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Getting marooned on a spooky alien world full of creepy crawlies and other unfriendly inhabitants might sound terrifying, but it turns out to be a welcome detour from the dull depths of space in Capsized+ for iPad. Exploration and survival in this beautifully hand-drawn 2D platform shooter make for a satisfying balancing act, one made all the more interesting by the diverse ways you can traverse and interact with the harsh planetscape.
With a missing crew to track down and plenty of fanged space critters waiting to leap out at you from the darkness, you'll need every tool at your disposal to persevere against tough odds. The fact that you have so many high-tech gadgets to play with keeps Capsized+ from growing stale as you explore and fight for your life. Between a jetpack, a grappling laser that lets you hurl objects or swing from ledges, and the bouncy feel of the alien atmosphere, getting around is a lot of fun. The fiddly physics and virtual dual-stick controls can be a challenge to work with at times, but they often add to the uniquely alien feel of exploration and puzzle solving.
Your intrepid spacefarer is no pushover in the weapons department, either, and amassing commendation points lets you expand and upgrade your arsenal of gadgets and guns in a virtual storefront. Blasting foes yields lots of goodies to help you refuel and survive, but there's thankfully more to Capsized+ than just slaughtering aliens. Cycling mission objectives encourage you to experiment with your surroundings to solve physics puzzles, drag recovered allies to safety, and take down gravity-warping artifacts, among other tasks.
As enjoyable as the main campaign is, the fact that commendation points for upgrades can be accumulated across the game's other modes adds to the arcade fun of these extra diversions. Battling endless waves of enemies, hunting for limited air tanks to stay alive, and fending off attackers without any weapons offers intriguing variations to tinker with when you need a break from the core missions.
The bottom line. Beautifully crafted and unflinchingly unique, Capsized+ is a marvelously quirky shooter adventure worth getting lost in.
iPad running iOS 3.2 or later
Unique gadgetry for fighting and exploring. Brilliant hand-drawn art style. Lots to unlock.
Controls are sometimes cumbersome.