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Spore Review – Part 2

To continue where we left off, your humble tribe is transformed into an industrialized urban center, the first city of many to populate the land. Every city needs a town hall to establish their own form of government:

Building a space colony is sure to help us propagate the species.

Economic cities are invested in spice mining to build better relations with their neighbors. The more trade routes they have, the more income they generate for spending on new infrastructure.

Religious cities insist that non-believers must be converted and will preach their way of life to any unsuspecting citizens. This is likely to upset the locals who throw trash at your vehicles.

Military cities are the most aggressive, always deploying armed forces to satiate their desire for conquest. They will forge alliances with other groups to declare war on their enemies.

Hooray for industrial development backed up by air pollution.

The first thing you have to do is build a town hall. Once that’s ready, you can add or remove buildings whenever you like. If you want to save time, you have a huge list of default buildings to choose from, designed by Maxis, the creator of Spore. You get full customization options for all three types of buildings: Houses, Recreation Facilities, and Factories.

I decided to get creative, thus I designed my own houses, which needs a set of doors, some windows, and three floors to top it all off. And after much painstaking effort, I made them look like strawberry cakes. I don’t recommend doing this for every single building or vehicle because you will spend more time customizing than actually playing the stages.

Houses increase your population, recreational buildings raise happiness levels, and factories help your city earn additional Sporebucks. The links show how buildings influence the morale of your citizens. This is where you add vehicles, change your creature’s outfit, and become a real DJ by mixing sound effects.

Your goal in the “Civilization” stage is to execute a full takeover of every city on the planet. Word domination is soon in your grasp! *Insert sinister laugh here.* But hold your horses, you still need to send vehicles that will scout out the surrounding area, in search of spice geysers. The more geysers you claim, the higher your income will grow.

Spore has many unique vehicle parts. The main body shape is designed for speed, durability, and economic/religious/military efficiency. Think carefully about what kind of cars would do well against hostile turrets, prompting you to immobilize enemy buildings. For example, cars from economic cities are incapable of attacking.

I prefer starting as an Economic city despite how long it takes to buy cities with your hard-earned Sporebucks. Contact neutral and unfriendly nations to compliment them, and then deliver generous gifts. Once you do that, they will agree to trade with you.

The number of cars your nation owns is shown on the bottom right. Other emerging nations are color-coded by their borders. To form an alliance with them, you should offer generous gifts and compliments until their mood face is smiling.

Buy City, Give Gift, Contact, and Propose Trade Route are shown.

Stealing their spice geysers is usually frowned upon. You also don’t want to declare war unless you have enough resources to supply military planes and naval fleets. They keep attacking your cities until you force them to surrender after you destroy their central base.

Earlier on, the other tribes are less developed. It gives you time to claim all the accessible spice geysers on land. Sometimes tribes offer a free vehicle, but a few of them are hostile until they evolve into cities. There is strength in numbers when sending vehicles to a new area.

Religious nations gradually convert a city by preaching to them. The bar fills up to show your progress. The opposing nation will always respond by trying to destroy your vehicles. Military vehicles do higher damage output on buildings which is perfect for staging a ground attack.

The type of city you own limits what vehicles can be built. Religious vehicles disable buildings to reduce happiness but the downside is that they can’t damage them. If you declare war, you’d be hard-pressed to rely on solely economic or religious cars. You must defend your territory using battleships to occupy the seas and even control fighter jets.

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You will complete the Civilization Stage if you successfully unite all 10 cities into a single empire. It means the whole world is now working together, deciding to put aside their petty squabbles for a chance to go beyond the confines of their planet—in the deep reaches of space!

Interstellar exploration is still a pipe dream for humanity, despite NASA making advancements in rocket science. Our astronauts won’t be able to leave the solar system anytime soon. These alien creatures are already surpassing our intellectual capacity.

You begin the Space stage by doing a test-pilot of your spacecraft.

Go to the spaceship editor to attach all the important parts. It should have all the parts from previous builders to ensure your survival in a cold air vacuum. Every spaceship needs a body and cockpit. Whether you want to receive satellite transmissions, add some plasma lights, blast off using particle jets, or fend off a pirate invasion.

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Each star has its own unique solar system and assigned planet names.

The Spore Galaxy is endless, spanning a huge number of star systems, many claimed by alien empires who are proud of their space colonies, just like your species. Fly straight into the rings and you’ll get a feel of how much control you have over navigation before you leave a planet’s atmosphere. You are now promoted to the status of a flight captain.

Interstellar travel is likely to consume a lot of energy, measured by the distance between stars. This is easily the game’s biggest drawback because you’re forced to stock up on energy and health packs, spending a lot of Sporebucks that could be used to purchase entire solar systems from friendly empires.

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The spaceship is supplied with a range of high-tech equipment for almost any occasion. Your main tools are a planetary scanner, an abduction beam, a radar to identify artifacts, and a cargo hold to store spices and living samples you’ve captured. Your ship is armed with a laser beam and a proton missile as its first line of defense.

Being the captain of a spaceship, you are in charge of expanding your empire by whatever means necessary. To strengthen your empire, you must own as many spicy planets as possible. This means maintaining diplomatic relations with empires you come across, forming alliances in order to establish trade routes, and so on.

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You can land on any planet revolving around the star except for gas giants.

The navigational interface displays star systems owned by your empire. It also keeps track of planets claimed by other empires, showing who you’re allied with or declared war against. You can see the trail path of your spaceship to avoid getting lost when traveling greater distances. According to the galactic federation, the path to enlightenment is reached once you earn all 10 badges.

The missions alien ambassadors send your way comprise of capturing enemy cities, collecting rare specimens, eliminating infected creatures or citizens, abducting some poor sap from his tribe, grabbing artifacts on a nearby planet; yeah, you get the picture. These missions are timed to add a sense of urgency.

The TerraScore of a planet tells you about its environmental conditions. The higher the score, the more colonies a planet can sustain. A score of T0 implies a barren wasteland where nothing grows. On the other hand, a T1 planet lets you expand your colony, in which a few buildings are added to increase spice production.

Atmospheric tools are crucial to establishing new colonies on uninhabited planets. It’s a good thing nearby empires are willing to offer a discount on their generator units; Releasing huge chunks of falling asteroids or even a torrent of ice to change the temperature. Who’d thought of launching volcanoes out of the sky?

Hey, look! More weapon upgrades and social gear for brainwashing the masses.

With the forces of nature in your hands, you can Terraform planets into wildlife sanctuaries, where creatures roam freely under a balanced ecosystem. In fact, your space-faring creatures depend on spice-rich planets for trade with other alien races, which stretches your Sporebuck budget a little further.

In the name of Homeworld, you are admired as the supreme commander. But it honestly feels like you’re being asked to micromanage every single colony, empire, or trade route in your jurisdiction. This becomes a real chore since your communicator is always going off, alerting you of a crisis many parsecs away.

Mission command do you read me? OVER!

And why don’t they just send more spaceships to help automate the process behind governing multiple star systems? The game demands that you drop everything whenever an ecological disaster happens on one of your colonies. Then you’re asked to land on the planet calling for help, which might be too far to reach in time.

At that point, I would just ignore the calls and focus on getting the badges instead. Eventually, you will encounter a wormhole, a rare galactic formation that transports you to a random location in the galaxy. It’s the fastest way to get around if you plan to meet the rumored Grox empire. But you need a key to get in safely.

It’s a wormhole to the other side of the galaxy!

The Grox are nasty pieces of work, cyborgs eager to kill off all organic life as we know it. The worst part is, they occupy the center of the galaxy, guarding some kind of secret few players have discovered. The moment you enter their domain, the Grox will consider you a hostile entity. And they refuse to leave you alone!

Their warships are very powerful, easily decimating your pitiful spacecraft in under a minute. So unless you have fully upgraded your arsenal, filled your inventory with health packs, spammed the pause button, and recruited allies towards your cause, you won’t stand a chance.

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Part One

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