Spore’s designers have also baked in a sense of wit and humor, something sorely lacking in many games. Initiating a mating sequence in the Creature level, for example, the characters launch into a kitsch dance to a tongue-in-cheek bossa nova soundtrack. In Civilization, as creatures begin to become more sophisticated, a short sequence parodies Stanley Kubrick’s famous simian scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey. This kind of whimsy makes the game not only accessible to children and adults, but also charming to play.

Rated 4-1/2 stars out of 5 — Spore: Create a Universe to Play In