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Release Date: August 05, 2009
Genre: Games
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iTunes New Music Releases

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
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Release Date: April 22, 2009
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In-Depth Review

iPhone Game Review: Spore Origins

 

Spore Origins is the kind of game the iPhone was built for: simple, engaging gameplay that takes advantage of the handheld's advanced technology -- in this case, the accelerometer, which requires you to tilt the iPhone as move your fledgling spore around the screen and chomp anything smaller than you. (If you have a current-generation iPod nano, you can do the same with the click wheel version of the game.)

It's largely the same as the version Electronic Arts released for click wheel iPods, although, interestingly, it lacks its cousin's Aquarium mode and ability to upload your creations to EA's Spore site to fight other players' creatures. However, the former is simply a show in which you switch between songs in your iPod library to evolve the highlighted creature, while the latter isn't something I really cared about much when I played the click wheel version. You can't control your creature when it battles another one anyway; you just watch the two go at it and hope yours wins.

Both versions employ the same premise: guide your creature around the screen, chomping anything smaller than you while avoiding bigger predators. Everything you eat increases your life points and moves you closer to the end of the level, where you get a chance to make changes to your creature, if you earned any evolution points. This version has more levels than the click wheel one: 35, compared to 18.

A multi-eyed creature eyes a snack

Both versions also essentially comprise the first level of EA's epic game Spore, which tasks you with taking that initial creature and evolving it as it becomes more intelligent and eventually blasts into space to explore the cosmos. You can't import your Spore Origins creatures into the Spore computer game, however, which limits the long-term value of this game. Once you've completed all the levels, there isn't much to do, since evolving your creature with different types of parts doesn't make a major difference in your game strategy: you're still chomping the little guys and avoiding the big ones.

For 10 bucks ($8 as of this writing on December 15, 2008, although the price could go back up), however, you get what you paid for: a game whose production values stand head-and-shoulders above the versions produced for all other platforms, including other cell phones. The long-term value isn't there, but not all games are designed for that.

 

Just The Facts

Pros:

Simple, yet fun, gameplay

Easy to pick up and put down as needed

Cons:

Not much long-term value

Evolutionary decisions tend to be more cosmetic than strategic

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