Don’t be in a rush to beat spore, or you will disappoint yourself. This is true for most games, but spore is a series of small games. I’ve only made it to the tribal game so far, and here’s my quick summary.
Spore short review
Apart from #1, those are very tenuous similarities, but I am not remotely trying to accuse them of plagiarism. The games are “fun enough” – the sort of thing I would get my kids if they were 8-14. Having played the Gonzago prototype just yesterday, the creature level (#2) is startlingly and disappointingly familiar, complete with the same annoying difficulties getting stuck on terrain.
The Tribal level (#3) looks a bit more interesting, starts to look like it might be a bit of a civ game, but that promise evaporates pretty damn hard and fast; it’s what a civ game might be if we were on the C64 or Amiga, just a shed-load prettier with fancy animations.
Oh, and while I was writing this, it crashed and lost my game, so I guess I have to start again :)
Right now I’d have to say that if you are going to buy two games this month, and are trying to choose between Spore and Something Else… Hold onto your money till more reviews are in.