Image via WikipediaCaptain Galactic: Space Hero from Digital Chocolate is another simple control, not so simple timing game that looks cute, and has some innovative mechanics. There's some corny backstory, but that's not the point of this game. The game is cute, interesting, and challenging.
The backstory tells you how your avatar was some nerd intern investigating this super crystal when it shattered and transformed you, giving you superpowers. You are given this spaceship to do good... just in time for evil to strike... Haha. You have to travel through the galaxy in your beaten up spaceship (you were attacked) as you reclaim parts, fight evil, free hostages, and defeat evil (regular and boss).
The controls are cute. You start on a planet, and you can run left or right, and you'll circle the planet. Press up to do a "leap", and if you time it right, you can jump from one planet to another. Hold the up key, and you go into orbit. Once your boosters are charged (you start flashing), release will send you into escape orbit, which you can use to fly to another planet. Each "level" consists of multiple planets. The objective is to defeat the various critters (often, by running into them, but you may have to do a "slam", which is go into space, then "dive" into the target from afar), while avoid the ones you can't defeat. There are also "coins" you can collect. Some planets have a city, which turns the game into a Super Mario-like environment where you can get additional coins and parts and other bonuses.
The mechanics are certainly cute and there are plenty of levels to hit. However, it does all depend on timing. Off slightly and you'll be frustrated. Fortunately, the game does ease you into the new stuff gradually. The orbit mechanics (hold the up key) doesn't apply until like level 5 or so, and as you go on there will be more tricks. You also get a "companion robot" which will tell you about your enemies and what you need to do.
You are rated for your performance on each level with up to 3 stars. And you can go back and redo a level any time. There's also a campaign mode where you follow the whole back story, or you can play a level by itself for other modes.
As you get more parts for your ship your ship's appearance and name changes (improves may be a better word). You also get "achievements" if you performed certain feats such as defeat 5 enemies in a row, and so on.
The mechanics are certainly interesting at least initially, and takes a little time to master. However, at its heart, it is really a platform game, albeit in a new way.
Graphics are pretty good, and animation speed is good. Music is typical and didn't listen to it much.
All in all, CG:SH is a cute little arcade game that puts a new "spin" on the typical run/jump platform game, in a cute presentation. If you like this sort of game, give it a try. Just prepare to spend some time to master the mechanics.
Overall rating: 7.5 out of 10
Pros: interesting play mechanics, pretty good presentation
Cons: not forgiving on the keypress timing at all, takes time to master
Verdict: give it a try, you may like the innovative controls, or hate it very much