Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 75
  2. Negative: 0 out of 75
Buy On
  1. 88
    While Spore is an amazing product, it's just not quite an amazing game. I can't help but feel that Spore is ambitious and memorable, but I also admit that, save for the cool Space Stage, there's not a lot of depth here. Rookie gamers are going to feel at home here, but veteran gamers may feel like they need more.
  2. Taken on their own, its pieces are nothing special. As parts of a singular ambitious vision, they work far better. Throw in the best customization tools seen in years and an enthusiastic community brimming with creativity, and you have a legitimately great game that will deliver hours of quality entertainment.
  3. We're all familiar with the innovative, web-aware customisation cloud that underpins Spore, but nobody's done it better (even though many now do it - apparently years after Maxis thought of doing it here) and the final game is proof that it was all worth it: you're all one big Designer, and Spore succeeds as much because of you and me as the many worlds scattered across the stars and the many ways we've been given to explore them.
  4. Spore’s creatures look terrific and the editor is one of the finest tool in gaming history. But Maxis forgot to build a game around it: The mixture of simulation and strategy just isn’t deep enough to attract more than a few hours attention. Instead of experiencing enthralling missions or a more intimate relation to your creature, you get shooed through five draggy phases of evolution.
  5. Spore's triumph is painfully ironic. By setting out to instill a sense of wonderment at creation and the majesty of the universe, it's shown us that it's actually a lot more interesting to sit here at our computers and explore the contents of each other's brains. [October 2008, p.64]
  6. 50
    Rather than match the freedom in the gameplay, however, Spore forces players to use their creations in a series of levels that are derivative and dull.
  7. 100
    Just as "The Sims" tapped into the human need to interact, Spore taps into a very deep and similar experience that few games dare to touch - to create and share.
  8. 100
    Spore manages quite some feats – it's accessible for casual gamers, but at the same time so real and dynamic, able to offer hardcore gamers a demanding experience and, obviously, a more appealing one than in "The Sims".
  9. There is no reason not to buy Spore. Whether you take hours of enjoyment out of the actual game or spend days building nothing but city halls, cars, boats, planes, and spaceships, Spore is a delightful work of mastery that strikes a balance between sufficient and excessive, somehow finding a middle ground that satisfies on a primal level.
  10. Electronic Arts and Will Wright send you on a unique journey through Evolution. But it's less of a game and more of a colourful biological construction kit. Spore is sophisticated and rich in details, but all this is rarely noticeable because of its uninspired game play and lack of a story, which is such a pity. It's a paradise for creative gamers, but an expensive one, too. Electronic Arts asks 10 Euros more than usual - that's a rip off.
  11. It's not what we expected, and it's not what the game could have been: it's not perfect, or even particularly great. Yet what it offers is wholly unique, and there's a lot of satisfaction to be had in small amounts throughout its running time. I'm in no hurry to play through it again anytime this week, but heck...maybe in a month or so I'll create a whole new species and send them out to the stars.
  12. Spore's most positive traits are so uniquely satisfying that it's disappointing the gameplay which underpins them isn't more engrossing.
  13. The scope and scale of Spore is tremendous, bringing the story of life itself to gaming in a way that will not be replicated until a possible sequel.
  14. Like The Sims, Spore has just win a counterpart in videogames’ history. It's an ambitious game with a highly addictive concept. The Online mode also promises to be useful for a long time.
  15. The chronic lack of depth in the middle stages is an injustice to a brilliant start and finish which should have been the crowning moments but instead serve only to hold the game up above water.
  16. Sure Spore may not be the perfect game but its an amazing accomplishment and one that I think everyone should really check out.
  17. This is the major problem with the Space Stage: in the beginning, it's just too hard. All you want to do is to quietly learn the ropes, but the more advanced races of the world have no intention of leaving you be.
  18. New creatures added by users will continue to make the universe of Spore interesting but its lack of depth in the single player version of the game, along with linear storyline may be a sign of its eventual extinction.
  19. Spore is easily one of the most ambitious games ever made and it's impossible not to be impressed by the finished product. The possible variations in what you can create feel close to endless and the ability to share these creations with other people adds a lot to the package. The five main phases of the game vary in quality, but the final phase that ties the experience together will impress you. Will Wright adds another triple-A title to his collection.
  20. AceGamez
    Spore will most likely appeal to those who don't expect much from it. It's a curious step in the evolution of games artistry that will take its place amongst games like Black & White that, although interesting and innovative, never quite live up to their potential and promise.
  21. Spore is a one of a kind videogame. It offers endless possibilities and gives the gamer a game within the game. But in the process of giving you everything you want, EA has forgotten to include some depth and gameplay. As a design program Spore deserves an A+, as a videogame a little less.
  22. 70
    In attempting to Sim everything, Spore tries to be all things to all people -- a strategy that never quite works out the way it's supposed to.
  23. Spore is more construction kit than game, but a very fascinating one. The missing depth and often too easy gameplay doesn’t make it the brilliant game everyone expected.
  24. In conclusion, Spore is definitely an exciting game in this time of repetitive ideas in an over crowded gaming market. It's not quite an RTS nor an RPG nor a strategy game but one that successfully combines all three genres into an exciting game that works quite well and is complimented with good graphics and a great premise.
  25. 92
    The creative options on offer here live up to the three-and-a-half year hype, and Spore genuinely revolutionises the way user created content is implemented on a global scale.
  26. Spore combines an enormous amount of innovation with a pretty much endless replay value and still manages to be accessible. It might not be as much a masterstroke as the Sims was, but it’s still one of the potentially best games of this year.
  27. Fantastic game, but it has times which are boring and they feel like a total chore to get through, but once you do get past those in the game the game becomes something unique, special and is a worth while must buy for any PC fan.
  28. Using various gadgets the concept is handled impressively; Sci-Fi fanatics will lap up the way in which Wright and Maxis have captured the concept of colonizing planets and expanding your empire across the galaxy.
  29. NO other game allows this much customization, and it is this customization that is the key aspect that really congeals it all together.
  30. Yes, several radically different gameplay styles are presented in Spore, but it would be unfair to call the game a Jack of All Trades — it's closer to a Queen or a King of All Trades.
  31. 90
    God, the scale of the thing.
  32. Spore starts off fairly simple, but quickly picks up pace. If you’re not careful, this is one game that can be quite addictive.
  33. Spore is comprised of four fairly basic phases that would rate poorly if released individually, and one mighty, awe-inspiring final phase that could be a contender for game of the year by itself. It's stacked all wrong, but who cares - it's all worthwhile in the end.
  34. 89
    Spore is one of those titles that jumps genres with ease, while not dipping too far into any one genre, leaving players with a very diverse gameplay experience, and odds are, there will be a lot more content such as monsters and vehicles to expand on the huge worlds already available.
  35. Spore is an impressive videogame in many ways, although excessively simple in others. The total personalisation or the fact that all of our actions during the game define our future are simply brilliant details. Unfortunately the title fails in its attempt to become a classic, due essentially to gameplay that is varied but too easy and excessively repetitive.
  36. Even after years of hype and seemingly impossible promises, Spore is astounding in scope and execution. The creation tools are amazing, the interface is brilliant, and the game’s ability to harness player creativity is unparalleled. The mechanics of the individual phases can make the moment-to-moment interaction with the game feel shallow, but the experience as a whole is thought-provoking and – most importantly – genuinely entertaining.
  37. 88
    Spore really is the sum of all its parts. The first four sections could not standalone as a single game, but with the addition of being able to navigate the galaxy Spore pulls us back and keeps us hooked even when there is the gaping hole of no multiplayer mode.
  38. Spore will leave you in a state of wide-eyed wonderment one minute, and disappointed the next. The limited online interaction and surprisingly short campaign make it easy to think about what could have been. The fact is, there’s no other game like it, and a lot of things that will be hated by some, will be just as liked by others.
  39. Because of the many different phases and features in the game, Spore can be called a very creative and motivating game. Playing Darwin rocks!
  40. Spore is not the gaming paradigm shift it might have been touted as, and it is quite possibly overrated. However, that's not to say you should dismiss it outright, since it's a highly impressive and ambitious undertaking unlike any other before, ultimately hitting more of its lofty targets than it misses.
  41. Spore is yet another wonderful creation from the mind of designer Will Wright. While it may not achieve the level of gaming utopia that many had predicted prior to its release, the final product is still a very enjoyable, engaging, and complete package.
  42. If you can ignore the early level frustrations you’ll feel with the controls and develop a creature which is truly yours Spore is an experience like no other game. A perfect game wouldn’t make you combat clunky controls, but imperfect is still great.
  43. When it comes down to it, it’s Spore's technology that’s more impressive than the game itself. How it integrates user-creations into the game is remarkable. Remarkably, Spore also provokes thought.
  44. While some of the individual evolutionary phases in Spore are either too short or could have been further developed, the game as a whole is truly remarkable.
  45. Will Wright has raised the bar and any game that comes out now that wants to be remembered will need to consider the lessons taught by Spore.
  46. Spore is an impressive and ambitious mix of game genres. Perhaps at some point, the developers saw it as overambitious, so it's obvious they started losing perspective a bit.
  47. Despite sounding incredibly deep on paper, the reality of Spore is little more than a patchwork quilt of ultra-simple games that, even taken as a whole, have the depth of a puddle in the Sahara Desert. To be perfectly honest, you’d be better off sticking with the standalone creature creator, as it’s actually the only portion of the game that isn’t half-baked and in need of some serious evolution.
  48. Strange game. Technologically impressive and initially very fun, but feels overly dumbed down for the casual audience and suffers from poor gameplay balance. Manages to entertain for a while, but lacks substance and depth to keep you interested in the long term.
  49. To me, Spore is an impressive creature in a purely technical sense – the world, the box, the engine that make it live and breathe are a big leap for humanity and allow an almost overwhelming freedom both for the producers as well as players living the experience.
  50. A game with much to like, but not enough to enjoy regularly.
  51. 70
    Spore was meant to be everything to everyone; casual, hardcore, old, young, fat, thin, ugly, uglier. But it isn't.
  52. Spore is a mishmash of many existing game concepts held together by the innovative creature evolution process. It must be aimed at a younger and less cynical audience than I, or one than has a lot of free time to spend in the model designer.
  53. Ultimately, as interesting as Spore’s concept is, the actual gameplay works against its offer to let you be creative, and the gameplay isn’t really worth the sacrifice of the creativity - especially when the standalone creature creator was released ages ago. For a fiver.
  54. 90
    Spore takes so many risks and introduces so many new concepts, it's far more than the sum of its parts; it's video game history in the making. Join in.
  55. 90
    It may not be a perfect game, but truly innovative titles seldom are. Spore is a technological triumph that introduces a whole new way of tapping into a bottomless well of content.
  56. Each game of Spore applies something of Occam’s Razor as a developmental guideline at first: The simplest gameplay approach is often the best.
  57. If you want a deep strategy game, this is certainly not what you want to play. Spore is more diversion than obsession.
  58. 83
    Strictly as a game, Spore's a flawed effort in five different genres, smushed together in a casual-player-friendly manner. But as a tangible representation of intelligent design, with an emphasis on creation and sharing, it falls perfectly in line with the rest of Will Wright's work. It's not a perfect game, but it's definitely one that any serious gamer should try.
  59. Once you settle into the flow of the game, the creative possibilities expand just as the actual gameplay becomes limiting.
  60. Spore is the most fantastic game you’ll ever avoid playing. I can easily guarantee you will find something upsetting about the end product; the game is riddled with flaws small and large, and though there is a lot of impressive tech backing the whole product, it does not have the kind of polish we so arrogantly expect from our entertainment.
  61. 80
    Spore is a good game held back from greatness by a few flaws and gameplay mechanics that won't appeal to everyone. But there is plenty to like about the game and if you dig its particular style of open-ended gameplay, you'll definitely enjoy yourself.
  62. games(TM)
    This is one of the most ambitious, fun, and stimulating pieces of software for the last decade and, frankly, what does it matter whether its 100 percent videogame or not. [Nov 2008, p.94]
  63. Play (Poland)
    How to design a game that spans from swimming in a drop of water to ruling the galaxy? Will Wright knows how: as simple as possible. Spore deserves success on "The Sims" scale. [Sept 2008]
  64. Total PC Gaming
    One of the first big games leading into Christmas, and we've already forgotten the rest. Completely enthralling. [Issue#12, p.62]
  65. PC PowerPlay
    In the end, Spore seems to me to be like the gaming equivalent of a massive meal at McDonalds. It tastes great as long as you’re eating, and there’s certainly plenty there. But once you start to get near the end, you realise that it wasn’t quite as ‘deep’ as you thought. [Oct 2008, p.61]
  66. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Stunning, gigantic game with endless possibilities. Most powerful editors ever seen in any game. Spore is outstanding in technical terms, swift and nimble in the beginning. The only flaws on its perfect face are too simple civilization phase and bit tedious space exploration. [Sept 2008]
  67. Edge Magazine
    Something as transcendent and overwhelming as the game we hoped for – the infinite, mind-boggling space odyssey suggested so early on – doesn’t sell expansion packs. It doesn’t fit on to iPhone. It doesn’t fill the vacuum left by The Sims. [Nov 2008, p.88]
  68. PC Zone UK
    So intelligently structured, with such a consistently beautiful style. [Nov 2008, p.54]
  69. Games Master UK
    Spore is more than the sum of its parts. A lot of parts. [Nov 2008, p.62]
  70. PC Format
    Despite a clunky couple of stages and too much micromanagement, it's the vast galactic toybox that we've prayed for. [Nov 2008, p.98]
  71. PC Gamer
    It may not be my perfect PC game, but I think it's well on its way to becoming one of my favorite toys. And if there's one thing we could all use more of, it's time to [Nov 2008, p.33]
  72. 90
    Micro to macro, creation to community, Spore is a wonderfully imaginative and engaging experience. Don't expect great gameplay - instead, expect creativity you never knew you had, and a real attachment to the creatures in your virtual petrie dish.
  73. Pelit (Finland)
    Spore is a surprisingly charming game/toy. Except for the civilization part, most subgames are funny, and the final part even feels like a game. [Sept 2008]
  74. In the end, hardcore gamers will find something to love in Spore, even if it's not really what they were expecting.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1770 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. May 21, 2011
    Why such a genial and complex idea has to be brutally trivialized and simplified to such a ridiculous extend? This game bored me really reallyWhy such a genial and complex idea has to be brutally trivialized and simplified to such a ridiculous extend? This game bored me really really fast and editing the creature was actually the most enjoyable part of it. The rest is a boring and repeatable game that uses same old rts schemes one can see in so many games, but implemented very poorly and limited to its rudimentary options. Full Review »
  2. Apr 10, 2011
    Where is the game that Will Wright showed off in the pre-release trailers? It's not what ended up in the final product. The only remainingWhere is the game that Will Wright showed off in the pre-release trailers? It's not what ended up in the final product. The only remaining vestige of the game that we saw in the pre-release trailers is the cell stage- where it actually matters what parts you choose, and where you place them. Beyond that, it's "Oh, let's make my character look pretty". I'm sorry, but that doesn't interest me. Where you place arms, legs, head- it doesn't matter beyond the cell stage. Playing up through the space stage was mildly entertaining the first time through- but that's about all it's worth. I'm giving this a 1 due to the fact I felt like the developers gutted the best portion of this game- evolution. I am deeply disappointed. Full Review »
  3. Jun 2, 2011
    I feel cheated. I was promised a revolutionary, unique game, instead I got sold a child game... Thats what it is. Its basically 5 extremelyI feel cheated. I was promised a revolutionary, unique game, instead I got sold a child game... Thats what it is. Its basically 5 extremely easy mini games in one, plus this anti-creative "creature creation". Pick 5 random animals that come to your head, then try make them in this creator, you can't, this game only allows you make some unrealistic freaks that all look similiar. This is the biggest disappointment in gaming history, not worst game ever though, if they said it was supposed to be an game for children in the first place, it could aim for best one ever, but it pretends to be what its not. I beated the game in one day, not even a day but few hours, i didnt launch it ever since then. If you want to buy it for your 8 year old kid, go for it, but if youre a gamer and looking for a good game, forget about it. Full Review »