EA Games Spore Origins

It's a cell-eat-cell world

EA Games Spore Origins
  • EA Games Spore Origins
  • EA Games Spore Origins
  • EA Games Spore Origins
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • Simple and addictive, similar to Spore’s Cell stage

Cons

  • Loss of control at times, accelerometer lacks sensitivity

Bottom Line

Spore Origins is a fun and addictive game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Unfortunately, some odd game play mechanics and inadequate tilt sensitivity make this game frustrating to play in anything but small doses.

Would you buy this?

Spore Origins is an iPhone/iPod touch game that uses the evolutionary gameplay mechanics of the fully fledged game for PC and Mac. In focusing on one of Spore’s most fun elements, Spore Origins expands on the Spore universe while retaining the simplicity necessary for a fun iPhone game. Unfortunately, the fickleness of the iPhone’s tilt sensitivity has a negative impact on the game.

Spore Origins is essentially a lengthened version of Spore’s first level, the Cell stage. Players assume control of a single-celled organism in primordial ooze. Players must fight to survive in a world of odd-eyed and many-spiked neighbours. Unlike Spore, players don’t get a choice whether their creatures are carnivores or herbivores; Spore Origins takes place in a cell-eat-cell world.

Your creature must prey on sub-atomic plankton to grow and become capable of eating larger creatures. Eat enough DNA, and your creature will progress to the next stage of evolution.

Every few stages, players are given the choice of evolving their creature through the addition or modification of body parts for the purposes of defending, attacking and just looking cool. The “Edit Creature” aspect of Spore Origins isn’t as comprehensive or complicated as Spore's, but it is functional and generally works well. More body parts gradually become accessible throughout the game’s 18 stages.

Gameplay is simple and addictive, but at the same time horribly frustrating. Every time your cell eats a plankton or smaller creature, it magically grows bigger for a split second, consuming all similarly edible creatures in the radius of this enlarged cell. However, the cell’s sudden growth can cause it to hit that spiked Leviathan you were avoiding. Despite the progress made by eating the shrimp buffet of the primordial ooze, accidentally landing the wrong spot at the wrong time could send you back to the start of the level.

The iPhone’s accelerometer, while suitable for simple tasks like tilting photos, remains a finicky control mechanic for games. Even though Spore Origins allows users to customise the accelerometer’s relative tilt angle to better suit the player’s individual situation, the sensor remains inaccurate enough to send your customised creature hurtling in the wrong direction.

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