NYC-based "cross-media" developer Area/Code (Parking Wars, Drop7) last night revealed Spore Islands, a Facebook game spin-off of Electronic Arts's Spore, with an open beta.

In the game, you create a creature to inhabit your personal island (and your friends' islands), then evolve the creature to "survive, reproduce, and dominate their environments." Essentially, a slideshow, or an "observation", lets you watch how your species fared against others on your island. You have a limited number of observations per day, though, and you can watch a new one every four hours.

In between observations, you can upgrade your creatures attributes (e.g. stamina, strength), abilities, diet, animations, and accessories (hats, horns, markings) with DNA tokens, which you either earn over time or purchase with real money.

It's pretty fun, even if the first creature I designed is completely unfit to survive in the inhospitable island I've dropped him in. Poor Reginald!

[Via @flantz]