Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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When I was a kid, I remember playing a game that had me carefully trying to negotiate caverns through delicate taps of buttons. Press too hard and you’d end up overcooking it, flying into an obstacle and exploding. Press too gently and you’d hit the ground, also dying. I didn’t have any patience as a kid so it drove me insane. I don’t have much patience as an adult either, but it’s enough to understand the ‘just one more go’ mentality of games like Cavernaut.
You’re piloting a spaceship through many different caves. Each time you play, the layout of the cave changes around meaning there are different things to plan accordingly for. Sometimes you might have an easy path upwards for a little while. Another time, you might have to start turning sideways down windy passageways before you’ve even really got going.
Controls are a matter of tilting your device and holding a finger down to represent how much thrust you want to use. It feels quite tactile in its approach as you find yourself learning just how hard to thrust with each session. That’s where Cavernaut proves to be quite challenging yet satisfying.
Besides trying to avoid the cavern walls, there are crystals to collect which go towards buying upgrades, as all as relics for the sake of bragging rights. You also need to keep an eye on your fuel gauge, carefully landing on refuelling spots as and when the bar gets low.
So, there’s a lot to take in while playing Cavernaut, but it consistently feels simple to learn, yet tricky to be great at.
It all looks quite appealing too, if occasionally a bit dank (as you’d expect for a cave), capturing the old school feel quite well. Devoid of any in-app purchases, it retains its traditional feel quite well.