App Reviewed on: iPhone 4s
Graphics / Sound Rating: Rating:
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Captain Bubblenaut is a frenetic and colorful arcade game that bears a certain resemblance to Namco's Katamari Damacy franchise on consoles. In this game, players take control of Captain Bubblenaut. Their task? To take over the planet ERF by destroying all of its inhabitants in order to make his father, Admiral Pop, proud. To accomplish this task, players must slide environments around to let Captain Bubblenaut glide across the screen in this charming - but unfortunately frustrating - game.
As mentioned earlier, playing Captain Bubblenaut involves sliding a finger across the screen to scroll the game environment. Each of these stages is hilly, and the goal is to have the arc of the bouncing Captain to align with the hills in a level. Successfully matching the captain's trajectory with the curve of a hill results in the captain swooping across the screen, much like birds in Tiny Wings glide along hills when they dive in just the right way. Swooping into valleys full of ERF inhabitants results in Captain Bubblenaut taking them out, which is the ultimate goal of the game.
To make things a bit more complicated, some inhabitants of ERF won't go down without a fight. Citizens of ERF wearing hats, hair, or horns must be attacked from the side, while ERFLINGS with shields must be dispatched from behind or above. Failing to take these particular inhabitants out in this way results in Captain Bubblenaut losing health, and the game ends when the captain loses too much health to continue.
The greatest parts of Captain Bubblenaut are in its sense of style and delivery. The game is extremely colorful with great music and a sense of whimsy and humor. In addition, game information like a countdown clock, damage indicators, and level transitions glide across the screen foreground and background, all of which are slick-looking elements that add to the game's style.
Unfortunately though, playing Captain Bubblenaut leaves some things to be desired. The level of zoom in the game, combined with the color choices, can make seeing the captain a bit difficult at times. In addition, zones on hills for lining up swoops seems unnecessarily tight and the captain's bouncing seems hard to actually predict with accuracy. The result is a game that looks really cool but moves too fast and feels too uncontrollable to be truly satisfying.
Overall, Captain Bubblenaut is a great-looking game that I wish just played better. It has an awesome sense of goofiness and humor to make it incredibly appealing from a visual standpoint, but the gameplay just doesn't deliver in a way to make it as compelling as it could be.