Spore was released the day before my birthday so you can bet it was on my wish list.  Wil Wright has made some great games (Sim City) and then some clunkers.  He made The Sims, which I never played, because watching myself walk around my house in a game is even less exciting than watching myself do it in real life.

But there's no question Wright had ambitious plans for this, and it's my type of game.   I am a strategy game guy more than the modern shooters and real-time tank-rush type games.   I am probably a product of my age.  I'd live my life turn-based if I could.    So Civilization and sports management games are how I spend the small amounts of gaming time I have; something I can do while watching a movie, nothing that works better on a console.

I got the game (thank you, sweety) and settled in that night.  And loaded it up.    It had one of those annoying online verification things which was buggy the first two times I tried.   

"Do you need the CD to play it?"   Kim asked, because she wanted to try.    "For about 15 minutes, until I figure out how to disable that," I replied.    Because I get that piracy happens, I just don't believe annoying the 99.99% of people who don't pirate the game and can't play it anyway should be standard business practice.

I set out to write a real article on this but, as I have said elsewhere, I couldn't finish it.    But Ryan Gregory wrote about it twice so I figured in lieu of a full article I would make my notes into a blog.   

So my notes are in blockquotes and you can make of it what you will.
Juno or Hera, depending on where you come down in the big Pantheon fight.
I don't remember why I wrote that but it probably had something to do with the odd way you come into being.
You start off with a magnificent explosion - yes, this game has everything, including a creator (that's you) because by pressing a button, you caused an earth-shattering kaboom and from this meteor emerged an amino acid. Or something really small. The game does not tell me so therefore I refuse to know. It says 'cell' but if you think there is confusion about what 'gene' means, try tackling cell in a room full of scientists some time.
So this is not a game biologists will love but Intelligent Design folks will. And Wright didn't know enough about evolution beyond the mechanics ('evolve!') to see why this might be an issue. You think people misunderstand biology now? Wait until they play this thing.
I was created with cute eyes. Obviously I got rid of those and replaced them with awesome 'skin radar' mandibles.

We can't be too specific, lest we end up with a game that takes 13 billion years to play, so cute eyes and sounds when he consumes are just gameplay issues.
You can start off as a cell eating meat or vegetables. I didn't really see that as a choice. All I read was 'food' and then 'stuff that food eats in order to become bigger food'. So I chose carnivore.
I am not sure why I am stuck way back in the evolutionary chain but meat already exists but that's another gameplay issue.
Me to wife when vaguely porn-soundtrack music comes on and huge hearts start springing up in the presence of a biologically compatible creature: "I just had some sort of coupling ritual with another amino acid. Are you jealous?" Wife to me: "Are you trying to lose 50% of your assets?"
I guess she's not all that romantic.
None of that missing link nonsense - I simply evolve legs because I want to and go to land. Lamarckian? No, even better - Remarkablian. And it only cost me 50 credits of some kind, so for all those people complaining about the cost of trivial things like curing cancer, this game is for you.

And if you're a CNN Anchor, just make something up, throw in some hyperbole and call it big media science coverage.
'Remarkablian' was the best I could do. Yet another reason this wasn't making it out of the draft bin.

Mike White asked me, 'is it good?' Well, it is good if you don't know very much. It is good in that same way that people who liked "The DaVinci Code" thought it was good. I couldn't enjoy the book because I starting jotting down notes on all the things he exaggerated to establish credibility, got wrong or just made up. After a few pages of notes, it got old.
I rather doubt World War 2 veterans are playing "Squad Leader" either. Surprisingly, racing games are played by real racers. That's likely because most of the control is still in the hands of the driver and the computer just handles the details and cosmetic realism. For strategy games or those shooters it can never be real enough that people who really do those things would bother.

Oddly, though I just emerged onto dry land, the plants, clouds and mountains look positively modern. I have that tree in my back yard! Why is evolution in this game bitch-slapping the life sciences this way?

So if you get your knowledge of climate change from movies about climate change, I don't see why you can't get your knowledge of biology from a game about evolution. I just wouldn't let that resulting God complex go to your head.

I didn't finish it because I just got bored.    I took over the planet (eventually you get a simple way to do it - religion or conquest; I chose conquest.   People can change religions) but didn't feel like taking over the universe with basically one type of vehicle.

So unless you really have $40 burning a hole in your pocket, I don't think you're going to get much out of it.  At least if you're reading this site.