The Supernauts aiming for super-stardom on iOS and Facebook

Mobile-social start-up Grand Cru unveiled its first game today with The Supernauts, a sandbox puzzle MMO inspired by PC indie hit Minecraft.

Grand Cru CEO Markus Pasula walked Inside Social Games through a hands-off demo at the Game Developers Conference earlier this month. The Supernauts is slated to launch on iOS (specifically optimized for the new iPad) sometime later this year, with versions for PC and Facebook to follow. Pasula couldn’t confirm  G+ and Android versions of the game, but he did say they were likely. The game will be free-to-play on all platforms.

The story in The Supernauts follows the adventures of a player’s superhero, who is part of a larger super-powered community working to save the day after the polar ice caps melt. As opposed to other iOS Minecraft-inspired titles that display blocky visuals in a first-person view, this game uses a third-person view to show off polished, colorful graphics. The goal of the game is to foster creativity; players can build whatever kinds of structures they can dream up in order to solve the game’s puzzles. Each superhero is armed with a ray gun that can destroy or create game environments, brick by brick. The puzzles we saw seemed based on either piecing together structures for platforming purposes or creating unique home bases players heroes can relax and operate out of. These home bases are intended to be the player’s “Fortress of Solitude,” according to Grand Cru.

The other Minecraft inspiration behind The Supernauts is content sharing. The game allows players to construct levels, puzzles and minigames, which can be shared with the game’s community. Supernauts also allows for real-time cooperative play, with friends joining forces in a co-op mode to solve puzzles together and create new structures. This multiplayer experience will work across all the game’s platforms, meaning players can team up no matter what device they’re playing on.

The Supernauts is an ambitious debut for Grand Cru. The company is backed by $3 million in funding from venture capitalist firm Idinvest Partners and from individual investors like Rick Thompson (co-founder of Playdom and Idle Games). Find out more about the Helsinki-based startup on its official website.