Today’s other big web download

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    A screenshot from the upcoming full version of Spore, due out in September. But right now, you can download a creature-creator demo.
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After you’ve downloaded your copy of Firefox 3, give it a test run on another anticipated web release that came out Tuesday: the Spore Creature Creator.

While far more frivolous than the new browser, this application will bring out your inner child in a way that sparky fox never could. The program recalls those three-panel animal books where you flip pages to mix and match heads, bodies, and feet, creating freaky fauna. This next-gen version, from the mind of “The Sims” creator Will Wright, ramps things up with piles of digital limbs, eyes, and spikes, ready to snap into place on your virtual varmint.

The free demo (and $10 upgrade, which offers four times the options) is really just clever marketing for the full Spore video game, due out in September. The upcoming Spore is billed as the ultimate life simulator, where the player fosters a species from its single-cell-organism infancy and watches it evolve into an intergalactic empire.

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This current creature creator lets you piece together your perfect pixel pet and then show it off on Facebook and MySpace. Spore’s designers have also challenged players to a YouTube “dance off.” After crafting your critter, the program will help you capture and upload video of your monster boogieing. May the best beast win.

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