Look, we can all agree that Spore is not quite the game it could have been. In terms of the different eras that you coach your little creature species through, the game peaks early on in the cell stage. After that, everything goes a little downhill. But I'll tell you what: I've never, ever been so excited for a game to release, and I don't think I ever will again. I was losing sleep over it. And there's one simple reason: the Creature Creator.
It's been 14 years (yes, it has. Sorry!), and still Spore's Creature Creator feels like magic to me. Using simple, intuitive controls, you can mould your creature's torso like clay into exactly the shape you wish. You can attach features like eyes, ears, mouths, limbs, horns, spines, and more. You can mould each individual piece to change its shape, size, and orientation.
My favourite thing though, my absolute favourite thing is that each time you attach a new feature to your creature, you'll see it testing its new appendage in real-time. Give it a mouth and it'll instantly start gnashing its teeth experimentally. Eyes, plonked on a forehead, will do some test blinks as the creature looks around at its surroundings for the first time. Give your creature a pair of arms, and it'll immediately wobble them about. The procedural animation at work in Spore is top-tier and utterly charming. The game wouldn't be nearly as nostalgic as it is without the sheer amount of character injected into the creatures that you create.