Supernauts Review

By , on June 26, 2014
Last modified 10 years ago

Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Simple block building mechanics
  • Entertaining rescue missions
  • There is always something to do


  • IAPs still slow the game
  • Smaller screens do make construction difficult


Supernauts is free-to-play world-builder that pulls off the impressive feat of always giving you a reason to keep playing, even if you choose not to invest in its IAPs.

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Where Supernauts differs from other free-to-play world-building games like Clash of Clans or The Sims Freeplay, is that it doesn’t constrain your creativity with set structures. Instead it lets you make whatever you desire on your tiny world from a series of blocks, essentially taking the freedom of Minecraft, and applying it in a free-to-play context.

The game takes place on an asteroid. Controlling your Supernaut you use the "zapper" - a device with a wonderfully '70 sci-fi feel - to place or gather blocks with a tap or swipe of your finger. This simple interface allows you rapidly delete or erect walls, providing you have the raw materials to spare.

Designing your perfect world may be the draw of Supernauts, but your goal is to provide a home for Earth’s refugees. The problem is your place-in-space has limited real-estate, forcing you to buy extra squares to make room for new inhabitants from the store.

Once you have the square footage, its time to start collecting people - and their rent.

Taking a rocket down to earth, you must guide your heroic landlord through a series of environment-puzzles to find and liberate new tenements. This is an entertaining process that uses the construction mechanic to great effect. Using your gun you create a path to freedom by erasing walls and creating bridges and stairs to help them reach the rocket.

Once you have a population it's time to start making money, which is where the satisfying financial feedback loop begins. While squares and building materials unlock at a decent pace at first, you soon have to find more ways to make cash to continue to progress - or consider in-app purchases. Raising your income can be achieved by rescuing more refugees, or raising the rent by building from more valuable materials.

The problem is, if you aren't prepared to pay, you will regularly find yourself waiting on cooldown timers. The cost of building valuable items isn't adequately funded by the natural economy. It’s a frustrating roadblock, but you do at least have to option to build something - provided you are happy to work with cheaper materials.

As free-to-play games go, Supernauts's does feel quite refreshing. It may not dodge all of the problems of its genre and payment model, but - whether that is collecting rent, attempting missions, or tearing down and reconstructing buildings - it's a game in which there is always something to do.


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