I'm the art designer of the game so I will try to answer :)
I heard it many time that game is similar with art style to spore. Interesting thing is that I never before releasing game heard about spore, so I have no inspiration in spore. More of my inspiration was in old first 3d cartoons. After Release really many people start to asking that question if there is any inspiration by spore. :) But I already checked out spore.
Game in game play inst similar to spore. it is more similar to game like black & White, settlers etc. :) This is light strategy where you are governor of island and have god- psi powers. Minions are independent but you could influence them in some ways. (for example you could build groups of your warriors and control them :)