Developer: Max Hudson
Price: FREE
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Grab a badminton racquet and a birdie. Now run into rush-hour traffic and focus on keeping the birdie airborne while dodging cars and trucks (note: please don’t actually run into rush-hour traffic). That’s what it’s like to play Gon.

Gon, created by Max Hudson, Chance Daniel, and Bryce Daniel, is a physics game that’s simple to pick up on, but racking up a score that’s not pathetic won’t happen without sinking considerable practice into it. The game is named after its main characters, Gons – little puff-ball critters that the player must volley across hazards for as long as possible. Incidentally, the grinning Gons are adorable. They look a bit like Adventure Time‘s Lumpy Space Princess on a rare good day.

gon_04In fact, the Gons are pretty lackadaisical about the fact a freak accident has pulled them from their own dimension and into the early days of earthen civilization. Since they lack arms or legs, it’s up to the player to do whatever they can to keep the Gons in the time stream. This is done by drawing platforms for the Gons to bounce on for as long as possible while the screen gradually scrolls through time periods. But if the Gons fall through the sides of the screens, they effectively slip out of time and it’s game over.

Keeping the Gons airborne is difficult on its own, but Gon ups the challenge by throwing obstacles at the player as well. Mesopotamia has slowly-rolling wheels that get in the way, and there are also pyramids and suns to contend with in the Egyptian desert. Yes, “suns.” There was a time when the planet had, like, sixteen of them. Pay attention in history class.

While Gon is simple to grasp and its physics are accurate (the length and angle at which players draw their platforms directly effects the speed and angle at which the Gon fly off in), it’s a difficult game to master. Achieving any kind of score worth boasting about takes practice, but the more the game is played, the easier it is to get a “feel” for the types of platforms that keep the Gons up in the air (and clear of objects) for as long as possible.

gon_01Gon also features power-ups, all of which are purchasable with in-game currency. Said currency can be collected during play, or bought with real-world cash. While the power-ups can definitely be a help by doing things like preventing the Gons from going out-of-bounds, they’re not essential. There’s no substitute for just learning how to volley effectively.

Gon is a cute and fun action/physics game that provides a tough challenge. Give it a try, and don’t play badminton in traffic.

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