After the series all about Captain Sabertooth in their home country Norway has been one of the children's classics for decades, the anchors with Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond have now been lifted to the rest of the world. The adventure platformer was developed by Ravn Studio and on November 20, 2020 by Zordix Steam as well as the Nintendo Switch released. With that we set sail in search of the magic diamond. In our test, we'll tell you whether we were successful with it or whether we finally had to go over the plank.
Source: PC Games
After we were able to choose between boy and girl as playable characters, we are already assumed that we know where the magic diamond is. Although we honestly have no idea, we have no choice but to lead Captain Saber Tooth to the said diamond. Except maybe, we really want to be keel-fetched. So we can now consider ourselves as a new crew member of the Dark Lady, the ship of Captain Saber Tooth. As a new sailor, however, we also have to deal with the worst of tasks, above all the search for the magical diamond and that with the commitment of our lives.
Our spontaneous pirate adventure takes us to a total of four islands spread across the oceans. That doesn't sound like much, but the surroundings that await us could hardly be more different. We stomp along exotic beaches, fight our way through the deepest jungle or explore ancient ruins. Always with the aim of getting one step closer to the magical diamond. These trips are not entirely safe, however, because in addition to wild animals, ghosts, skeletal warriors and the monkey army of the villain Maga Khan, who also owns the magic diamond, are lurking on us.
To know every trick in the book
Source: PC Games
As an adventure platformer with a pinch of Metroidvania, Captain Sabertooth has smooth gameplay to offer. In classic 2D fashion, you run and jump through the various interconnected sections of an island, which is very intuitive. In most cases, our next destination is marked on the map so that we also know where to go. When we arrive at our destination, we are often met by a crew member who camps in front of a locked door or is confronted with an obstacle that is otherwise insurmountable for him. We as girls (or boys) for everything, then go in search of the missing something like a key. In the long run this seems a bit redundant and a little bit sobering, because strangely enough, you don't get any target markings and this often ends in aimless wandering through already visited areas.
Source: PC Games
However, in some cases the comrades only need active support with mini-games. Regardless of whether it's defending the monkey arms with our ship's cannons, collecting fruit on a raft or doing a slightly different pinball: they're all fun. As with the rest of the game, the level of difficulty can be described as very easy with a few exceptions, as children clearly seem to be the target group of the game. This simplicity is also conducive to the fact that if you crash into the depths, you only get one life point deducted and this can be replenished quickly thanks to opponents or checkpoints.
Our jumps and attacks with the sword are essential for the exploration of the islands. In the course of the game we will receive additional equipment, which will make more and more areas accessible to us. Thus, for example, we are later able to dive, perform wall jumps, swing around with a grappling hook and fire switches and opponents with our slingshot. There are also other, mostly optional items to collect and upgrades to expand our life points or to increase our air capacity while diving. Last but not least, we can also buy treasure maps, a shovel for digging up more treasures or challenge keys from Skalken, another member of the crew, which give us access to comparatively more challenging tasks.
Child-friendly and colorful
Source: PC Games
So the gameplay is solid and Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond can also be seen visually. The 2D platformer is presented in a colorful and detailed 3D look. The backgrounds are just as three-dimensional as the figures, even if we only move in two dimensions with the exception of the mini-games. The look is a bit reminiscent of a mixture of the genre favorites Crash Bandicoot and Donkey Kong Country, which can be understood as a compliment. However, this only affects the in-game ambience, because everything else such as menus, object images or character icons can keep up with the usual quality standard in terms of resolution, but the style is reminiscent of PC games from the 2000s. In the long run, the comments of the selected character are annoying, in our case the lady who likes to complain about the many walks on foot. The musical background corresponds to the already mentioned mixture and thus skilfully supports the explorer flair.
With Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond you get a solid pirate adventure that knows how to assert itself with nice platformer action and surprisingly good graphics. The sails are only hoisted here for a short time, because you don't have to nibble for a long time, even if you want to call every little treasure your own. Children and newcomers to the genre are served pleasant game food here, but players looking for a suitable challenge should rather venture away. As an entry-level game for children, it does an excellent job, because with a level of difficulty that is at least pleasant for beginners and the typical but charming educational game look, it offers entertaining fun that only scores further thanks to its metroidvania aspects.
Pirates are not neglected here either! For our playthrough, we decided on the brave Sunniva. (Source: PC Games)
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