Captain Antarctica, a vertical avoidance title from FDG Entertainment, is now available from the app store. Featuring spot-on tilt controls, a great cartoonish presentation, and a variety of items to purchase and upgrade along the way, Captain Antarctica’s main drawback is its length.
Captain Antarctica Pros:
- Terrific underwater cartoony presentation
- Soundtrack is infectious; adds great appeal to the game
- Tilt controls are very responsive
- Great variety of perks, special items, and upgrades; coins are earned quickly and generously
- Level objectives add fun side quests to complete
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements
Captain Antarctica Cons:
- Gameplay explanation is unclear; could use text description
- Launch campaign is quite short
- Not all that difficult; little strategy necessary to defeat your foes
You are in control of a penguin who uses a jetpack-like contraption to plumb the depths of the ocean, ramming his ultimate enemies with speed built-up by eating fish along the way. The fish also act as a form of in-game currency used to purchase additional health, stronger bonuses, special perks, and new jetpacks. Consuming fish also builds up speed, which can help you to avoid some of the minions lurking in the deep, such as spiky fish, squids, and electrified manatees, not to mention the rockets and buzz saws spewed by the main level enemy when you encounter him at various points along your journey. If you reach the level end, ramming the enemy is a foregone conclusion, and the amount of health you are able to deplete falls in direct correlation to your speed and number of consumed fish. It usually takes 3 or 4 good hits to defeat each bad guy fully. Any failed attempts will take consumed fish and convert them into coins to be spent on the aforementioned items. In our experience, the health upgrades are the most important, with the better flashlight helping out in some of the darker levels where your vision is a bit compromised.
Graphically, Captain Antarctica has a colorful cartoon look that’s reminiscent of similar games like Tiny Wings or Ski Safari. Comic style cut scenes tell the story, and loading screens give clues as to how to play the game. There was no written tutorial, instead choosing to offer a playable tutorial level with graphics that explain the gameplay. We found this a bit confusing and off-putting initially, as we weren’t entirely sure how to handle certain enemies. A better explanation would have been greatly appreciated. The level layouts are rarely the same, as you’ll encounter certain set pieces that appear in varying orders. The sense of speed as you progress is good, and gameplay is very smooth. The soundtrack is extremely infectious, sticking deep in your brain after a short time. In addition to the very responsive tilt controls, there is a touch option that allows you to guide the penguin with your finger.
Replay value is good, despite the fact that you can pretty easily get through the game’s 6 levels in an hour or two. Saving up to purchase all of the available perks and upgrades can take some time and may be worth your while as you wait for additional content promised in future updates. There are also a number of objectives in each level for you to complete to earn additional coins. Completing all of these objectives certainly extends the life of the game as is. GameCenter integration allows for global leaderboards and nearly 3 dozen achievements to track down. At $0.99, Captain Antarctica is a charming 4-Dimple gem.
Captain Antarctica Review,