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For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Space is big, and so is Supernauts

Product: Supernauts | Publisher: Grand Cru | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Multiplayer, Party/ mini- games | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 2.0.1
Supernauts iPhone, thumbnail 1
For a game that sets off so quickly and simply, Supernauts soon turns itself into a big old tangle of complexity.

It mashes together time management, exploration, and world building into a concoction that's almost too much to keep track of.

Almost, but not quite. Especially if you're the right breed of touchscreen fondler.

Minecraft meets time management

After we ignored all the warnings about global warming, the world has flooded, and we've taken to space in order to survive.

The problem is that there are only a few patches of land floating around in space, and getting to them requires a Supernaut (that's you).

You need to rescue Earth's few remaining citizens, and build them somewhere nice to live as well.

Supernauts feels like a combination of Minecraft, Farmville, and a mish-mash of exploration and questing gameplay ideas borrowed from a bunch of other games.

That mixture makes for a pretty massive experience, as you might expect. And you'll need a fast finger to stay on top of everything.

Your small square of space-land is gradually expanded by firing up and upgrading the terraforming engine.

IAPs explained
Coins are offered to buy and upgrade equipment.
10,000 coins, 69p/99c
40,000 coins, £1.99/$2.99
130,000 coins, £5.49/$7.99
290,000 coins, £11.99/$16.99
630,000 coins, £24.49/$34.99
1,390,000 coins, £47.99/$69.99

Gems speed the wait-'em-up aspects of the game along.
200 gems, £2.99/$4.99
480 gems, £6.99/$9.99
1,000 gems, £13.99/$19.99
2,600 gems, £34.99/$49.99
6,000 gems, £69.99/$99.99
And as you go you'll need to expand your construction capabilities with a wide range of machines and bots. These create all the materials you'll need, shape them, and put them together.

Again, upgrading as you go speeds things along. It also turns out more usable assets and increases the tools at your disposal. Naturally, all of this costs money.

Superheroes for hire

Building stellar habitats is only part of Supernauts. You also need people to live in them. And that means returning to a water-logged planet Earth to pick up survivors.

Here the game switches things around and becomes more of an exploratory puzzler.

You use ray guns to take down walls, rebuild structures, and move materials around the levels. All of which help you uncover refugees and hidden coins.

Most of these actions cost something. And you can use crystals on top of the cost to speed along manufacturing and building times.

These crystals are littered here and there during your quests. Uncovering everything is the route to high scores and wealth.

With thousands of worlds to unlock, multiplayer options, a chat system, and a screen that's bursting with icons and notifications, Supernauts offers a full-on experience that could, if you let it, become quite overwhelming.

But on the flip side of that the game has the depth to become a rich new gaming habit. There's fun to be had here if you're willing to put the time in.

Those looking for something a bit lighter on the thumbs might find it a bit too involved.

But there are plenty of smartphone owners out there who look for games that are this demanding. If that's you, go for it, and go for it hard.

Because despite its cartoony appearance, Supernauts is by no means a casual game.
Reviewer photo
Spanner Spencer | 25 June 2014
A very busy game with so much going on that some might be overwhelmed. Others are likely to become hopeless addicts
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