It allows a player to control the evolution of a species from its beginnings as a unicellular organism, through development as an intelligent and social land-walking creature, to levels of interstellar exploration as a spacefaring culture. It has drawn wide attention for its massive scope, and its use of open-ended gameplay and procedural generation.Whoo... ambitious. Can't wait.
Yesterday, Maxis (and Electronic Arts, their distributor) released the first elements of Spore into the wilds - the Spore Creature Creator, which allows you to play Intelligent Designer and stack the evolutionary deck with your fantastic creations. Said creations can be uploaded to Spore's servers, and will be used to populate the Spore universe when the game goes live in a few weeks.
I didn't get to play with it much last night - long day at the office - but above, a quick snapshot of my critter, before I stuck the legs on. From the looks of it, the Creature Creator tool, whatever else it might be, is a $9.95 machinima studio.
Carrie is a huge fan of Maxis games, too... I think we'll be buying a couple copies of this.
P.S. Keep your eye on the "spore" tag on photo-sharing sites like Flickr... people are already uploading snapshots of their creations.