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We've been hoping for a deep, mobile version of Spore, and the upcoming Spore Creatures for iPhone isn't that game. Instead, it's a fairly direct followup to Spore Origins. If you like the simple creature evolution and tilting gameplay from before, you'll be just as happy with Creatures. We sampled a late-in-development version of the title, to be released in January.
Like the prior iPhone Spore game, Creatures takes a simple, overhead approach. Only instead of propelling your creature through primordial goo, you've evolved legs and hopped up onto land. iPhone tilts--and sometimes taps--send your customized creature around, eating food, attacking other creatures, and trying to survive.
Unlike the prior game, Creatures lets you socialize with ambient life. You might need to present a certain shell as a gift to impress another critter, adding more depth to the otherwise simple game. But after making friends, those creatures don't join your gang and follow you around, as in the Mac edition of Spore; you'll continue alone.
Also new, you'll face various boss creatures in battle at the end of each level. We hope that these additions will keep Creatures from becoming monotonous.
The Creatures graphics and sounds have subtly improved over the previous iPhone Spore game. While we liked the original visuals, 3D effects now make the world more interesting, such as seeing a palm tree tilt with your perspective.
You'll be able to unlock character upgrades and place them on the creature, just like before. 45 total parts give you new eyes, legs, claws, and other necessities for attack, defense, movement, and more. You'll also be able to use the iPhone photo library or camera to completely customize your creature's look, just like the prior title.
While we're sure to uncover more of the nuance within Spore Creatures after its release, our quick introduction matches it closely to Spore Origins. So if you prefer the simple, mobile, arcade style to the deeper Mac game's simulation and strategy, you might like Spore Creatures.