Lunarsea (Android/iOS) – Physics Fun With The Great Old One!

No Gravatar

   

Amongst the myriad of pick-up-and-play games on mobile platforms, it’s hard to stand out these days.  Virtually every genre is utterly swamped with games, especially indie releases.  And no genre is more stuffed to overflowing than the physics-based genre, primarily owing to the success of games like Angry Birds.  In a content-rich environment such as this one, it’s hard to stand out.  But what better way to do so than with Cthulhu?

Lunarsea (ah, the double entendre!) is a free physics based game on iOS and Android where you play as the great lord Cthulhu himself, who decided to steal the moon.  Doing so has angered the puny human population though, so oddly enough, Cthulhu is fleeing their wrath with a hastily muttered “wgah’nagl bug.”  Unfortunately for our poor angry Elder God, the only getaway vehicle he could locate was an ancient wooden sailing vessel, so he tosses the moon in his pocket, hops aboard, and makes good his escape.

Okay, perhaps a little suspension of disbelief might be required.  The story is short and endearingly odd, but how is the gameplay?  Well, it’s very straightforward.  The moon affects ocean levels, and well, you have it, so you can tap the screen to release it anywhere in the air to raise and lower the waves, as well as to block missile attacks from those filthy humans that just won’t leave you alone.  In addition, there are left and right buttons to move your vessel across the screen to prepare for obstacles, which are frequent and appear rapidly.  The lunar gameplay makes Lunarsea unique and interesting, as the combination of waves and gravity make for a remarkably organic combination.  Timing is everything in this game as you are raising and lowering the waves to get over sharp mountains, dodge missiles, and collect coins and health.

Yes, Cthulhu needs money.  That’s probably on a sign being held by a vagrant trying to wash a windshield somewhere, and if it isn’t, it should be.  In this case, coins buy much-needed upgrades to your skills, such as health, boat speed, and invulnerability length.  And you will need them.  The difficulty curve in Lunarsea ramps up fast.  By level  5, you’ll be swearing at your phone and getting frustrated as those pesky humans manage to fire torpedoes, regular missiles, and even laser-guided missiles at your creaky old vessel.

Fortunately, Live In the Game thought ahead on this one.  Frequent deaths don’t lose all the coins you’ve collected.  It would be nice if you saw a running tally of those as you played, but each time you die, and die you will, your updated bankroll appears and you’re able to buy upgrades.  In addition, there are goals as well, such as blowing up ten missiles or traveling a thousand meters.  The completion of each goal earns you additional bonus coins, allowing you to buy even more upgrades so that eventually, even those of us unskilled at physics games can still manage to move forward at an ungainly crawl.  Many of the goals are also cumulative between games just like coins, giving you the chance to complete them, as you are unlikely to in a single game.

 

There are a couple of sticking points in Lunarsea though.  The list of active goals you are trying to achieve scrolls down from the top of the screen every single time you die.  After you raise the goal cap, this actually intrudes on the gameplay itself, distracting you at the beginning of each level and constantly reminding you that you’re failing to complete them.   The challenge of the game itself can be daunting at times as well and may lead to frustration for the more casual player.  And the jaunty nautical music that seemed novel and enjoyable at first (controllable with a slider, thankfully) can become quickly repetitive as there is only the one song that repeats ad nauseam on every level.

As a minimalist game, however, even after an hour, your phone is unlikely to heat up significantly.  Lunarsea is definitely not a resource hog on Android, which is a plus in these days where you can literally watch your battery life drain away like a swirling toilet flush while you game.   There’s also an Endless Mode to just relax and play if the stages are frustrating you.  It’s still hard, but it’s definitely fun too.   The install on Google Play warns of in-app purchases and ads, but neither were to be seen for this review of the current build of the game.  Overall, Live In The Game has created a clever little game that’s fun to play in small doses when you have a few spare moments.  I mean really, how can you go wrong with a free-to-play game that combines H.P. Lovecraft, Baby Driver, Despicable Me, and Pirates of the Caribbean?  You can’t, and don’t try to say that you can!  Go and give it a try if you enjoy physics games and a challenge, or ever wanted to just… steal the moon!

Download Lunarsea free for Android here.

Download Lunarsea free for iOS here.

This review covers the Android version of Lunarsea by Live In The Game.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


%d bloggers like this: