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A 2D space game
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 13 Apr 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Minimalist graphics, solid controls, no ads
Feels grindy, gameplay is a bit boring
For the past couple of years, there have been some major space-sim games that have come to fruition. Kerbal Space Program and Elite Dangerous are just two that come to mind. And while both games are completely different beasts when compared to Cavernaut for Android, I can't help but be reminded of them as I helplessly bank my tiny spaceship off the walls of the caves in this game.
Here you're not hauling space material around, you're not trying to get to the moon, and you're not going to be pit against any menacing foes in galactic dog fights. Instead, you're simply trying to navigate your spaceship through a cave. Or maybe it's an asteroid. I'm not quite sure because the game never comes right out and tells us what it is that we're trying to accomplish, actually.
The cave, however, is littered with fueling stations that allow you to land and refuel your ship, currency that can be collected and used for upgrades later on, and obstacles that will try and destroy you. The first area is wide and open. There are plenty of fueling stations around and you get a great opportunity to take a look around the level and explore. The second area isn't quite as friendly. Here space begins to feel a bit more claustrophobic, there are laser gateways, and fueling stations seemed to be spaced further apart than I remember them being in the level previously. It's where I died for the first time.
Upon death, I went to go check out what I could do with upgrades and I was a bit disappointed that find that many of them are pretty expensive. There is a lot to choose from, but just the first level costs 200 coins, and I had only collected 93 in the 8 or so minutes I has cruising around. This means the game gets pretty grindy, which is a bit of a bummer for a game that costs $2.
Ultimately, I'm not sure that Cavernauts is worth the $2 price tag it has. It feels and plays just like any other free-to-play game, but it doesn't have ads. If that's your thing then you might find this game interesting, but it didn't tickle my fancy the way I was hoping it might.