Cavernaut (iOS) Review

By André Eriksson 28.09.2015 1

Review for Cavernaut on iOS

Cavernaut could be seen as the poster child of a smartphone title. It is simple and made for short bursts of entertainment that is perfect for a system people play on the bus or during their coffee breaks. What hides under this surface, though? Does Cavernaut deliver the experience looked for during those five-minute breaks? Read on as Cubed3 digs through this title for the answer.

Simple and short, yet fun and long-lived. This is the best way to sum up many good iOS titles, and the exact same words can be used to describe Cavernaut, as well. The premise is to take control of a spacecraft that is located several kilometres underneath the surface of a planet on its road upwards towards the surface, and on its way there collect crystals and power-ups, and find fuel stations cleverly hidden to ensure it does not run out of fuel. A simple, yet ingenious and classic, concept.

To make certain that the experience always stay fresh, each dungeon is semi-randomly remade by combining different blocks of data/dungeon pieces for every playthrough. The ever-changing nature keeps playing it fun and the feeling of exploration alive, even several hours into the game, rewarding those that continue to play several times as they memorise the patterns and easily adapt to them.

While the feeling of constant exploration is one that never grows dull, it is difficult to keep the lust alive without rewards for the dungeon exploration. This is one of the aspects where the developer has been really thoughtful and put a lot of energy into making players want to retry it over and over again. This is done in three different ways, appealing to a variety of users: the different sections, the upgrade shop and the high score list.

Screenshot for Cavernaut on iOS

Three completely different ways to measure progress. No matter if the power-ups are important, or having the daily or all time high score is what teases at the end, or if just exploring the entire game is where the important aspect is, it is all supported in the overall experience. All of these are cleverly sewn together into each other to make for a beautiful and addictive venture for all kinds of players to delve into. The power-ups are helpful to get higher scores and to progress further. Gaining score is mostly made through collecting crystals, which are used to buy these power-ups and getting closer to the surface, and to get higher and finally to the end of the game, the crystals are going to be needed to get the power-ups, which makes for a beautifully entwined and complete experience for everyone to enjoy.

From the coffee break gamer looking for fast and short bursts of satisfaction, to the hardcore high score hunter, everyone will find something here of interest to spend those five minutes of downtime life sometimes throw out. For a while, at least. Cavernaut is a title well worth trying out for its price of $1.99 (or $0.99 during its first week sale!), but due to its nature of semi-randomised dungeons, once too familiar with it, the game risks growing dull, and the spirit of exploration will slowly die. That said, the experience up to that point is well worth the fee for those looking for an old-school-themed space exploration title.

Screenshot for Cavernaut on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

A perfect coffee break title that has the addictive components of games from the old days. Simplicity at its finest, and features great ways to keep players stuck in the experience for a while. "For a while" are the keywords, though. As most things in Cavernaut are finite, it lacks the appeal of many of its competitors on the market that always throw out new content to keep users occupied. While fun, it lacks the longevity of other five-minute titans of the App Store, thanks to its visibly finite goals. It is a great experience, though, and anyone looking for a title to play for a couple of weeks during the downtimes of life will have an exciting blast.

Developer

Jan Schoenepauck

Publisher

Jan Schoenepauck

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Cool game.
I think the control scheme could be easily translated to be controllable by the new apple tv remote.

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