Nintendo DS cover
|Release date(s)||Nintendo DS
January 25, 2010
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
The game begins as a new species of creatures, the Oogies, are born on the planet Tapti. Two members of this species of particular importance are the protagonist, simply known as 'Oogie', and Little Oogie, a small and primitive creature. A mysterious spaceship is flying around the planet, abducting various creatures; it captures Little Oogie and flies away. Oogie pursues the ship all over Tapti, and when it begins to fall apart after bashing into a number of objects, Oogie collects its pieces. Oogie eventually catches up with the ship as it finally crashes, and its pilot, an alien called Gar' skuther, clambers out. Gar' skuther simply summons a new ship and flies away, still in possession of Little Oogie, who has now grown a strange tentacle from his back. Oogie uses the parts he has collected to rebuild the first ship and pursue Gar' skuther through the galaxy.
On one planet, Oogie eventually comes across Gar' skuther, who is observing another creature. Seeing no threat in Oogie, he begins to explain his plan: he wishes to dominate the galaxy by experimenting on all primitive wildlife and building his genes into them - his genes cause large, dark tentacles to grow from whatever they are implanted into. In order to show Oogie his power, Gar' skuther infects a nearby creature, and pits it against Oogie to test its strength. Oogie defeats the creature, but Gar' skuther flees, now realising that Oogie may be more than just a normal creature.
Oogie eventually lands his ship on Gar' skuther's base planet, where he is hiding through a cave. After resolving a conflict between two native species and helping to cure a nest from the infection, Oogie reaches the cave entrance. Passing through it, Oogie comes to a small cove where Gar' skuther is waiting. The evil alien tells Oogie that he is more powerful than he originally thought, and that he will face him in battle if Oogie can defeat the Skuther - a bionic creature Gar' skuther has built using the best parts of many other species. Oogie defeats the Skuther, but Gar' skuther reveals that he has spread them all over the galaxy and that they will soon become the dominant species. Gar' skuther then proceeds to battle Oogie, but is defeated and dies, his arm is the only salvagable part left.
Upon Gar' skuther's defeat, the many Skuthers throughout the galaxy collapse. The infection ceases to exist as the tentacles all wither away. Oogie takes the spaceship back to Tapti, where he meets a cured Little Oogie. The two creatures than carry out their lives on Tapti as a dominant, yet peaceful, species. A cutscene then shows that a creature native to Tapti called a Meeper finds the spacecraft, enters it, and flies away to an unknown planet.
The game focuses on the Creature phase of the larger game, with elements of Nintendogs and Drawn to Life. Spore Creatures characters are ball and line generated 2.5D. Unlike the characters of Spore, creatures are completely 2D, but the environments remain 3D. The iOS version is different; the environment is 2D, similar to Spore Origins for iOS.
Spore Creatures is a more story-based game as the game is played as an Oogie. Another Oogie creature (named Little Oogie) is kidnapped by a UFO inhabited by an evil scientist creature named Gar’skuther, and the player is forced to survive on strange islands over the course of 12 levels. The creature is created and modified in an editor, using points earned to give the creature different body parts and skills. The player is given 20 points at the start with which to build their initial creature. This is not true for the iOS version; it is completely different.
The game focuses on survival, which includes finding food, with mini-games such as cuddling and dancing for friend-making. A large part of the game involves collecting items, allowing players to earn 60 badges based on game moments and actions. The players can also perform side quests and play mini-games to unlock skills and 280 hidden creature parts, which are given to the player by other friendly creatures, akin to Animal Crossing. Some parts grant "Bio-Powers", such as a quick healing ability or flame-breath.
Combat consists of the player initiating the fight with another creature by selecting it to go into a one-on-one combat screen in which the creatures face off against each other.
In Spore Creatures there are a multitude of parts to collect. Certain parts grant the creature special abilities called "bio-powers". However, these bio-powers induce several catches (i.e. stun causes poor eyesight). The bio-powers are: Flame Jet, Leaf Flurry, Quick Healing, Stun, and Force Field. Flame Jet and Leaf Flurry are both offensive bio-powers that damage enemies in combat; Stun momentarily paralyzes the enemy, disabling it from attacking; Quick Healing and Force Field are defensive bio-powers that heals the creature and its friends, and creates an invulnerable bubble around creature, respectively. Some legs also grant terrain walking abilities. There are six types hazardous terrains: Poison, lava, thorny, icy, deep water and hot sand. There is no leg part that allows the creature to walk in poison, but there is a cheat available on the cheat menu that enables users this ability.
The game allows the player to save thirty-one different creations, including those from friends over a local, peer-to-peer connection. Players can have their creatures interact via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection; Spore Creatures is one of the few Nintendo DS or Wii games to allow a player to opt out of needing to input Friend Codes.
IGN awarded Spore Creatures a 7.8 of 10 review, commenting on its lasting appeal, "The adventure is lengthy with tons of achievements to shoot for. The creature creator might not be as elaborate as PC Spore, but there's still a ton you can do to make some bizarre organisms." Eurogamer, however, panned the game in its 5 of 10 review, stating that the game ignored what made Spore special, and that the "imaginative and sociable sandbox game feels like an afterthought, stuck in an uninspiring cycle of fetch-quests and grinding." Official Nintendo Magazine gave it 66%, saying that progress in stages always requires specific body traits, forcing the player to constantly edit their creature, and removing the whole point in the game. It was a nominee for Best Simulation Game for the Nintendo DS from IGN in their 2008 video game awards.
Other games and expansion packs
- Spore Creature Creator (2008, PC) – The creature creator element of Spore, released prior to the full game.
- Spore (2008, PC)
- Spore Creatures (2008, iOS, DS)
- Spore Origins (2008, Mobile phone, iOS)
- Spore Hero (2009, Wii)
- Spore Hero Arena (2009, DS)
- Darkspore (2011, PC)
Planned games and expansion packs
- Spore Creature Keeper (TBA, PC)
- Bramwell, Tom (2008-02-12). "Spore release date announced". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- "EA and Maxis to ship Spore in September". Electronic Arts. 2008-02-12. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- 1Up Spore Creatures preview.
- Joystiq preview, Spore Creatures.
- GameSpy Spore Creatures preview
- On the Spot, August 14, 2008 episode, GameSpot
- Dan Whitehead (2008-09-05). "Eurogamer Spore Creatures review". Eurogamer. Eurogamer. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- Craig Harris (2008-09-04). "IGN Spore Creatures review". IGN. IGN. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Jennifer Tsao (October 2008). "Not quite what Darwin had in mind". Electronic Gaming Monthly (233): 92. ISSN 1058-918X.
- "IGN DS: Best Simulation Game 2008". IGN.com. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- Dobson, Jason (May 12, 2009). "EA officially details Spore Hero, Spore Hero Arena". joystiq.com. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
- Official website
- Developer site
- Talking to producer of Spore Creatures about the DS game's start in life