Version Reviewed: 2.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5/iPad Mini Retina
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
A few too many free-to-play games are geared towards profit in a way that means the player feels somewhat left out. It's forgivable in some instances and I've found myself willing to fight it out with some restrictive timer bars, but that doesn't stop anyone wishing for a more welcoming experience. Supernauts is that kind of experience. It's not perfect, but in terms of allowing one's creativity to run riot Supernauts is quite the success.
There's a loose storyline about how the world has been flooded and players must rebuild it but, in all honesty, it's simply there to create a purpose behind building and completing missions. The fun comes from simply discovering new things. At times, Supernauts feels like a more simplistic Minecraft. At other times, it feels like a single player, mission-focused game.
Much like in other free to play games, much of Supernauts's structure comes from completing missions. Guidance is provided through these missions, such as being taught how to build various constructions early on, and the importance of the different block types. Supernauts is a fairly deep game so the tutorial side of things goes on quite a while, but it's handy and not too obtrusive. In the case of teaching one how to build structures it's downright essential, as one needs to know to remove blocks from one area to be able to place them elsewhere. A form of blueprint system makes this much clearer than it sounds.
Besides conventional missions involving placing new structures or 'educating' one's minions so they provide more assistance, there are also the more exciting rescue missions. These rescue missions involve going to a new location around the world in order to save a person trapped amongst the flooding. They're essentially a form of puzzle and they provide both the means with which to build more impressive structures, plus some variety to the whole experience. Everything is pitched well to ensure there's always something new to do.
Supernauts doesn't stop there as there's also the multiplayer side of things, allowing for players to explore each other's worlds - something that's easily recommended. Unlike similar free-to-play games, each player's world can be very different from the last and it's fun to check out how people's imagination has been sparked.
There are some downsides to Supernauts, however. Namely in terms of its controls. On the small screen space of the iPhone 5 it can be fiddly to zoom in and out as well as place or remove blocks. All too often it's easy to tap the wrong place or move the camera awkwardly, adding some frustration to the otherwise stress-free experience. It's something that works much more effectively on the iPad, but that's not going to be an option for everyone.
That's a shame as Supernauts is excellent fun. The combination of mission solving and building things is a potent one. It turns the typical city building style motif of freemium gaming on its head, and is all the better for it. Just try to play it on the biggest screen possible to avoid any frustrating moments!