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Spore – "Space" Stage

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To begin, I must point out a major detail- Spore is the actual game (it is available for the PC and Mac). The space phase I am reviewing is just one part of this massive game. With this out of the way, I can truly delve into this massive universe that is Spore's space stage. After your race rises to dominate your planet (soon to be home world), your first spacecraft will be constructed. After spending some time in the ship creator (or choosing a pre-set ship), your new Spacecraft is deployed, and, after a short tutorial, ready to kick arse.

The main goal of the game is to reach the Galaxy's core, and the prize is very rewarding, but there's an estimated 50,000+ solar systems in the game, and over 15,000,000 player created items, so there's a lot to do if you just want to play it your way. This open-endedness is the true fun of the game. You are very well playing in an open universe, with millions of different things going on in the galaxy at once. It feels like you're just a tiny part of this massive world, but even while that may be so, you can still make a difference. There's so many options - Will you expand your empire, or conquer others? Capture an alien world, make peace with it, or blow it up? You have almost infinite ways to play your game.

Your first few minutes in the universe will be filled with mission after mission in order to make allies and trade routes, as well as weapon/tool gathering, and, if you don't use cheats, Spice selling(yes, spice- apparently, these races can master space travel, but not how to synthesize or mine their own spices). It's tedious, but it pays off, and it can be a blast if you like that sort of thing. Once you have made enough progress, your race will call you back to your home world and you will be given a task to find the "Grox," the game's primary antagonist. Based on your home world's location parallel to the galactic core, this can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour, but once you get close enough to the center, you'll have no problem finding them- their empire covers a vast amount of territory. After making contact with the Grox, you'll probably go to war with them (they're very volatile). And this is where the game truly begins.

After you've been through first contact Grox, new missions will be available, as will new tools such as the Planet Destroyer and, if you reach the center of the galaxy, an instant terraformer (terraforming is the act of making a lifeless planet such as Mars become capable of supporting life). All that can really be said about this stage is, it rocks- it's a game within a game, and it complements the other four stages (cell, creature, tribal and civilization). To summarize this amazing experience, you have to watch the TV commercial for the game, and listen carefully to the last line- "How will you create the universe?"



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