It isn't long before your creature is at the top of the food chain and ready to stop running in packs, and start living in tribes during the aptly named "Tribal Phase."
Now that the species is smarter, it's also self-aware, so it's time to cover up those alien privates. Players deck out their creature in simple clothing and decorations that further improve their abilities, while creating and maintaining the tribe's village and fighting for supremacy with other tribes.
Arm creatures with spears and fire to fight and conquer enemy tribes, or give them fishing hooks to maximize the day's catch and keep the tribe well fed.
After conquering your rivals, it's time to ditch the palm-leaf tunics and fig leaves, construct a thriving city and get moving in a self-styled land vehicle of the player's own creation.
In the "Civilization Phase," players design their own buildings (city hall, homes, factories, entertainment centers) and vehicles (land, sea and air) via another robust creation system that works similarly to the creature creator, and offers every player an opportunity to create a totally unique style for their species.
Taking control of natural resources with their new vehicles, the player's creation is smarter and more advanced. But the same issues remain: make friends, or blow them to bits?
The final phase of the game is when the real fun begins and the game really takes off ... literally.
The "Space Phase" puts players in the driver's seat of their own custom-made space ship and sends them out into the universe to explore, expand and interact.
Traveling from planet to planet, player's can pick up missions from other species, turn an uninhabitable planet into one that sustains life or just explore, abduct, influence and terrorize other civilizations.
This is the first chance players have to leave their home world and experience the vastness of the universe "Spore" creates. By far the most involved and complex portion of the game, the Space Phase is the culmination of the phases that precede it, incorporating different aspects of the previous stages and adding to them.
Though "Spore" fails to bring together all aspects and stages of the game into a single experience, it succeeds immensely at putting the power of creation in players' hands.
Fans of previous Maxis titles like the uber-popular "The Sims" series of games, will get a kick out of the creation tools that really allow the player's imagination to run wild.
Knowing that your creations invade the games of others, and vice versa, also means that the game will never run out of new content for players to discover. As the "Spore" community expands, so does the variety of creatures, crafts and buildings.
Think you can out-do the Creator? Pick up a copy of "Spore" and find out!