For all the ill EA does in the gaming industry with its relentless grind of "some sport or another three thousand-and-whatever" games, sometimes it still manages to create a work of genius. Take, for example, the way the company has chosen to mark Spore going gold, namely the release of a set of free-to-download prototype mini-games (gamelets. If you will) all showing off various different stages on the path to the full games creation.
As EA has said that there will be no Spore Demo, this could well be the only way to get a taste of what lies within the full game. The different prototypes include games such as Space, which explores the concepts of tera-forming planets and befriending or attacking alien races. Spug demonstrates the principle of levelling up creatures as they explore a planet's surface, hunting and eating prey, evading predators and so forth.
Despite the simple appearance and gameplay, these micro games not only give an interesting insight into the Spore development process, but are surprisingly fun and addictive in their own right. I've spent less time playing many recent triple-A titles than I have with Space, for one.
Spore itself comes out on the 5th of September, but until then, I highly recommend you have a play with the prototypes. But as the developers say: "keep in mind these are not tested, supported or even easily explained".