Will you play or create?
Project Spark is a game that heavily focuses on choices and creativity. Its all about the player, or the Creator and allows you, if you have the know-how to create or re-create amazing games. It was released as a free to play game, but in order to access a lot of the features you have to pay.
The game is split into two sections. Play and Create. Playing allows you to play thousands of community games and also the episodic adventure of the games Champions. Scarlett the Ranger, Karlsnor the Goblin, Avalon the Druid and Haakon the Knight with each champion having their own unique set of abilities.
It follows the champions on a journey with their tiny but powerful friend Spark to help them access otherwise inaccessible areas by building and destroying things in the environment. Your quest starts in Verdia Village. The villagers are celebrating the Kodian festival and you are told not to cause any trouble. Trouble soon finds you though and the village is overrun with Corrupted Void Goblins who take the Runestone leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
Project Spark: Xbox One [Reviewed], Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Windows 8
Developer: SkyBox Labs, Team Dakota
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: 7 October 2014
Your mission is to retrieve the Runestone and stop the Void, a powerful force which threatens to take over the world, corrupting everything in its path. The first Quest takes the good part of an hour and is a good introduction to the champions and world of Project Spark.
The other option for play, is to complete crossroads. Crossroads is a unique experience where you decide everything from the quests and the scenery in which you play in. You start by choosing your location, landscape and the time of day, then move on to where you start and what you have to protect.
There are many side quests available to play, again all chosen by you. Most require additional content, some of which can be purchased by earning coins in game and unlocking select packs. You also choose which enemies and boss you fight later in the quest. On average exploring all this and completing everything available can take around twenty minutes, at that point you can leave and start all over again selecting different options and different champions to play with and level up.
The quests can be quite humorous from exploring and luring squirrels/rabbits to a Critter Ranch or saving a Squirrel who has been kidnapped and taken up an Observatory for a ransom. The landscapes available range from the Arctic, Desert and an Alien Asteroid. You can also fight Bandits, Goblins and Zombies.
Where this game really stands out though, is the player created content. It’s easy to find the best content via the search options. There are also featured games every day which let you experience the best of the best, the things that gamers have created are diverse and extremely fun. You may even see games you recognise with games like Five Nights at Freddy’s and Mario being recreated for your enjoyment, some done extremely well.
Gamers have also recreated familiar movie/TV characters and locations, there are also a lot of new content and games to play. Once you have played, you as the player get the opportunity to follow the creator if you loved their games and give the game a rating, either a thumb up or down, which shows on the games page in an overall rating system which allows you to see how the game was received by other players before you even press play.
After you have had fun playing, you might want to get down to creating amazing content yourself.
This is a lot harder than you may think. The game runs on a koding system. Everything has a brain and you have to input what you want objects to do. The game has a few beginner tutorials to get you started, but unless you really know this stuff well, creating things that actually work and have a purpose can be confusing to some.
You can still create your world, from painting and sculpting the landscape, placing a multitude of props, characters and enemies very easily but if you want things to work well, learning how to create these brains is something you have to be willing to do.
The game helps a little, there are a number of saved Brains and assemblies for you to use, with creators making additional ones for you, which you can save and use in your world, the possibilities are quite literally endless for those with the ability to create. The world is quite literally your Oyster.
Overall this game is very enjoyable. Playing through the games quests and Crossroads experience was fun but did get old quick. Creating was quite complicated but had a freedom not many games produce. Other players content is where the game really shines, allowing endless play and new updates and creations every day which is definitely worth trying out.
*FOR ACHIEVEMENT HUNTERS* It should be known that this game in near impossible to complete, with achievements for getting 50,000 downloads of your created worlds which is no easy feat.
- Creators create amazing games everyday
- Constantly updated with new packs
- Fun quest mode alongside creative mode
- Replay all your favourite games
- The Brain system and koding can be hard to learn
- It glitches out a lot sometimes, when adding things to a world
- Impossible achievements