Spore Origins for iPhone review
Spore Origins for the iPhone roughly follows the same track as the iPod game, though the interface has been improved for the iPhone and the game benefits from the device’s larger screen. But it’s essentially the same game, culled from the full Spore game’s first stage, when you’re responsible for the care, feeding and evolution of a microscopic spore swimming in protoplasmic ooze.
It’s basically eat or be eaten; you collect microbes and nutrients free-floating in the liquid around you or collide into smaller creatures, consuming them to improve your health and increase a DNA meter. You move by tilting your iPhone or iPod touch – everything is displayed in landscape orientation.
At set points in the game, you can cash in ‘evolution points’ to improve your creature and you can adjust its skin colour and basic shape (each creature consists of a head, a trunk part and a tail section). As the game plays on through increasingly large pools of liquid, you go from the smallest kid on the block to a bigger and bigger critter, easily consuming monsters that seemed gargantuan only a level or two below.
You’ll also gain access to ‘super parts’ that will temporarily imbue you with special abilities. Symbiotes – tiny organisms – also make you temporarily poisonous or harder to eat.
Spore Origins is no substitute for the whole Spore game, but it’s a fun diversion with levels that play through quickly, so it’s easy to restart between sessions without feeling like you’ve lost much time or have to replay events that you find difficult.
Options are fairly basic. You can turn on a tutorial, adjust music and effects volumes, and set the relative tilt angle of the device – good if you find holding your iPhone level with the ground awkward.