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Nurturing Humanity

Chapter 21

The Raving Online Review

The bugape race had just about survived the mass extinction. Now a small tribe, they huddled together and settled down in a particular locality. They were no longer found everywhere, as they had been before, which made it convenient for Xu Zhi to secretly change the terrain in the sandbox again without anyone noticing.

First, he picked a spot and poured in manure like cow dung and chicken poop. This was followed by water, and he then stirred in some withered branches and dead leaves and mixed them well. This would start to decay and be fertile mud, which would, in turn, be fermented by microorganisms, creating methane gas, and eventually turning into a slimy, miry swamp.

Then he put the “Evil Eye” creature into the swamp where it was going to live.

There was nopetition here.

Even if it was weak, it could still survive and reproduce in great numbers. Besides, Xu Zhi had already provided it with the environment to develop. Whether it could be the first witless monster in this sandbox land and turn into something similar to the Evil Eye found in the Cthulhu Mythos really depended on it itself.

If it failed, Xu Zhi had nothing to lose. To him, it would just be another species that had appeared out of thin air on this plot of land. If it failed to evolve well, the possibility of it bing extinct was still extremely high.

After all, the eyeball took up two-thirds of its entire body. So many nutrients were supplied to the eyeball, yet it was unable to play a useful role. The only fate that awaited it was naturally to be eliminated by the other species. Mother Nature was iparably cruel in this sense.

The next morning, Xu Zhi behaved as usual, sitting with both legs in the air in a very leisure manner. He was seated in his yard, munching on apples, while idly talking to himself as though he was performing a stand-upedian’s monologue.

“I’d say, it’s useless for me to work all by myself behind closed doors, so oblivious to the world and its needs. The others out there are really just full of surprises. Take this weird, big-eyed monster for instance… Sometimes, I hate myself for not being able to fit into the world because I’m just not simple enough. It’s practically impossible for me to evolve something as bizarre as this oddball species.”

As he scoffed at his situation, he looked at the small sandbox and was really surprised to see that the entire miniature sandbox that he had created for evolution was filled to the brim!

It had reached the maximum number that he had set for the sandbox, with a hundred spores living and evolving inside.

The limit of this sandbox was set at a maximum of one hundred people.

One hundred people was considered few, but Xu Zhi had no intention of allowing many people in. It was, after all, only meant to be a casual niche sandbox game for people to provide him with inspiration.

It was not really a game for them to play and was not something to entertain them. Was there any need to make this such a big thing?

But Xu Zhi had not expected it to be so popular. It had only been a day, yet the sandbox’s server was already full.

He was very curious, so he looked online and found the very first one about his experiment. This was the post that all the others in the thread had originated from. It was what had caused the outburst on the Internet.

The title of the post was as follows:

Black technology! The most potent life simulation game ever! It’s totally realistic and tactile. The most hardcore casual sandbox game in the history of China’s gaming world, Spore Evolution.

At first, after reading about the content of this game, most of the people had criticized it as a clickbait. How could there possibly be such a masterpiece that had withstood the test of time? When it came to virtual reality, as well as VR technology, well-versed gamers would know that this was just a kind of gimmick. This technology was in fact, still far from maturity.

But criticism was one thing. There were still brave people who were willing to try anything to satisfy their curiosity. Players began logging in continuously, one after another, then finally, it led to an outburst in the thread.

Upon returning from the game, players would leave messages in the thread:

It’s true! It’s simply amazing! You feel like you are touching everything. What kind of alien technology is this! There are no words worthy enough to praise this!

And below his post, a group of people immediately started leaving messages to berate him for being a scammer.

There were people who could not help but try the game for themselves. As a result, they too fell into the trap of the game, got hooked, and never looked back. Thus, this gave rise to a cycle that kept repeating itself. And soon, players began sending out screenshots of the game, the bizarre creatures that were failed products of what they managed to evolve, and how they blew everything up. But people soon found out that only a hundred beta testers could register for an account. If there were more than a hundred, no one else could log into the game.

“There are only one hundred beta testers.”

Countless people were heartbroken, envious, and jealous.

The first group of game testers who had successfully logged in were secretly happy and extremely excited.

They had been pulling an all-nighter since last night, going at this time-transgressive game like crazy. And early this morning, the first “Spore Evolution” guide of game strategies and beta tester impressions were posted, topping the chart on the homepage of the game forum.

Hello guys, I’m ‘Racer of Mount Haruna’, and I was also the one who started the last thread. I’m very lucky to be the first one to discover this cutting-edge game that has been released without any promotion. Now, I will do a simple and quick game review!

First of all, the thing that everyone is most concerned about: does it really feel so realistic that all five senses are stimulated?

My answer is yes!

The sense of reality is definitely, absolutely true! Take my word for it! It was as if I was really and truly in another world altogether. I have no idea what kind of black technology this is.

And there was also pain regulation. I adjusted it to 100 percent and then I realized that the feeling of death was very high. It was so high that I had convulsions! When back in the real world, after taking off my VR glasses, I found my entire body directly breaking out in a cold sweat, shaking, and convulsing in spasms.

I’m not going to try this game again. I won’t play it again for the rest of my life. This is the first scary thing about this game.

Attention players! Next up, I am going to list the other frightening parts of this game and do everything within my power to discourage you all from playing this game!

First of all, this is meant to be a casual sandbox survival game, and though it is billed as casual, it was in truth, extremely hardcore. The moment a player logs in, the game begins. Unlike the other traditional Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games, there is no face-pinching or race-selection involved. There is only one option, that is, to begin life as a spore.

You probably won’t believe me when I say this, but the moment you enter the game, the world is pitch black. You must evolve a pair of eyes to see the world. This is so d*mn real!

(My inner thought: At the very moment I saw this, I realized that this free-to-play sandbox game that proclaims itself to be the first choice of casual gamers is not going to be simple at all.)

In the game, we all start as a spore, the leader of a race, and we can control the evolution of our race. But if that ‘king’ that we control dies, then how many people are left in the race no longer matters. It is Game Over for us, and we will have to quit the game.

It’s worth mentioning that the sense of virtual reality of this game is seriously scary. You will have the actual feelings and senses of whatever creature you have evolved. For instance, if you be a worm, then you will have all the feelings of a worm!

The first species that I evolved was a big-eyed monster. The eye was extremely huge, and I realized that my scope of vision also became extremely wide. The second time, I evolvedpound eyes, eight pairs of eyes in total, and guess what I saw?

The world ofpound eyes! It was so freaking real!

It’s just so amazing!

In this game, we can totally experience the world of other species and learn how they perceive things. I think if I could evolve into a dragon, I would be able to fly and experience the thrill of being a dragon, soaring through the clouds.

But in the longest game session that I’ve played in so far, I’ve only managed to evolve into an amphibian, a peculiarly shaped big-eyed monster, that left the ocean. I did not even make it through the five hours of gameplay.

And, the moment you die in this game, you can only start all over from the beginning.

Right! This is the second most hardcore part of the game that I am pointing out to discourage you from playing the game!

This is unlike other games where there are respawn points for rebirth toe after death. You only have one life, so if you die, the only way to respawn is to start the game all over again! You have to turn back into a spore; whatever ‘rank’, ‘structure’ and so on that you have previously evolved is gone! It’s so freaking hardcore. It simply does not follow any of the conventional settings of traditional games, so you’repletely unable to load your previous games! It’s just doing things in whatever way it pleases, without considering the gamer’ discouragement rate!”

The third hardcore part about this game is that there is no such thing as a strategy!

Dear all, don’t expect me to write a strategy guide either. I once attempted to evolve into a big-eyed monster again following the same method as the previous time, but ended up evolving into another species, which was that species withpound eyes…

This ispletely consistent with one of the points mentioned in the evolutionary theory. In the history of evolution, every form of life that appears is a unique miracle.

Even if you replicate the exact same environment and follow the exact same process, you might be some other very different species due to a mild degree of butterfly effect. Although I have no idea how this game was designed, it really feels like a real world that emerged as a result of evolution, with real materials and infinite possibilities!”

Also, this game’s setting is pretty interesting. Next to the mountains and rivers, as well as the vast and mighty ocean that we spores live in, there is a colossal ten-thousand-foot giant who radiates a faint divine light. We evolve by the entrance of the giant’s yard, and he often sits on a wooden chair in front of a huge house, peeling fruit and quietly reading a book. We, creatures that are evolved from spores, can sneak up on him and even climb onto him. There was a time when I was a big-eyed creature, and I tried to get close enough to take a look at him. But he stomped my ‘king’ to death, and I had to exit the game, leaving behind a bunch of big-eyed monsters. Without my control, they will probably be extinct by now.

My personal take is that he’s probably a non-player character in this sandbox game!

He could be set up to be invincible; he could possibly be a BOSS, and we can challenge him in later stages after we have evolved into the strongest species. We are just like bugs evolving in a giant’s yard.

And last but not least, my closing statement. This is really the most hardcore game ever made in history! It is a multitude of hardcore! It’s super discouraging! But it’s also so much fun!

A high degree of freedom! Infinite possibilities! A hundred percent realistic touch in a virtual world, as if you are in the real world. It is so much fun! I give this game my utmost support and highly rmend it!

To be honest, my only goal right now is to survive for a long time and escape the fate of dying constantly and having to start all over again. I have to evolve into a powerful species that can totally gain a solid foothold within the entire ecosystem, and even evolve into an overlord at the top of the food chain! Then I want to evolve into the legendary dragon and develop my own dragon race. This is the dream of every Chinese person, isn’t it? This feeling is just so high! Then I will fly over to that giant who sits in his yard to peel apples and drop a pile of sh*t on his head!!

Oh, how high! I feel like my life has reached its pinnacle!

And as for strategy, there is really none to speak of… Hey brothers! If you want to play, then go read the book on Origin of Species, and various books on specialized areas. Knowledge is power! It was like that for me. I only managed to evolve all kinds of organs after reading to pick up more knowledge. Students who are studying biology-related majors, in this spore evolution game, you guys are going to beat everyone else hands down!

I shall not go on any further. I got a headache from playing a round of the game for too long. That’s why I came out to write this guide on game strategy. Now I’m going back in for another round. This time, I must live a little longer. I’m just so addicted, aren’t I!”

You want to sh*t on my head?

Xu Zhi smiled when he saw this. The last species which had dared provoke me that much by saying that I was balding, do you know what pathetic end they found themselves at?

Xu Zhi had some silent thoughts in his mind as he took out his little notebook to record this for revenge. Hey Bro, we will settle this account later. He hadpletely forgotten how he had just mocked the other party for being a retard. This was simply just a courteous act of give-and-take.

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