Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Top 5 Games like Spore – Best of 2018

Have you ever wanted to be God? I imagine the power that comes with that type of position would get to most people’s heads. I mean, if you were God you would be able to do anything you wanted to do. You could create galaxies and know all the secrets of the universe. You wouldn’t have to ever worry about loss or pain because you can ‘fix’ everything.The only downside of being that powerful of a figure is you’d likely have a tremendous burden on your back from people constantly asking you to do things for them. I guess you’ll just have to settle for being God inside of a video game instead.

What is Spore?

Spore is a 2008 video game published by Electronic Arts where the player is basically God. The game starts with you, the player, creating your very own clay-like creature. You can build this creature any way you see fit by including legs, arms and whatever else you’d like your little creature to have. The only mandatory feature is the mouth so if you want your creature to have no arms and legs, that is completely fine. You set out on a journey of sorts, having your little dude evolve over time until he joins a tribe of other creatures. From there you can either align yourself with other tribes or completely dominate them. Over time your tribe becomes a nation which has evolved to the point where they can create buildings and venture outside of their own little area. If you are into games where you play as God then you probably have already tried Spore. For those of you who have tried the game and you’re looking for something new, feel free to check out the games below!

Top Five Games like Spore – 2018 List

#5 – FlOw


FlOw is a very unique game and it’s one that originally was meant to solely be an experiment. That changed when the game was released online for free. The game would see so many downloads in the first few months that it became noticed by other game companies who wanted to sell it. Indie game developer Jenova Chen started this project back in 2006 as a school assignment when he was enrolled at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. This experiment was for his thesis which was revolved around the concept of dynamic difficulty adjustment. In short, dynamic difficulty adjustment is a video game balancing scenario which automatically processes whether or not you can complete a video game without getting distracted. A lot of times in video games, your brain gets bored because it is too easy or you get annoyed because it’s too difficult. Right in the middle of those two emotions is the perfect balance of being entertained by a video game. Jenova Chen wanted to capture that emotion and create a game where the player never once gets bored and so Fl0w was created.

If you are searching for a game that just has the basic premise of Spore then you should check out FlOw. It’s the type of game where you can mess around for a little bit and then move on to something else. You begin the game as a little worm or jelly fish and you move around the screen eating tiny little microbes of food. When you eat something you get bigger and the bigger you are the more obstacles you’ll end up facing. There are other worms or jelly fish out there that will end up trying to eat you and if that does happen you will begin to disappear into nothingness. Other than that, there isn’t much else to do. There’s no story and there is only one real character. There are multiple layers of levels and on those levels are more dangerous microbes. Though just because it is a very simple and basic game doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. There are times you just feel like sitting back and relaxing and playing FlOw should be done during those times. There is no having to worry about getting frustrated or bored because it’s too easy. It’s meant to stimulate your brain and really get you thinking. That is why you should check the game out.

The creator of FlOw has quite a brilliant mind and has gone on to create two more games after he graduated from college – Flower and Journey, two of the most popular indie games of all time. But FlOw is where it all began for him. In fact, he didn’t even know how to program before starting the game but he managed to learn by teaching himself how. Reception for the game is mostly positive with critics only stating how they wish it was longer. You can find FlOw online or you may download it in the PlayStation Store with your PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita.

#4 – Civilization V


If you’re looking for the ultimate expansion, exploration, exploitation and extermination game then look no further because Civilization V is the game for you. Released in 2010, Civ V is the fifth installment of the incredibly popular Civilization game series. This deeply complex real-time strategy game will have you testing both your leadership skills and historical knowledge to the very limit. Each major nation comes equipped with unique leaders and their own slang which of course is always historically accurate. You’ll witness familiar faces like Genghis Khan and Alexander the great along the way.

As you progress through the game which is represented by advancing over the course of thousands of years, you direct your military units to explore the land all around you. What you do during your exploration is completely up to you as you can meet other civilizations throughout the game and even battle their military units to take control of their nation. If you take over another nation’s civilization you are able to expand their technology by creating new buildings and increasing their economy, food supply and other typical diplomatic rulings. However, you can’t just invade and expect to take control over every nation, as they themselves have their own military and will fire at you when you try to invade. You must be well equipped to handle all situations before exploring into enemy territory. Rather than just barging in to a new city you must use tactical thinking or else you will end up being defeated. But when you do take control, the city will flourish and more units will be produced each turn, thus giving you more power within the game.

Along with territories to invade you can also take over city-states. Historically speaking, city-states are small cities that reside within a state but they are governed by their own rules. While territory can be expanded within the city-state, you aren’t allowed to actually merge your city-states with other nations. They will always stand on their own; however, this doesn’t make them useless. There are several bonuses to owning city-states, including being granted more delegates during the industrial era.

There are multiple ways to actually beat the game. The most fun way is total world domination. Who doesn’t want to be the person who takes complete control over the world? You can also advance your technology to the point where no one will ever pass you and they essentially give up and bow to your supreme intelligence.

Reception for Civ V has reached critical acclaim levels of praise. Both critics and audiences alike have become absolutely thrilled by a game like this. While there are previous entries to the franchise, Civ V takes everything great from those entries and combines them into the ultimate game. There is a base game which you can purchase online for pretty cheap but I’d recommend getting the ultimate edition. There are two expansions to the game which come included in the ultimate edition and the amount of gameplay you receive is worth the extra money.

The next entry of the popular series, Civilization VI, is due out this summer.

#3 – Eufloria


Eufloria is another simple yet soothing game. If you’re looking to enjoy some relaxation but you still want to play some video games then you should definitely check this game out. Set in space sometime in the distant future, Eufloria has the player growing trees on asteroids. Yes, you read that correctly. The game is based on the Dyson Tree Hypothesis which is a hypothetical tree that can grow on asteroids. The idea behind the tree is that it could potentially sustain life by using solar energy as photosynthesis and providing nutrients to the asteroids’ inhabitants. It’s theorized that life first started by asteroids carrying water and crashing into Earth billions of years ago, so a plant like this is entirely possible.

The gameplay in Eufloria is very basic but still manages to intertwine some serious strategy. You play as the commander of a fictional species known as Euflorians. These Euflorians require resources from the plants you grow on asteroids to survive. In order to prevent your species from becoming extinct you take advantage of the plants (known as Dyson Trees) growing on these asteroids and use them to produce seedlings. The seedlings help you colonize other asteroids so that you may have more Dyson Trees in your arsenal. You begin with a single Dyson Tree which produces seedlings and with those seedlings you are able to either grow more trees or if you must you can fight other seedlings. Each asteroid and tree is unique in ways to help prevent the game from being boring to the player. Some asteroids grow trees at faster rates while others produce more seeds, giving the player a different experience with each play through.

There are also several types of trees and seedlings that you can create. For example, some trees can be built for defensive purposes while some seedlings can produce trees that drop exploding fruit. There are enemy asteroids that will attempt to halt your mission, meaning yes this game does have a plot. There is an enemy force known as ‘The Greys’ which have been infected by a disease, causing them to go insane. The player must go through the game and rescue allies to help deal with this mysterious enemy. You’re going to need to create tons of Dyson Trees for both offensive and defensive purposes to really put a stop to them. This is similar to Spore in a way because both games have you essentially creating your own colony for domination purposes.

Eufloria first started as a mere concept for the Dyson Tree Hypothesis but has gone on to receive a tremendous amount of appreciation. The original name for the game actually was Dyson but IGN held a contest to see who could choose a more suitable name and Eufloria was the clear winner. Since the games debut in 2009, it has gone on to receive two new versions (Eufloria Classic and Eufloria HD) which you can purchase as a game for your phone or in the PlayStation Store.

#2 – Captain Forever


Do you like building? Do you like Tetris? Do you like space ships? Do you like uploading creepy pictures of yourself from your webcam and pasting it in random backgrounds? Excellent, then you will love Captain Forever. Australian indie game developer Jarred Woods created Captain Forever back in 2009 largely in part for his love of playing space shooter games. That’s something I can get behind as the very first game I ever played was Asteroids way back in the arcade days. Not since back then has there been a really successful space shooting game that follows the same format of Asteroids. Of course, Captain Forever doesn’t just mimic its style but rather expands upon it.

Captain Forever has the player controlling a ship that has parts that resemble blocks from the game Tetris. The player flies around space (although space here is different as it has green lines and a picture of someone’s head in the background) and shoots down other parts that try attacking you. Using your mouse, the player can drag parts from other vessels and attach them to his ship. You are able to tailor your ship to look just about any way you’d like, although keep in mind that the parts are like Tetris blocks so you’re kind of limited with what you can create. But don’t let that hinder your goal of making a neat little space ship. Right in the middle of each ship is a heart which represents your life. When you fight other space ships you tend to lose parts of your ship which not only act as a weapon but as a defense barrier for your heart. Once you lose all your parts you’re basically just a heart and you’ll have to quickly find new parts for your body or else you’ll die. Once your heart gets shot at, you’re dead and you will need to start over.

The base game of Captain Forever is free although there are other versions of the game which you can buy for only about $9.00. The sequels have more to do and graphically there are improvements but in all honesty you’re better off just playing the original game. There is also a more modern version of the game called The Dawn Star although unfortunately I don’t believe it has been finished yet. There are alpha videos of the game on YouTube which make the game look pretty fun.

Captain Forever Remix is a remix of Captain Forever that was created by a group of guys who previously worked at the game studio Harmonix. They got into contact with Jarred Woods and approached him about making a high definition version of the game. Instead, Woods pitched an idea about re-creating the game from scratch and including new aspects to the game.

All aspects of Captain Forever were met with generally high marks. While there isn’t much of a story to be told it is still a great game to mess around in.

On a final note: While I was writing this article I kept misspelling Captain Forever as Captain America. I guess my brain just really wants to watch Marvel’s Civil War movie this summer.  I mainly want to see it for Spider-Man.

#1 – Black & White


The perfect way to describe Black & White is by reading the title of the game itself. A lot of people see the world as black and white, meaning no grey area. There’s either good or there is bad. Whether you believe that to be true or not is up to you but one thing is for sure – in this game you are either good or bad; no grey area. The game begins by the player being created from prayer. One of the NPCs in the game prays for someone to save her son from drowning and from her thoughts you are born. After you save her son you are praised and lead to her village. From here on out you will go through the plot of the game. The general idea behind it is there is another god named Nemesis who is trying to rid the world of other gods. He uses what is known as Creed which is a tool used to defeat other gods and essentially goes out of his way to try and kill you. Kind of reminds me of the Zoom plot from this season of Flash.

As I briefly mentioned earlier, the game represents being good vs. being evil. The player acts as a god over surrounding villages (in the form of a hand) and chooses to be either a good god or an evil one. Good gods will make sure the villagers have everything they need. You can perform good deeds or miracles to help villagers out and in return you become more angelic. You will receive a temple which is very beautiful and charming while your hand avatar itself will get some glowing upgrades. Types of objectives you can do to help your villagers include a wide range of things like giving them food, helping them with their buildings and protecting them from evil. Evil gods act the complete opposite. If you decide to go evil you may cause lightning and fireball storms over villages. Your temple and your hand avatar will become more menacing. If this whole good vs. evil fiasco reminds you of the game Fable then you are in the right mindset. The developers behind Black & White are actually the same developers behind the incredibly popular Fable franchise that appeared on Microsoft’s Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles.

Outside of the players hand avatar you can also raise your very own creature. Each creature comes with their own unique look and skill set. They grow over time and eventually become so large that it will hover over most villages.  This is very similar to how Spore creatures work, except not nearly as advanced.

Reception for Black & White was initially very good, with most gaming companies praising the games addictive gameplay. Although as time went on people tended to feel the game dragged on a bit too much. If Black & White is something you’d be interested, then you should definitely check it, or its sequel, out.

And there you have the top five games that are like Spore. The great thing about this list is how pretty much every game follows the same structure but they all have completely different play styles. I also think the majority of these games can be played for very cheaply or even for free. I feel that God-type games are a very underrated genre. Some of the best games are when the player has total control over the environment. Combining politics and video games can be difficult but the right mixture sure makes for an incredible game.

Do you enjoy games where you essentially play as God? Let me know in the comments below!

David Stewart
David Stewart
I really enjoy learning anything I can about a wide variety of subjects. Other hobbies include playing League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and just generally staying current in the going-ons of todays world, from politics to gaming news.



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