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Forget Civilization 7, I want a new Spore game already

It has been over a decade since we saw Maxis and EA release their ground-breaking god game, Spore, and I desperately want a new one.

Several creatures in Spore looking towards the camera.

Spore is unequivocally the greatest god game I’ve ever played, and I’ll say it with my whole simulation-loving heart. Maxis, the genius developer behind The Sims, created its unique real-time strategy game back in 2008 when I was practically still an evolving little microscopic organism myself. As a child obsessed with The Sims and Zoo Tycoon, it wasn’t long before I lost hundreds of hours to Spore that could’ve been spent playing outside. I’m now ready to lose even more, over a decade later.

I could boot up my Steam copy of Spore and play through the god game that I love so dearly, but I don’t want to: I want a fresh Spore experience complete with new creepy-crawly creature parts and colony management features I could have only dreamed of at eight years old. Sid Meier’s Civilization games simply don’t make the cut, I’m afraid, since I’m looking for something far less human and far more alien, with far more choice. And no, Beyond Earth doesn’t count.

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Give me the nitty gritty beginnings of planetary life, from the itty-bitty microscopic stage with its brutal survival mechanics to the latter portions where my strange lifeforms gather in clans. I’m looking for weird googly eyes, gnarly claws, and flip-flappy wings that boost a creature’s speed. More importantly, though, I’m looking for the choice that comes alongside all this. I don’t want to simply oversee a species as it evolves, I want to prove the strength of my own intelligent design.

If I can take a single-cell organism from its primitive state to a godlike, intergalactic one, then I can do anything. My statement rings doubly true if the species in question is shaped like a curious banana with various eyes, spiky elbows, and spotted, neon-colored skin. What other game lets you manage its difficulty in such a way? With Spore, you truly live and you learn as you choose every aspect of a species’ body, diet, personality, and therefore its future. If you think it’s easy, it’s not. You’ll die, die, and die some more to better-equipped species.

Small creatures in Spore floating around.

Civilization confines you to overseeing humans, whereas Spore lets you make your version of people if you so please. If not, you can instead opt to create something as wild as an Among Us imposter. Do whatever you want, since the game’s scope is massive and, in my opinion, unrivaled to date. For its time and its seemingly silly premise, Maxis’ simulation is also incredibly scientific in its execution. It explores each area of science, from biology to chemistry, and astronomy to physics.

Players run into heavy concepts presented in bite-sized, easily digestible ways. If you feel you don’t understand DNA, evolution, fluid dynamics, or panspermia, Spore offers a shockingly deep presentation of such topics with little to no scientific literacy requirements. It’s a wonder-inspiring way for both adults and children to learn the beginnings of our own planet’s life, from meteor impact survival to various species’ water-to-land transitions.

A creature in Spore running from a larger threat.

I could write about the simulation game’s surprising intricacies all day. Yes, there’s some scientific method to Spore’s madness, but maybe you prefer games like Civilization for their historical qualities. Can you go back in history further than the roots of Earth’s life itself, though? I’d say no. I’d also say there’s no better way to see the way that a civilization unfolds from start to end than in Spore.

Civ games offer but a fraction of a people’s full picture. Spore takes you through the ins and outs, placing you in the ultimate position of power that generals, kings, and queens could only envy. Team up with other species and build tribes, turn those tribes into cities, turn those cities into advanced spacefaring societies, and then travel through the stars to turn newfound societies into galactic gods.  Control, mold, shape, oversee. Be as serious or as silly as you’d like.

In other words, Sid Meier’s games focus entirely on just one of Spore’s five diverse stages. While Civ pours greater depth into this one stage, Spore pours a decent amount into many. Both games offer a satisfying A to Z experience, but only Spore looks past humanity. In a world where series like Civilization get a new entry every few years, I want a new Spore for once.

A town full of creatures in Spore.

I’m not the only one who feels this way, with countless threads online asking for the interstellar god game to return. With thousands of positive Steam reviews and an active, dedicated community, it could still happen, though perhaps this is wishful thinking given EA’s closure of the Maxis branch responsible for Spore in 2015. For now, I will just count my blessings and be grateful that the 2008 classic’s servers are still online. They may not be in the years to come, and there just isn’t anything else to fill that gap when it inevitably goes.

While we bite our nails and wait to see if Spore defies expectations with a new entry, there are plenty of other fun city-building games to play. If your favorite stage in Spore is the tribal one or anything above it, you’ll likely enjoy some of them. Alternatively, there are also various sandbox games around for us to express our creativity within. Sadly, not every game lets you craft a bright-pink, pineapple-shaped carnivore.