybody will keep it on there radar, especially for the Mac.'
{Gary Rosenzweig } "Well thank you very much.