When you left Spore Origins, your microbe was using its brand new legs to venture out of the water and into a strange new world. Spore Creatures commences immediately after this epic moment of virtual evolution - though, rather fittingly, the game itself is quite a different experience.
The DNA code, allowing you to transport your unique Spore configuration to another device to fight against other player’s creatures, has been dropped in favour of a more explorative, RPG style of game. As innovative as the DNA system was, it didn’t really prove all that popular, so it’s no bad thing to see EA Mobile plug the gap with a diverse, adventuring experience.
You’re on land now, and looking around this strange new world of rocks, plants, animals and fire constitutes much of the journey toward continued evolution. Exploration is a big part of Spore Creatures, even though it still places a strong emphasis on the inherent DNA gathering of the original mobile game.
Each area must be carefully investigated, with a certain number of plants and lesser animals eaten in order to strengthen your evolutionary resources.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Spore game if you weren't able to play god and design your species on-the-fly. From what initially appears to be a rudimentary selection of torsos, legs, eyes, feet and other basic animal parts, you're able to construct a very unique creature simply and efficiently.
By shoring up a target score and meeting the cursory objectives of each area, new parts become available so you can continually upgrade your Spore.
In turn, your evolved creature becomes more and more in accord with its environment. Where small rocks, toxic crystals or lava once blocked your path, an improved creature is able to overcome these obstacles and visit previously inaccessible areas.
This aspect of play lends Spore Creatures something of an RPG lilt, which is very fair recompense for the removal of Spore Origins’s multiplayer function, bringing the franchise more closely in line with established animal-based games like Pokémon.
Further bolstering this RPG element is the way in which you interact with other creatures. A small, rhythm-based gameplay mechanic is used as a form of basic communication, allowing you to make friends with an animal that you don't fancy fighting.
Of course, nature is a cruel arena, and much of the time you will be engaging in combat, so ensuring your creature has suitable weapons and defences is essential to your species’ survival.
Although I won’t spoil it here, Spore Creatures also packs in a very satisfying resolution upon completion of the game, and although the Spore craze might have faded a little, this is as good a game as any to reignite your enthusiasm for the evolutionary gaming revolution.