Spore. A game which caused quite a bit of disappointment due to an overwhelming amount of hype, something many games suffer from (and some just deserve). Spore? I can't say I was ever really disappointed at any point with this game, underwhelmed maybe, but in spite of the titles hype in its release I for one could say I had quite a good time with this title and am almost re-discovering Spore again after nearly seven years from its original release. But most of all, I'm seeing what Spore achieved that a number of other games still haven't quite done. In Spore you begin as microbial life, fighting for dominance in the primordial ooze, evolving by your hand into a creature which soon crawls onto land and fights with tooth and claw or uses its charm to become the dominant creature. Eventually forming tribes and one day into a flourishing civilization that sets its sights on the stars. And then the game near entirely falls... flat. Going from the confines of your world you set about in a small star ship and discover other advanced space-faring life, the game suddenly becomes almost overwhelmingly underwhelming. You've reached space and what can be done in terms of game play slows to a crawl. Now there is an expansion which added in some space adventures for you and the crew of your small star ship; visiting other worlds and embarking on adventures on quite a number of other planets. However in the end, it doesn't amount to much in the face of the galaxy. Back then I found this to be a bit of a downer, what almost seemed to be a lack of things to do. Sure, you have the ability to terra-form planets and colonize them, almost becoming the equivalent to "Noah's Ark in space." You can fight other empires and take on their defenses, conquering worlds and or become an intergalactic economic powerhouse. As interesting and fun as these options sound, the process of doing them is incredibly tedious. The combat is fun, but becomes either ridiculous easy or frustratingly difficult without much of an in-between. Though given a modest amount of weapons to collect over the progress of exploring space, the combat becomes very predictable and more of a task or chore than an entertaining genocide (not that that isn't work mind you). Trade and buying planets essentially becoming a hauling service, collecting varieties of spice and trading the spice to different worlds and establishing trade routes doesn't really become much of a chore, but more something to do just to pass the time. But terra-forming does keep some amount of in it, despite it to becomes more of a time passer over your next objective in inter-galactic domination. Though lately I've found myself playing again and finding something about the monotony to be an entertaining aspect. It's a lot of work to maintain an empire (yeah, no sh*t Sherlock); but it almost seems like something emphasized by the paths your given in how you establish and expand from that speck of dirt in the face of the galaxy. But even more so, Spore seems fresh despite its age. Sure, we do have some up and coming games which have begun to touch on space exploration such as Elite: Dangerous or No Man's Sky and even Space Engineers. Or other green lights and betas such as Kerbal Space Program, Empyrion: Galactic Survival or Star Citizen. Most of these are either betas or haven't been released yet and yet Spore has lingered around for awhile now. But of course, many planets are very similar, given you have the ability to change a planets entire eco-system, the colors of its atmosphere, water and land. The ability to raise up mountains and create vast oceans at your very fingertips. Terra-forming was the one thing that Spore got right more than anything and that was giving more than enough tools to really make your planets truly yours. Along with this are tools just for exploration, slowing getting better warp drives to travel further into the galaxy, go at it long enough and eventually carve an empire into the galaxies center through a horde of hostile aliens. In the end, I think nostalgia may be clouding my eyes a bit here, but if you haven't played Spore, I suggest giving it another look. If you have, go dig it up wherever it is and look at what it really had to offer.