Has any single videogame been so relentlessly hyped prior to its release as Spore, the latest brainchild of SimCity creator Will Wright? This game has been in the news for years because of its raw ambition: Wright said it would simulate the entire history of life on Earth, from cells flagellating in the primordial soup all the way up to space travel. (He originally called the game SimEverything.)
Can anything actually live up to that standard? If Spore is our test case, then the answer has to be no: For all the work that went into this intricate and complex simulation of life, I never found myself gripped by the simple gameplay. But this isn't to say it's not fun to see what happens when you open up and start poking around in this game that bills itself as "your own personal universe in a box." In fact, with all of the real-life evolutionary science that went into the making of the game, I feel like I've actually learned a few things during my time in Spore's universe. Here are ten of them.