Spore Creatures

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Spore Creatures
Spore Creatures Coverart.png
Nintendo DS cover
Developer(s) Griptonite Games
EA Mobile (WinM)
Electronic Arts Nederland BV (BB)
Electronic Arts (iPhone)
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
EA Mobile (WinM)
Electronic Arts Nederland BV (BB)
Designer(s) Dream Smith
Series Spore
Platform(s) Nintendo DS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, iPhone
Release
Genre(s) Life simulation/RPG
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer

Spore Creatures is a spin-off of Spore, developed by Griptonite Games and published by Electronic Arts, in which a player controls and evolves a creature of their creation. It is a science fiction adventure game.

Plot[edit]

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 then 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.

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay screenshot.

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,[2][3] but the environments remain 3D.

The iPhone version is unrelated to the DS version; the environment is 2D, similar to Spore Origins for iPhone.

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 iPhone version; it is completely different.[2]

The game focuses on survival, which includes finding food, with mini-games such as cuddling and dancing for friend-making.[4] 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.[2][4] Some parts grant "Bio-Powers", such as a quick healing ability or flame-breath.[4]

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.[5]

The Nintendo DS version of the Sporepedia resembles and functions more like Pokémon's Pokédex than that used in the main version of Spore.[5]

Creature abilities[edit]

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.

Species[edit]

  • Broogus, a selfish herbivorous creature, and a strong fighter in battle. They usually overreact when something is stolen, and rarely share their belongings.
  • Fyristook, a piscivore that lives in mountainous reigons, and when hungry, they hunt fish that are encased in ice.
  • Glob-lod, an omnivore that lives and hunts near beaches and offshore shallow waters. In the story, they're the Bubleebu's rivals, due to them stealing their food supply, and plunging them into a mass famine.
  • Jungu, a tree-like creature that is peaceful on the outside, but when provoked, are formidable fighters on the inside.
  • Flabawaba, an island-hopping carnivore that hunts in packs like dromaeosaurs.
  • Gar'skuther, the main antagonist of the game. He plans his domination over the galaxy by infecting it's planets and their native life, including Little Oogie. His mechanical suit is tied to the infection in one mysterious way or another.
  • Arclart, a very gentle herbivore named for it's arched torso that helps them avoid attacks by predators.
  • Lileepa, quadrupedal bird-like creatures that have alphas with distinctive black feathers that evolved due to exposure to volcanic vents.
  • Macroneer, a predator that is thought to be a slow scavenger.
  • Meeper, the mascot of the game. Males respond to a call of "Mr. Meeper", although they don't understand it.
  • Prunebug, a round creature with strong armor. Two distinguishable individuals are different colors, one being red and the other being blue. The blue one is the matriarch, while the red one is a hatchling raised by the player's creature.
  • Spierter, a predator that hunts in packs of little number. They rose to dominance due to lack of competition, and are jealous of the fact they can't fly to hunt down the Buffballows.
  • Striklet, a spider-like creature that view the Taptup as their sworn enemies. They're not the strongest of fighters, though.
  • Oogie, a small, slug-like mouthless creature with the ability to evolve rapidly, making them the link between the Spore galaxy's creatures and the tiny Sporelings. Two notable individuals are the protagonist and his ally, Little Oogie.
  • Skuther, a bionic creature created by Gar'skuther to be the most powerful of fighters. When they are damaged in battle, they increase in size.
  • Starspeck, a group of star-shaped creatures that enjoy stealing food from the Broogus.
  • Taptup, a peaceful creature with a fish-like tail and fur like a mammal, that lives a simple, easygoing life. They view the Striklet as their rivals.
  • Takto, a highly aggressive predator with flaming breath. In the story, they attack and kill a nest of Skuzzalopes, which shows off their aggression and cruel actions towards other living beings in the Spore galaxy. They are native to the Bowltektos, Tapti's core.
  • Bubleebu, an industrious creature with great strength, giving them the ability to carry rocks over long distances. Despite how strong they are, they don't resort to violence to solve problems.
  • Skuzzalope, a forgetful creature with moose-like antlers that leave Sporelings in places that they shouldn't be native to. One of them is an elder.
  • Supupie, a territorial and aggressive attacker that can only be forced away by an opponent's strength. One notable individual is blue, whilst all others are brown. Their eyes are asymmetrical.
  • Cricktor, the kind neighbors of the Arclart. They share the same sources of food without any conflict whatsoever.
  • Eyebungle, a creature with a high level of territory bond. They use boulders to mark their territory, and are quick to anger. One of them has orange claws.
  • Microlope, a nomadic hunter that wanders across the deserts of Zager in search of prey.
  • Koth, a crested herbivore that lives in snowy mountians, and were the first creatures Gar'skuther infected.
  • Kimpoko, a friendly creature viewed by both the Meepers & Supupie as guardians of the cave that separates the reigon of Trunkle from Noodlin, but actually enjoy friendly competition by racing each other in their free time.
  • Fyrisaba, a pack hunter that evolved due to Gar'skuther's artifical climate change, also known as terraforming.
  • Whipley, a group of herbivorous creatures that enjoy bullying the Bushleys. They are very sly, and dominate their territories in the open plains of Noodlin.
  • Bushley, a timid group-living herbivore that think they are easy to scare no matter how much they have in a group which makes them the prime target of the Whiplies, and make up for it for being skilled rock throwers.
  • Pruleepa, a relative of the Lileepa that enjoys grooming. They are quite adept at guarding their nests.
  • Sweezel, an omnivore with small arms like a T-rex, they are very nice and sociable in their personality, and usually eat mushrooms growing on cliffs and hills.
  • Babbop, a shy, outgoing creature with strange eyes on stalks, and a hairy, somewhat dolphin-like tail.
  • Shadock, a nocturnal predator with sharp claws and spikes. They form the largest packs in the known galaxy.
  • Ohi, a predator with hairs on it's limbs, and wades for fish. It resembles the reedstilt from After Man. They can lure landlubbing prey into deep waters to drown them.
  • Webeek, an omnivore with two mouths, and migratory behavior. During these migrations, some can get separated from their herds, making them easy prey. Fortunately, they have many eyes, and the ability to detect with sonar to regroup with the herds. They even possess ancestral memory.
  • Gorggue, a lava wading insect-like animal. They are very cautious, and are sit and wait predators, waiting patiently for their unsuspecting prey.
  • Skribskrab, a creature that can walk on thorny grass and can also wade. They are usually unaware of what dangers await them until it's already too late to react.
  • Salafend, a horse-like creature with long, rectangular claws. They view the Glob-lod as allies.
  • Buffballow, a winged herbivore that travels in herds. Having the ability to fly means they can fly over their chief predators, the Spierters, who are bitterly annoyed by this fact.
  • Scrop, a squid-like creature with powerful, sharp claws. Much like the Gorggue, they can walk in lava without getting burned. They are very stubborn and impulsive, not bothering to think before taking action, a tactic that often lands them in dangerous situations. On the plus side however, they are immune to the toxins of Flubit's poisonous fungi.

Multiplayer[edit]

The game allowed the player to save thirty-one different creations, including those from friends over a local, peer-to-peer connection. Players were able to have their creatures interact via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection; Spore Creatures were one of the few Nintendo DS or Wii games to allow a player to opt out of needing to input Friend Codes.[3] The online multiplayer was closed on June 30, 2014.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
DS iOS
Destructoid 4/10[6] N/A
EGM C+[7] N/A
Eurogamer 5/10[8] N/A
Famitsu 29/40[9] N/A
GameSpot 6.5/10[10] N/A
GameSpy 3.5/5 stars[11] N/A
IGN 7.8/10[12] N/A
NGamer 60%[13] N/A
Nintendo Power 8/10[14] N/A
ONM 66%[15] N/A
Aggregate scores
GameRankings 67%[16] 64%[17]
Metacritic 65/100[18] N/A

The DS version received "mixed" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[18] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of one six, one seven, and two eights for a total of 29 out of 40.[9]

IGN said, "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."[12] Eurogamer, however, panned the game in its 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."[8] Official Nintendo Magazine said 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.[15] It was a nominee for Best Simulation Game for the Nintendo DS from IGN in their 2008 video game awards.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "EA and Maxis to ship Spore in September". Electronic Arts. February 12, 2008. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c Green, Jeff (February 12, 2008). "Spore Creatures (Preview)". 1UP.com. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Stern, Zack (February 13, 2008). "Joystiq impressions: Spore Creatures (DS)". Engadget (Joystiq). Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Joynt, Patrick (February 23, 2008). "GameSpy: Spore Creatures (Preview)". GameSpy. 
  5. ^ a b Toole, David (August 14, 2008). "On the Spot at EA Studio Showcase 2008 - 08/14/08". GameSpot. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  6. ^ Zimmerman, Conrad (September 9, 2008). "Destructoid review: Spore Creatures". Destructoid. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  7. ^ Tsao, Jennifer (October 2008). "Spore Creatures: Not quite what [Charles] Darwin had in mind". Electronic Gaming Monthly (233): 92. ISSN 1058-918X. 
  8. ^ a b Whitehead, Dan (September 4, 2008). "Spore Creatures". Eurogamer. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Brian (September 3, 2008). "Famitsu review scores". Nintendo Everything. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  10. ^ VanOrd, Kevin (September 9, 2008). "Spore Creatures Review". GameSpot. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Villoria, Gerald (September 23, 2008). "GameSpy: Spore Creatures". GameSpy. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Harris, Craig (September 4, 2008). "Spore Creatures Review". IGN. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Spore Creatures". Nintendo Gamer: 62. November 2008. 
  14. ^ "Spore Creatures". Nintendo Power. 234: 95. November 2008. 
  15. ^ a b Mathers, Martin (November 2008). "Review: Spore: Creatures [sic]". Official Nintendo Magazine: 79. Archived from the original on September 11, 2008. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Spore Creatures for DS". GameRankings. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Spore Creatures for iOS (iPhone/iPad)". GameRankings. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  18. ^ a b "Spore Creatures for DS Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  19. ^ "IGN Best of 2008: Best Simulation Game (DS)". IGN. December 15, 2008. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 

External links[edit]