Cavernaut (Android) Review

By Andrew 11.06.2017

Review for Cavernaut on Android

Cavernaut has the player controlling a rocket in a cave. High scores are achieved for progressing further through the cave and collecting things. There are also power-ups and refuelling stations to find. The balance of these priorities is what makes Cavernaut an intriguing title, despite the rather bland graphics and sound.

The controls are basic, but effective. Tap the touch screen to power the thrusters, and tilt the device to change direction. It feels most comfortable with two hands, but playing single-handed is perfectly possible. Motion controls have had a mixed reception over the years, but here the control feels both precise and totally natural. This is particularly important for a game of this style, where one mistake can mean game over.

Avoiding collisions is, at first at least, dependent on keeping concentration levels up rather than showing skill. Progressing through the levels of the caves does add a level of difficulty to the proceedings, though. By contrast, running out of fuel can be an issue from the get-go. Part of the skills of Cavernaut is in managing this. Getting from one station to another is typically not too difficult, but it's balanced by other commitments. Collecting treasure and exploring are core parts of the game, but both slowly eat away at the fuel gauge. This is coupled with the fact that refuelling stations are inconsistently located (partly because there are multiple paths to take and one can easily be missed), which leads to a conservative attitude to make sure there is enough fuel. This may be a sensible approach, but it doesn't make for a riveting game. Why even go exploring too much if it might lead to a game over?

Screenshot for Cavernaut on Android

This creates a laidback attitude, which is ultimately the game's biggest let-down. There's no timer, no bosses and no sense of urgency. There are occasionally tense moments of trying to squeeze through a narrow gap or desperately trying to make it to the next refuelling station, but, for the most part, everything plays out at a leisurely pace. It also starts to feel formulaic: take on fuel, collect treasure and find the next place to take on fuel whilst trying to avoid trouble. Many games can be summed up in a sentence or two, but it's rare for a title to have such little variety in challenges or level design (despite the fact that the game has random levels that are different every time).

Even the power-ups don't improve the situation much. Advantages like being to locate treasure or fuel easier are definitely helpful, but it doesn't really fundamentally alter the experience. The random nature of them also means that the rewards are not necessarily earned for good or bold manoeuvres; sometimes they are just hovering next to the starting platform. Power-ups that last even after a game over are also present, but are pretty uninspiring. Having a few extra percent more fuel will definitely save the ship occasionally, but it lacks a sense of excitement that the title feels like it needs.

Screenshot for Cavernaut on Android

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Cavernaut is a competent game that is based on solid controls and beating previous high scores. However, it suffers from repetition, as the upgrades available don't do enough to change the fundamentals of the game. The graphics and sound are also both rather bland and basic, although some may appreciate a game that feels a bit retro. On the plus side, the controls are solid, and it can be a relaxing experience to go from refuelling station to refuelling station. All in all, it's a game that does what it sets out to do, but not enough effort is put into keeping players entertained long-term.

Developer

Jan Schoenepauck

Publisher

Jan Schoenepauck

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
hinchjoie

There are 1 members online at the moment.