Spore is a 2008 life simulation real-time strategy god game developed by Maxis, published by Electronic Arts and designed by Will Wright, and released for PC. As a kid, I was captivated by the previews for Spore I saw in gaming magazines. I was excited by the idea of a creating my own creature, the flexibility of the system, and by the naturalistic behaviors and environments the devs had said they wanted to emulate.
A demo of the game from GDCe 2005.
Previews from around 2005. Click for full size.
However, the game's development took a turn as it became clear that it would not be able to accomplish the high goals it set out to achieve. Many features ended up being cut. In addition to this, The game's art style took a turn from naturalism to a more cartoony aesthetic. At the time, as a 12 year old kid, I was upset and disappointed by the shift, and followed the games development with mounting discontent. However, I held out hopes for the game and was excited when I finally got to play it.
In many ways, Spore fell short of what many, including myself, hoped it would be. A combination of shooting too high, and a schism within the dev team on the game's style, lead to the a final product that floundered in its intents. However, it still remains an incredible creature creator - this is the part of the game that had the most effort and love put into it. While I don't see much worth in playing the game in its entirety, now and then I still go back to the creature creator. Creating creatures in Spore still remains popular today, which mods available to expand the game's capabilities.