I'm Probably Yelling at Spore RIGHT NOW

My husband was given Spore as a birthday gift. It finally arrived.

I've been playing with the Creature Creator for a few weeks now.

That in no way, shape or form prepared me for the space-race level of Spore.

I have cursed at Spore a lot over the past week.

I've yelled because:

  • Controls (based on the gaming I HAVE done, which is less than my husband, but substantial) were anything but obvious.
  • Controls were not documented in the book. ("How do I do this?" "I don't know" "What does the book say" "It doesn't")
  • This is the only game I've played where when you're driving (spaceship), and you turn side to side, the camera moves, but if you turn side to side a LOT the camera stays in place and suddenly the ship is facing you and you are driving backwards. Maybe that's how Sims Expansion Pack #24,343 works, but it's not how my BRAIN works.

On top of that, the space race portion is... emotionally devastating. There are lots and lots of forum postings on the innerweb. They all go something like this:

"I made a civ of about 6 planets in 5 systems, and suddenly these guys came out of nowhere, and they killed all my allies, took all my planets, and won't talk to me. And there are a lot of them, and they have destroyed everything."

Which would be one thing if it was one guy... but it's hundreds and hundreds of people over and over again.

It's obvious when playing that Electronic Arts has read the studies about gaming being addictive not because people enjoy gaming, but because they like the feeling of accomplishing something.

So what does Electronic Arts do? They give you a badge for loosing planets.

Ok, I just spent 6 hours building those worlds up, and they are gone, gone, gone. I have no chance to get them back (I'm allowed 2 fighters, the enemy has about 15 per grouping). Giving me a badge the first time this happens does not alleviate the feeling of PISSED OFF ed-ness that loosing 6 hours instills.

My husband keeps asking why I keep playing (I'm on game 3, and this will be my last one) and I keep saying the same thing, "I like it when I build up worlds, but I don't understand why they make the game destroy them all."

And then he pulls up another thread with 1,343 other people complaining about the same thing.


And this is a game geared for Sims players? Really? I think EA literally said to themselves,

"Well, players can turn the planets PURPLE (ohhhhh), so it shouldn't matter if the game kicks their ass repeatedly on 'easy', because, hey, PURPLE! And GREEN!"

I, also, like many reviewers, found the first three portions of the game to be shallow, with not much in them to bother playing a second time. However, I'm willing to forgive clunky starting phases, and crappy mouse-response and poor usability, if the game gives me something to sing about, but when it just trashes my work over and over again?

This is my last time through, it's got half a big green bar to get better, and then it can join the stack of 3,343 other games my husband plays that I won't touch.

At least I don't have to tell my creatures to do the dishes...

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