Although Evergrow initially caught our attention thanks to its adorable block creatures (known as Chromaroids) with endearing, emotive faces, the real reason we can’t wait to play it is its shoot-‘em-up slash mobile-base-building gameplay. Players will control a Chromaroid as it floats through the universe, trying to grow as big as it can. While the Chromaroid will start off as just a small, singular block with a face, by shooting enemy blocks and earning coins, you’ll be able to purchase or discover upgrades that will expand it both in size and strength.

The blocks you add for growth are not merely static expanders: many of the upgrades will offer new weaponry and powers that will allow your Chromaroid to take on bigger threats in the farthest reaches of space. When adding a block, you’ll get to choose its location, allowing you options like decking out your Chromaroid with a heavily armed right half or balancing its guns to protect from multiple directions. The larger he gets, the harder it will be to dodge dangers, but the more firepower he’ll have attached to his gigantic body.

Evergrow_ChromaroidBattle

This progression is lightly reminiscent of a single-player .io game (minus the eating and with a lot more exploration) or Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, where you’re tasked with managing both a floaty spaceship defense station with turrets positioned on opposite sides and the ever-encroaching dangers of space. In addition to the primary goals of collecting treasure, finding unique upgrades and artifacts, and growing to your full blocky potential, Evergrow looks like it will also have plenty of extra challenges and unlocks for players to complete. (Just what is that Multidimensional Block Bucket for, anyway?) There will also be 3D Touch and Haptic Feedback for owners of newer devices to make the multi-touch space battle action even more engaging.

Evergrow does not have an official release date yet, but developer Imagility announced it was approved by Apple last week which indicates it could launch any day now. When it does, it will be a premium app with no ads or IAPs, priced at $2.99. We’ve got our block-building, cannon-firing fingers stretched and ready to help the Chromaroids shoot for the stars.