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Spore - The Achievement System and the Cell Stage

by: Michael Hartman ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

This section of the Spore review addresses the Achievement System and the Cell Stage of gameplay.

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    Achievement and Badge System

    frequent-flyer This part of the game spans every stage but should be explained first since it will be brought up numerous times. The Badge or Achievement System is basically a variety of goals and accomplishments that award badges when you perform certain tasks enough times, gather enough of a type of item, conquer enough planets, destroy enough enemies, and more. Almost every major game play activity has some type of achievement attached to it. Some of the achievements actually unlock new powers for your creature or civilization, and are thus very valuable.

    Working towards achievements adds a great deal of purpose to this otherwise very open ended sandbox style game. It makes terraforming planets you don't really need or saving a neighbor from a planetary eco-disaster all the more rewarding when those tasks grant progress toward another achievement badge.

    Some of the badges are actually very important. The ones that upgrade your ship's health, energy, or space travel distances are certainly priorities for anyone. Additionally, some of the more useful terraforming tools and powers are earned through this achievement system.

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    Cell Stage

    You begin the game as a tiny amoeba-like creature that arrived on the planet via meteor. If you are a carnivore, you must eat little red protein chunks. If you are a herbivore, you must nibble on green vegetation. Either way the game play is similar: swim around eating and growing while avoiding being eaten by bigger spores that are also eating and growing.

    You earn "DNA points" which you can occasionally use to add body parts, weapons, jets, and other utilities to your little spore. You must earn these new parts by finding them in glowing chunks of meteor rock, by gobbling up other spores, or finding them as you swim about. You can add multiple mouths, tons of eyes, flagella, a poisonous spray, and deadly spikes to whatever end your imagination desires. Covering your spore with spikes pointing every direction provides both offensive and defensive benefits. Most additions have some kind of benefit to your spore, but others are simply cosmetic.

    This stage of the game is very unique and really cannot be classified in any standard PC game genre. It is also quite brief. There is even a badge for completing it in under 8 minutes. While quick and simple, this stage definitely sets the mood and provides context for the enventual galactic scope of the game. When you are exploring space later on in your creature's life, reflecting back on its time as a tiny little protein eating spore will add to the sense of accomplishment.