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What is it with the water in Finland? Do they pipe in creativity-enhancing drugs along with the fluoride? From the same country that brought us Angry Birds and Clash of Clans comes Supernauts.

Supernauts is an interesting mashup of games, a cross between a building game like Minecraft and an simulation game like Clash of Clans. Supernauts will try to be the next big worldwide obsession when it’s released later this year.

Supernauts has three main activities in the game: build resources (blocks to build with), custom build the home space (anything can be made out of blocks), and solve puzzles.

Building resources involves using machines of various kinds to create blocks and refine those blocks into other blocks. Think taking logs and making wood, or roofing blocks. Each block has a relative value in the game and can be sold in a market, or used to custom build within the players space.

Each time a block is placed, status points are awarded that unlock other items in the game and allow more complex things to be built. They also expand the playing field to multiple locations.

The casual goal of Supernauts is to save the world by going on missions to rescue people trapped on Earth when it was flooded. This is done through a series of 50 missions that each require using the core building techniques in the game to harvest blocks, build structures, and get citizens to an escape boat.

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There’s something about the very casual level of the block building that has me coming back over and over again to build, tear down, re-build, all just have fun. Supernauts has the no-stress gameplay that has made so many free to play games popular, but it also has the fun–something that is missing is so many games these days. So many free to play games I just feel obligated to come back and harvest, plant, rebuild my walls, etc.

Supernauts also has a few social features planned, features I was not able to test, like chatting with other players, sharing resources, and more.

Take a look around Supernauts in the video below. I show off the world I created along with some of the other features of the game.

Supernauts is not without its problems in the current beta version. I saw occasional lock ups and some long stretches where there was nothing to do but create blocks and wait. A few bug fixes and some level adjustment, though, and it should be good. That’s what beta testing is for, after all.

In my 30+ hours playing this devilishly addictive game, I’m very impressed. The block building feature adds a new level on top of a tired game mechanic, freshening everything up. I think it might just be the next big thing. It’s creative, compelling, and social.

Supernauts is available right now in New Zealand and a few other countries for testing purposes. It should be available worldwide very soon.

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