by William Thompson
reviewed on NDS
All the small things
If you were hoping that Spore Creatures would be a portable version of the much anticipated PC game Spore, you are out of luck. Spore Creatures is closer to an upgraded version of the Spore Creature Creator than the single-cell organism to world conquering creature game. Being on the handheld of choice for younger gamers, it seems at first glance that Spore Creatures has been developed for that target audience. The colours are vibrant, the characters are cute and they even have that Super Paper Mario 2-dimensional look.
The game begins with the two worm-like creatures hatching from eggs and escaping from some sort of spacecraft. After a small tutorial, one of the creatures gets ‘taken’ by the spacecraft, and it is then up to our intrepid creature to help rescue his little friend. Along the way, our creature will collect various body parts. These body parts can be used to evolve.
And evolution must happen, because without it, our creature would not survive against all the predators it will come up against. Various creatures are quite friendly, but others will just see your little avatar as lunch and want to devour it. But it is not just predators for which our creature needs to evolve. As in real life, certain living conditions require our organism to adapt. Spiky cactus areas demand extra body protection, watery areas suitable attributes to contend with the water.
With a little help from my friends
Friendly creatures appear throughout the game. You might have to complete certain tasks before they totally trust you though. In general these tasks need to be completed before you can progress further through the game. There will be timid creatures that want you to save them from other predators. Once you befriend these creatures, they will help you in a number of ways. They could help you to defeat other meanies, or give you with directions towards your destination.
The game has some Role-play elements to it. Exploring the surroundings and completing tasks results in levelling up, so you can select better body parts. The weight you can carry increases as you gain higher levels; more weight means more options are available to your character.
Gameplay is quite linear though. I’m not sure if this is by design to make the game easier for younger gamers. Of course, you can create an abundance of various creatures, but the gameplay itself remains the same regardless of the creatures design. A couple of mini games are used throughout to try and break up the monotony – but these too become boring. The first is the ‘being friendly’ game. Not so much a game, I suppose, but an activity within the overall game. It involves calling to another friendly creature and then ‘giving it cuddles’ by rubbing a happy face over the creature. Some creatures may take numerous attempts before they become your friend, and on some occasions, I was left wondering whether I should just attempt to gobble up the creature instead.
No Pros and Cons at this time