Project Spark Review
Project Spark Box Art
System: Xbox One
Dev: Microsoft
Pub: Microsoft
Release: October 7, 2014
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Fantasy Violence

The second problem is somewhat related, as few people are actually willing to spend this time to create a magnificent game. As a result, many of the community created games are horrible, my own included. They are usually flat and uninspired 3D action games with shallow controls on absolutely goofy maps. Calling these games button mashers would be a compliment. This is a pretty natural consequence of any game that primarily crowd-sources it’s material. You will have to look for quite a long time to find any game that has some real thought put into it, although I’m sure the community will come together to spotlight the real shining games.

Project Spark Screenshot

The third problem is my biggest problem. Not all the game creation content is unlocked as soon as you start the game. In fact, most of it is locked behind DLC paywalls. You can unlock these pieces of content with either credits (in-game currency) or tokens (purchased with real world currency.) However, the way you earn credits is by creating and playing in games in specific ways in order to complete “challenges.” This means that if you need a particular item or character or texture or whatnot for a game you want to make, you have to make a whole bunch of OTHER games that you don’t care about beforehand. This has turned the creative process into a grind, and I don’t like it one bit.

Then there is the matter of XP, which is also earned as you create and play the game. XP raises your Spark Level which is another requirement for using certain items in your games. Why? Isn’t this just completely arbitrary? To boost your XP and credit gain, you can purchase “Spark Premium” a monthly subscription that doubles your XP and Credit Gain along with giving you additional level upload slots, if you really enjoy making games. In addition there are some DLC packs that can only be purchased with real money, but Spark Premium makes it so that they can all be purchased with in-game currency. Of course, Spark Premium itself can only be purchased with real money. So like it or not, you are going to drop some cash on Project Spark, and it will probably be more than you expect.

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Project Spark is a very good game, certainly worth your time, and since it’s free-to-play it’s also worth your money. However, it’s also a frustrating game, requiring hours of devotion in order to make something worthwhile, and even MORE hours of devotion to grind out the items you need for your Magnum Opus. Still, it’s a game everyone should check out. Who knows, maybe you will get bit by the game design bug and become the next Notch… or at the very least Peter Molyneux.

By
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Contributing Writer
Date: October 9, 2014

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
Perhaps the weakest part of Project Spark, the graphics do look pretty basic compared to other titles on the system.
4.0
Control
A Keyboard and Mouse would do better, but dual analog sticks also work well enough.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sounds are actually pretty generic, but that’s to be expected from a game creation engine like this.
4.0
Play Value
You can play the game for hours and you still won’t have a complete game. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Incredible world crafting engine that easily allows you to make fleshed out game worlds.
  • Powerful yet intimidating logic engine that governs character and object behavior.
  • Fun multiplayer letting you build games with friends.

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