Here I’ll give you a beginner’s guide to Spore. It’s a wonderful game but can drive you crazy in some spots, even if you work really hard at it (which is why my husband dislikes playing it). I’ll also show you parts of the game which I’d equally recommend spending more time in, and focusing on; in the end you’ll become a better player. Version 1 is the only version out currently, so there are a lot of bugs to work out still, but even so it’s a fantastic game to play.
There is a Sporeopedia, which is their game guide, but it’s extremely basic and hard to find things inside that you want; I’d skim through it all the same, because you want the absolute basic when you’re starting out.
You’ll see a galaxy, and have your choice of which planet to live on, to begin with. This place will be your home; start out in cell so you get the full experience. You’ll see a short movie once you have chosen a world, the movie showing basically the seeding. So life begins.
Once your life starts, you should pay heed to all the help icons that show up. If you play for long enough, these will get annoying but you really need to read them and pay attention in the beginning. Look at the bottom of the screen, where there will be an action bar: there will be a circle for mating calls – which will stay there through a couple stages – and also a bar you can click on at any point to see what you’ve done so far.
– Cell stage:
DO NOT think starting out at this game that you know what you’re doing, because you’ve played tons of computer games. You don’t here; Spore’s very different and can be very hard, especially at the cell stage, where you literally start out as a one-cell creature and have to eat (that’s right, I said “eat”) for survival.
Start out as a carnivore; it’s your best bet for survival. However, when you get the chance to mate, do so immediately and then add on the mouth parts which will allow you to become an omnivore, because then you can eat ANYTHING, and your survival chances in the cell stage are even better (this will also help you later on).
Secondly, remember to upgrade yourself for the best speed/fight ratio: basically you want to be able to do sharp turns and move fast, but also to fight whatever comes your way. I’m one of those players who spends her time in cell stage yelling “agh! It’s a thingy! Get away!” or “Get back here, you little…” which really annoys my husband. But I’ve also learned to beef up my character in cell ASAP, and well the yelling is just my play method (he does it with other games).
Remember to unlock any glowing things in the water: these will hold any new attributes and you’ll want the attributes to evolve.
Herbivores are found by the green stuff, of course, but be careful; there will be other meat-eaters there and they aren’t going to be too picky about whether they eat the herbivores or you. The game’s creators unfortunately seem to give a lot of advantage to their own creatures, so you’ll see a lot of creatures with ten to twenty spikes on them which seem impossible to fight! Basically, the best idea with these is to not fight them head-on, and definitely if you see something bigger than yourself, GET AWAY.
When you’ve gained a brain cell, the bar at the bottom of the screen that holds your history will start moving, and this means that you can gain legs and go to the shore.
Now, you have legs, and you can go to land, where you’ll find a nest. There will be several of your kind around, and the bottom of the screen has changed somewhat. On the far left side of the screen is a little minimap that just shows your home, smiley faces that’ll show where any friends you make are located, skulls where you’ve killed off a species, and question marks where there are unknown ones. Up from that there is a bar, divided in half: now there’s a new bar, which on the right side is green, detailing social skills, while on the left, the red side details fighting skills. When you’re with friends, keep it green, or they’ll be confused; when with enemies keep it red. You’ll want to mate frequently in this stage, like the previous one, and you’ll want to find as many glowing skeletons as possible; these are your upgrades.
This stage has the most crashes of my experience, especially during fight scenes,so my advice is save CONSTANTLY. That way, if you get stuck, you can restart and end up relatively close to where you were before. Otherwise you could end up back in the cell stage and have to fight yourself back to land!
The creature stage can be fun, though. It’s less hectic than life as a cellular creature, and you get to explore and find out what other players have created. If you go to spore.com and log in, you can also download other creatures to be put in your particular galaxy, but I wouldn’t suggest doing this while playing, because it doesn’t seem to work well with the active game. Go to the website when not actively playing and then you can do the downloads. You can make some of the most amazing creatures, after a while; I’ve done a carnivorous frog-creature and seen Pokemon-inspired ones. Beware: spaceships will fly overhead from time to time and beam up creatures, or just buzz them, and meteor showers will happen, causing general panic.
You can choose what kind of a creature you want to be, in this stage: a friendly carnivore, a complacent omnivore, a vicious herbivore, a plain old attack carnivore, and so on. Be advised that if you choose to simply be a carnivore, you’ll have a harder time in the later stages; you’ll be attacked all the time.
You’ll move nests a couple times, at which point you need to find your new one. And after you’ve gained more brain cells, you can add someone to your “pack.” Beef up your social skills to get this quickly, because you need to be able to show off to other critters around you: you sing and dance for them, and if they have a skill you do not, it’s near impossible to befriend them. There will also be some creatures you can’t befriend at all, which are intrinsically nasty, and I’d advise staying well away from those. Unfortunately, it should be noted that the carnivores tend to have the most glowing skeletons near their nests, so you’ll need to pick and choose what you want.
You can stay in this stage as long as you want to, and it’s more tempting to do so here than in the cell stage. You do get points for befriending more and more creatures or attacking a certain number of them. It’s a neat world, so explore if you want, after the history bar starts moving again.
Now you’re a tribal chief. You’ll see things are a bit different: you have a little tribe of three or so, and a hut, and a place for food offerings. First off, you want to save, before you accidentally get kicked back to the creature stage. There aren’t as many bugs here, but you could run into some so it’s best to be careful.
The history bar will still be at the bottom of your screen, and to the left side there is still the minimap, but now it’ll show you where villages and food sources are located.
Go to the large circle by your hut: this is the tribal outfitter. This will bring up a screen which shows what buildings you’ll be able to add to your village – usually, you start out with one weapon and one musical instrument – and it will also bring another screen (denoted by a mask) that shows what you yourself can wear. It’s very important that you pick the right clothes here; you want to show that you are strong, social, and can gather food, but you also want to have your health logo (right side of the screen) at around 30, or else you’ll die very easily in fights. Above all, DO NOT leave any of these blank!
Get out of the tribal outfitter now, and go back to the main screen. Below the larger circle is a smaller one that shows if you can have children yet. Do it as soon as possible; you want your tribe to be at maximum at all times. Children take 10 points to have them.
The easiest way to get points is to domesticate an animal, and I’d suggest doing that first off. Try and domesticate something that’s kind of vicious; they actually will help you fight off attackers! And, you can have tribal members gather eggs from them. Send other tribal members out to hunt or gather food from the wild, which they’ll put at the local altar. If they get hungry, they usually eat by themselves. Every so often, though, you have a lazy tribal member, and you have to really bug these to make sure they’re working.
Now that your tribe is at full strength, you need to socialize. Make sure your whole tribe has musical instruments, by clicking on the “tribe” button on the right side of the screen, and go up to the nearby tribe. You’ll come in singing and playing music, and they will request for you to play a certain instrument – pay attention to what they request, because unless they score you as a “ten”, they won’t be your friends. Watch out if they’re ambivalent toward you; this generally doesn’t bode well. Once they’ve become your friends, you need to play for them again to make them your allies. Again, make sure it comes up as a “ten” at which point you get whatever buildings the other tribe has. Take advantage of it!
You want to do this with all the other tribes. You should note that the cyan tribe is almost always going to show up as nasties, and you need to beware of firestarter tribes. You need to interact with five tribes to get out of this stage, and your actions here denote what you’ll be pegged as in the next one. Sadly, this part is very one-dimensional: all carnivores are nasty, herbivores are friendly, and omnivores could go either way. If you decide to fight a tribe into smithereens and gain its attributes that way, be advised that if you take out more than two you’ll be called aggressive. Conversely, if you are friends with all the other tribes somehow – I’ve managed to make friends with the cyan tribe at least once – you’re a sweet, harmless creature who’s likely to be a religious civilization.
Now, you need to build a town hall. I love this part: you can make whatever you want for a place, and people do. Same with other buildings, of which you need to do factories, entertainment centers, and homes. But all you start with is the town hall and then a vehicle: if you want this vehicle to survive and be able to fight well, the basic ratio is 25 health/50 strength/25 speed. Paint your vehicle and your halls; I know people who spend hours and days at this. The creation part is the coolest part of Spore at this level.
A town will appear as soon as you have a town hall, after a funny little movie where you’re apparently discussing this new creation of yours, and how someone discovered space. Again you have a city outfitter, from whom you”ll be able to get buildings – and you should change your clothes now! It isn’t half as important to have spiffy clothes in this level; you aren’t trying to impress anyone. So you could even just go without, and concentrate on the rest.
The bottom part of the screen will now have an actual map at the bottom left of the screen. “Wab-de-du” is something you’ll hear a lot, because it’s generally how your troops will respond to you. Use the troops to capture spice mines which will be located on the map. One of the bugs here makes that map show up badly, so it isn’t always easy to tell where land and water are. The best thing for you to do, though, is to be sure and get both land and water vehicles made asap so that you can reach other territories. Next to that there will be a bar which now will show what kind of specialties your civilization will have. You can get four of them.
Other towns will be founded as soon as you start moving around, and you’ll want to either capture or trade with them. Beware of those towns that keep asking for tribute from you; they’ll go after you as soon as they can if you refuse.
This is one of my least favorite parts of this level of Spore: remember how I was complaining it was one-dimensional here to a fault? There is only one kind of fighting. Forget guerrilla, forget too much tactical fighting or any other kind of warfare, because there’s only one kind. Also, the game creators will 99% of the time get flight ability sooner than you, and once they do so, it’s very hard to fight them off. DO NOT get yourself into a situation where you have only one city and there’s one other civilization than you, which has several of them! That situation is impossible to get out of.
Things to do: 1)bribe other civilizations (which you can turn on later), 2)get other civilizations to fight for/with you, 3)convert indigenous creatures (this requires a religious city, and the creature will only follow around the city troops that converted it), 4)make sure and keep the turrets on your city walls in good repair; they’re your best defense against air strikes!
A good idea is to try and get as many kinds of civilizations as possible: economical, religious, and military. A combined arms fight is the best kind to do, for one thing, and for another, economic races get through this stage FAST.
Remember I said four attributes would show up at the bottom of the screen? When you get to the fourth one, click it: it’s a global domination attribute, and will zip you automatically to the space stage.
The first parts of this stage can be really rough, but worth it. You start out learning to “fly this thing,” once you’ve built a spacecraft. Now you can make whatever you want; it actually doesn’t matter what kind of ship you build. Doesn’t matter in a fight how much power or speed you add. So do what you want with it.
You’ll be sent on two missions to begin with, while still on the planet: 1)you work on aim by flying through glowing globes the cities of the world have created, and 2)you practice eradicating diseased creatures on the planet. When flying, be careful of trees that will always block your view and rocks that you’ll bang into. Also, try not to pick up people!
Once you’ve done these two missions you’ll be sent to space. You go to a planet to investigate, and must report back to your homeworld. Two things to note: 1)you pick up stuff from that world, and 2) when you get back home, you pick up spice automatically.
Now, you get to colonize. The program’s going to send you to a world with red spice, which is the least expensive kind. I’d suggest you find a world with at least yellow spice the homeworld doesn’t care if you change plans. Just make sure that the worlds you choose first have green trails to them; that means that they are habitable and so you can build factories on them, which is more productive than a dead planet (usually the kind you’re first sent to).
Spices are as follows, least pricey to most: 1)red spice – if you’re really lucky you can find someone who’ll buy it for 1000 Sporebucks, 2)yellow – a slight bit better, but not much; the max for this is 1500, 3)green – usually around 1700, 4)blue – a good price for this is 20000; sometimes it goes as high as 40000 if you’re in luck, 5)purple – this can run as high as 40000, 6)pink – this is about the same in price as purple… what you want from spice is the best price, so try and ignore the 750-Sporebuck blue spice.
You need to either make buildings for your colonies, or you can go to the Sporeopedia and get them from there, once you’ve a place. As in the civilization phase, you need to be sure your colonies have turrets everywhere and that those turrets are kept in good repair.
Now you’re off to outer space, to try and find another race. You’ll see all kinds out here – literally. I’ve seen Marvin the Martian and something like a clock with legs. There are several kinds of creatures out here (one-dimensional again, you should note) 1)religious fanatics (followers of Spode; they’re all over the galaxy but tend to be good arms dealers so you might think of befriending one or two), 2)chaos creatures, who giggle a lot and don’t really sell anything important, 3)scientific creatures who are big on logic, 4)shamans – very mystical, and they tend to complain about you being “materialistic”… and so on. What you want to do is NOT MAKE TOO MANY ENEMIES, especially when starting out! Actually it’s a good idea to bribe as many creatures you come across as you can; even to just give them 10000 is a good idea. And talk to all the creatures who you pass by, especially if you get hailed by them.
As soon as possible, get these things: 1)terraforming stuff that will help you get colonies on planets with brown, red and no trails, and 2)allies to help you fight (they seem to like fighting for you). To get allies, go on missions for other creatures: I’d suggest doing a couple for scientific races and for militiaristic ones, even for chaotic ones, but the shamans tend to like balancing things to an extreme, so unless you are all right with the idea of mind-erase, don’t do missions for these guys!
Remember to keep visiting your colonies often to pick up stuff to make money with: I recommend doing it in a “spice run” fashion, to make sure you get some from every world you own, before going back out to the other worlds out there.
You’ll come across planets with yellow signals around them, which means they have treasure of some kind. It isn’t too advisable (unless you’ve managed to get a happy ray) to take treasure from worlds that belong specifically to an empire, and sometimes the “treasure” on a world will end up being planetary alteration stuff, denoted by a globe symbol. But the other treasure is worth it, usually: you will find statues and gems, both of which are collectors’ items and if you find all of each of these you get extra points in the game. You will also find things that one race or another will specifically want. You do enough collecting, and you can become known as a Scientist yourself, because you’ve explored so much. Be advised that putting all the treasure you find on your homeworld doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe.
This is another really neat part of the game, where you can do just about anything. You’ll be hailed by your homeworld often, saying they’re under attack. Your colonies will get attacked as well, and will have ecological troubles. Remember that you can choose to save them or not, but that if they’re being attacked you can pick up the booty that pirates drop when their ships are blown up.
So now you’ve gone through a lot of the game, and you have many colonies, and are doing well – your homeworld wants you to find the creatures called the Grox that they’ve heard of. The Grox live at the center of the galaxy, and allying with them is not advisable; it tends to make you enemies with the rest of the worlds out there! The first thing the homeworld wants you to do is just find them and make contact. Do JUST THAT. Nothing more! Say hi and go home; if you’re lucky you’re a race which gets a return ticket that’ll bring you there instantly.
Your next mission with the Grox involves seeing what they’re hiding out there, and is a LOT harder, even at easy level. I’ve done it once and only once, and had to have help. The Grox are EVERYWHERE down there, and will shoot on sight. Good ways to deal with them are: 1)move fast, 2)terraform planets they’re on because they can only live on dead worlds… Thankfully, once you have completed this mission and gotten what they are hiding out there, you never have to see them again.
Something I don’t know if I like about this stage is that there’s no specific end to it. The Grox don’t come after you once you’ve gotten their treasure, in fact from then on they pretty well ignore you, and you go back to exactly what you were doing before. You have no time limit, no set ending. It just goes on.
SporeV1 is a pretty good game, even with tons of bugs. It crashes a lot, the amount of times shown by the fact that most of the FAQs in the forum deal with how to deal with this or that error message. I’ve had to completely reload it three times; it sort of will last for a month and then you’re likely to run into trouble even in the mundane part of the space stage. I know other players who have had this same issue. There’s a DRM, which basically means EA gives you a limit of number of times you can reinstall the game – yes, even the one you yourself bought. You have to call the company and ask them to give you points to help you with this, and let you keep playing it. There are some scathing reviews out there, regarding that part, and I have to say to some extent I agree. However, it’s a first version, and is very good for that! I was seriously wowed when I first saw it, and even now after having it for almost a year, I still love it.
*G*A couple weeks ago, I even started my first try at a creature on the hard setting.
PIV 2000, 768MB RAM, 6GB HDD, 128MB video card ESRB rating: E
release date: Sep 07, 08 (released)