This cartoon on xkcd is to blame:

xkcd cartoon about Alpha Centauri

By talking about Alpha Centauri, it reminded me about Civilization, which I have spent days of my life playing, and enjoying.

So, I fired up Amazon, realised Spore was was quite affordable and clicked the ONE-CLICK-OF-DOOM and thanks to Amazon’s amazing efficiency, the new game arrived in the post the following day.

I have now spent about 20 hours playing it, including one massive 9-hour stretch where time escaped me a bit.

Thing is, I don’t actually like it that much. It’s not a patch on Civilization IV which I still love to play, when and if I can find the disc. And yet… it definitely has a strong urge that keeps you playing. I haven’t beaten the Space age yet, but I have fairly easily defeated all the other bits. Largely because it’s one of those games which a boon to people like me who are crap at computer games – if you die, there are no, or few consequences. You just start again where you left off.

It’s ever so easy to play. Like Civ, you get a huge manual, and like Civ, you can play it without ever needing to open the book.

But its real huge thing is all the user generated content. Presumably you could play forever without really coming across the same creature twice, because it can connect to the internet and download creatures made up by thousands of other users. The Spore.com website says 939,307 new creatures were added in the last 24 hours. Wow.

Anyway, I have all these missions I have to complete in and around space. I’ll see you in, ooh, a few days…?


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