Thirty minutes playing Spore — even with celebrity game maker Will Wright breathing over your shoulder, telling you to “fly over here” and “try this level” — is nowhere near enough time to get more than an inkling of what’s going on in this massive and ambitious game from the maker of the chart-topping Sims series.

The big question remains: will the man behind The Sims deliver another gargantuan hit? By letting players custom-create a new life form and then guide it through five states of existence — cell, creature, tribal, civilization and space — watching it evolve and, once it reaches its pinnacle, zoom off through space to Alpha Centauri, it’s all stuff that sci-fi geeks will love. But will non-gamers and so-called “lite” gamers flock to Spore the same way they flocked to The Sims?

GameDaily’s Spore preview