I’m no physicists or expert when it comes to deciphering the science behind gravity, but I’m certain I have a pretty good handle on what constitutes it’s variables in video games at the very least. Now, with that said let me introduce you to Gravi, a new platformer based in the field of gravity and physics bent on making you die, a lot.
Gravi is an interesting game to decipher. It doesn’t appear to have any voice acting, script or even a story for that matter. Although, that might be a bit of a stretch to say considering any game you play could have a story, even if it represents it in a different way. Gravi is a different kind of game. In this platformer you control a blue ball full of the power of gravity. Gravi is a little blue ball of energy that you must control to get through an alien test facility that you have fell victim to. You must escape the facility through a maze of traps and hazards designed to keep you from your ultimate goal along with keeping one step ahead of Anti-Gravi (who is the complete opposite of Gravi).
Gravi contains a massive 40 levels complete with boss encounters against Anti-Gravi. It reminded me of Angry Birds with the amount and size of the levels you will be playing through. The encounters you find with Anti-Gravi are interesting as he tries to thwart you from beating the level and the only way to keep him off your tail is simply beat him at his own game. Anti-Gravi is the red ball of gravity that is bent on stopping you at all costs but if you’re on your game, you should have no problem besting his efforts. You’ll earn achievements along the way as well depending on the things you do. For instance, there is one that you can get by completing a level without dying. Which I find funny considering every level I have encountered I’ve died at least 50 or more times especially when it comes to the hazards that get in your way. Some of the hazards include avoiding spikes and flame throwers. In order to avoid such hazards you are given blue energy balls to push yourself over gaps, through hazards and even the ability to avoid those spikes. Make sure you keep a rhythm going with your gravity as it will help you in the long run when the hazards become more common place in one room further in the game.
I should point out at this point in the review that Gravi is an independent game developed and published by Hashbang Games and you should be able to locate it in the Steam Greenlight section if you choose to venture there soon if you are on the fence and are interested in trying it out. As you can tell so far, Gravi might sound like a pretty intense puzzle platformer, of which it is exactly that. I wouldn’t say that I was frustrated so much as I was angry at the game at times due to the pain I put myself through in playing these kinds of games. That isn’t to say I don’t like Gravi, I think Gravi personally takes a special kind of person to want to play the game and see it through to the end. If you like a challenge and are seeking something to kill time with, you’ll definitely get that out of Gravi.
Gravi isn’t that difficult to play, once you get started there is a tutorial to help you figure out the controls and get you moving then you can just dive right in. There can be a difficulty curve if you are not used to playing PC games, but these days, who hasn’t? You might want to keep in mind that Gravi is a powerful ball of energy so any slight movement going left or right would be putting an extra push on him, so you’ll go farther then you might originally intend to. As you get further in the game, the difficulty increases with more hazards and traps to discern you so make sure you are ready for it as you inch towards level 40.
For an independent game, I was pleasantly surprised at the effort that was put into the presentation. It looks beautiful and the amount of detail in each level makes it look like you are playing a game with a big budget. Although Gravi is a little ball of blue energy himself he doesn’t have much detail to him as you are controlling him through the alien maze. You’ll encounter Anti-Gravi from time to time who looks just as vibrant as Gravi does with a completely different personality. The music in the game is put together well providing that feeling of being in space. I keep heading back to the budget for this game as I wonder with the quality of effort put into this game if it even has a budget close to an AAA game. Overall, Gravi is a tight puzzle platformer experience that should provide that balance of difficulty and pleasure. If you manage to pick up the game, make sure you give it a try even if you died at least 10 or 20 times or so. If you get frustrated at the first 5, then you simply aren’t playing the game right.
(Reviewed on PC, Thank You Hashbang Games)
ONLY SINGLE PLAYER SCORE
Story – 6/10
Gameplay/Design – 7/10
Visuals – 8/10
Sound – 8/10
Lasting Appeal – 6.5/10
Overall – 7/10
(Not an average)
Platforms: PC, Mac (Steam Greenlight)
Developer: Hashbang Games
Publisher: Hashbang Games
Ratings: N/A (ESRB), N/A (PEGI)