Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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Looking a lot like yet another endless runner game, it'd be very easy to dismiss Captain Antarctica as derivative nonsense. Captain Antarctica does admittedly borrow a lot of elements from other games, but it does so while adding just enough imagination to feel like its own title.
Much of this stems from its level based approach to progression. While other games offer a never ending experience with a selection of challenges to add purpose, Captain Antarctica uses these challenges to give players a way of progressing to the next stage.
Each level is quite short to complete but this matches mobile gaming well. There's the added satisfaction of finishing the stage by ramming the boss at the end, also. Challenges are typical for the genre with things like collecting a certain amount of fish (the currency in this game) or avoiding certain foes such as mines or squids. Unusually, some challenges require failing such as hitting the foes rather than avoiding them.
Later stages provide an extra challenge by turning the sea dark, with the only light source coming from Captain Antarctica's flashlight. Power-ups come in the form of speed boosts, extra hearts and even a cherry powered jet scuba suit. These can be purchased by exchanging fish via the in-game store.
Controls are effective with the option of tilt or touch based. Frustratingly, on my iPhone 4, I suffered from moments of slowdown during some stages which led to the loss of a heart or my demise, especially when using the otherwise well calibrated tilt controls.
It won't take long to complete Captain Antarctica at only an hour or two, but it's an enjoyable ride while it lasts. The cute stylization of everything particularly lends itself to family gaming but anyone with a love of endless running but a craving for level progression will enjoy this pleasant journey.