I was lucky enough to hear the bad news about spore just before I got it (so I didn't). But a friend bought me the game when he bought his So anyway, I was shocked (and I mean REALLY shocked) how bad the gameplay is. The graphics and animiations are all great, but the gameplay is like shareware games from many years ago. Like for example: Civilization stage has one resourse, 3 different units (total), 3 different buildings (total), and even basics like cueing, grouping (Ctrl-1 for example), and even research are non-exisant. It's a toy, plain and simple; it was gutted like a fish before release, so if your not really creative (or not a 12 year old) you will most likely dislike Spore (with a passion, after how they hyped and misled what type of game it would be). My Spore game/strategy guide has been sitting on my desk, unplayed and untouched, since the 4rth day I had it (and I have a broken foot, and was/am stuck at home, and I STILL would'nt play it ). Thanks the game-gods for Civ Colonization. . .