Spore

Even though it's got abysmal DRM, (and the game has been given a virtual bitch-slap by a swarm of reviewers on Amazon all giving it a 1-star rating), Duncan and I have been happily playing away at Spore and have reached the Space Age stage.

It's mostly Duncan. I'm just there to read the fine print in the Game Guide and shout out any tips that might be useful. He's played Red Alert (2) before, and that knowledge has really helped in keeping all his people busy and doing the right things. I admit to being amazed at how quickly he's picked up this game. He breezed through the Civilization stage. All the reading he's had to do has helped improve his reading skills (although I personally wish we could get him as interested in reading some of the books his teacher would like him to read).

It was I suppose inevitable that given the choices of economics, religion or military tactics as a means of achieving world domination, that he'd pick the one where he can destroy things. One could argue that maybe he doesn't understand the other two yet.

But it is all fun. With humorous touches for the grownups with the ability to do alien abductions via space ship and make crop circles. The audio ambiance is wonderful. From the grunts, squawks and squeaks of all the creatures through to the chants of the tribe and to the superb made-up language(s) in the latter stages, that you almost think you are starting to understand.

I see that EA has retooled their DRM (slightly). Too little too late. It's a sad day for gaming where it's easier for software pirates to play the game than for those who try to do the right thing and obtain the game legally.

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