Super Rub a Dub Review

More refined controls would have made Super Rub a Dub less frustrating, but that wouldn't be enough to make it worthwhile.

Super Rub a Dub is a very basic puzzle game for the PlayStation 3's download service. The goal of each of the game's levels is quite simple. You want to move a rubber duck around a bathtub-like playfield to collect ducklings, and then lead the whole train of them to the exit in the fastest time possible. The catch is that you play the entire game by tilting the Sixaxis controller around, which tilts the tub and subsequently moves the duck. The end result might have made for a decent little tech demo to show off the "tilty support" made possible by the PlayStation 3's gamepad, but as a game, it's not so hot.

Pig Pen, this here's the Rubber Duck, and I'm about to put the hammer down.
Pig Pen, this here's the Rubber Duck, and I'm about to put the hammer down.

The basic action in Super Rub a Dub is similar to an old Sega arcade game called Flicky. The ducklings are trapped in bubbles, and as you touch them with your duck, they pop out and start following you. The more ducks you collect, the longer the train of ducklings behind you gets. Ideally, your goal is to deliver every duckling in the level to the exit drain in one go, but you can stop off at the exit any time you want to send some of the ducklings to freedom. The danger of having a long string of duckies behind you is that there are enemies in many of the levels, like wind-up sharks. They can kill your ducks, which is decidedly uncool. But you'll get a bigger end-of-level bonus if you deliver all the ducks at once. So that's where the risk versus reward action comes into play. Your times for each level get uploaded to an online leaderboard, which is seriously lacking in features, as there's no way to go back to it and see your score. Not even the friends leaderboard shows your own score.

Later tubs add currents, which can make navigating a hassle, but a quick flip of the controller will make everything in the tub hop, letting you jump over extreme currents and, as an added bonus, disable some of your enemies. Unfortunately, the controller feels unresponsive in some areas and too touchy in others. Moving the duck around the tub always feels sluggish, like you don't have enough control over the tilt of the tub. Also, the sensors detect any sort of jerky movement as a jump, making you hop more than you want to.

Visually, the game's very plain. The surface of the water looks nice, and the rubber duckies are all very crisp. The game runs in 1080p, but even those HD bells and whistles can't make the game look interesting for any length of time. The audio is similarly half-cocked, with the same audio track playing underneath all of the action, whether you're looking at a menu or tilting some ducks.

There's a multiplayer mode in here, too, but rather than letting four players fight over ducks, it just lets players take turns playing the same level to see who can end up with the fastest time. Super Rub a Dub is stripped-down and plain at every turn, and it's a bad deal at $6.99.

The Good
Ducks!
The Bad
Feels like a half-finished tech demo, not an actual game
Controls often feel broken
Bad multiplayer options
3.7
Bad
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Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

Super Rub a Dub More Info

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  • First Released May 2, 2007
    released
    • PlayStation 3
    Super Rub a Dub is a game in which you will use the SIXAXIS controller to maneuver ducks around a tub and lead them to an exit.
    6.9
    Average Rating472 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Sumo Digital
    Published by:
    SCE Australia, SCEA, SCEI, SCEE
    Genre(s):
    Puzzle
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    Comic Mischief