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Spore: Carnivore Seeks Company

Mike Musgrove

Anybody looking for a gray or green flesh-eating flying bipod to fill out their universe?

I've been playing an advance copy of Spore this past week; it's the latest game from the creator of The Sims and hits retail shelves this Sunday.

Where The Sims let people control a pretty familiar-seeming race of human-like characters, this ambitious title lets players control the evolution of a species from its earliest moments as a multicellular organism up to the period when it develops intelligence and, eventually travels into space to meet other life forms on other virtual planets. Publisher Electronic Arts pitches the title as a "universe in a box."

There's an odd bit of social networking built into the heart of this game. Those other virtual life forms you come across in the Spore universe are actually other Spore player-created game characters. The game can do this automatically, or players can tweak a few settings to tell the game to also download creatures from their other Spore-playing friends.

The species I've been developing for about a dozen hours or so of playtime is called "Humberticus." This species is more inclined to eat its neighbors than befriend them at this point, but I'm really trying to develop its social skills.

So, if there are any new Spore players out there in the universe this coming week, please do me a favor and download him and drop me a line to let me know how he behaves in your virtual universe. Likewise, I'd be interested to subscribe to some of your "Sporecasts." My somewhat unimaginative handle on the online Spore creature creation service, by the way, is "musgrovem."

By Mike Musgrove  |  September 5, 2008; 10:30 AM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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