Not satisfied with designing megacities and, er, bachelor pads, the team behind SimCity and The Sims now take on evolution in Spore.
Indulge your cravings for god-like power by creating and controlling the destiny of a creature through five stages of evolution. From Pac-Man-like plankton-munching to conquering galaxies, the game is a mixture of Black & White, Diablo and Populous.
We got our hands on it at a UK preview and can report it's utterly addictive – not least because you can design your own creatures in every detail, right down to the shape of their spine. Your creation will then animate, emote and ultimately live or die according to your efforts.
You can either dabble as and when you have time to tend to your tiny universe, or play in a serious gamer fashion. The designers also hinted at a larger epic quest aspect to the game once it hits the space exploration levels.
All your creations, including creatures, buildings and vehicles, are uploadable to a dedicated social networking site and can be grouped in 'Sporecasts'. Other users can then download your designs to shape the look and gameplay of their own worlds.
The example we were given was to create a My Little Pony world inhabited purely by fairytale castles and pink horses eating each other. Readers, you can surely do better.
Spore will be available in the spring on PC and Mac. A cut-down, story-based version for Nintendo DS Lite and mobile gaming will also be available.
On sale: September 5th 2008