Version Reviewed: 1.4
Device Reviewed On: iPad mini (Retina)
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
It was actually hard for me to review JLOOP's Gravitations directly from the standpoint of it being a "normal" game. That's because the missions are in themselves created by those playing. There are no preset levels here. Instead, Gravitations allows players to create, manage, and edit their own missions for eventual playing by themselves and others.
Launching Gravitations for the first time, one can just feel the level of polish that has gone onto it. Backed by a "War of the Worlds"-style soundtrack that sets the tone for mystery and discovery, from the game's start screen players will be able to choose from a carousel of options; including visiting the ship hangar, entering explore mode, builders' contests, taking a class at the flight school, seeing what shared missions are available, or even creating missions.
To create a mission one just taps "Missions," then the "New Mission" button. Presented with a blank canvas with a start and end point, one will aim to build a challenging mission using the available objects. Each object chosen will allow players to edit both its radius and density, and - if it's a planet they want to place - whether or not it should have a moon. Objects can range from wormholes to black holes, UFOs, antigravity, and everything in between. Placed objects can be removed with a simple tap, while double tapping zooms in. Once players are happy with their created mission, and they've set the amount of fuel they wish to start with, they can go ahead and hit "Save." This saved mission will now be accessible in "Your Missions." To edit it again just tap “Edit.”
The aim of each mission is to get a rocket from the starting point to the end, making sure that it picks up all of the stranded astronauts along the way and, of course, avoids all of the obstacles that have been put in place. The string attaching both space stations the spacecraft must navigate between can be bent with a simple touch and drag, allowing one to avoid any space debris or objects that might get in the way.
Tapping the "Shared Missions" option will allow one to browse all of the available missions created by other players. These are ranked from Easy, to Medium, and Hard. Once one has decided what mission they wish to take a crack at, they just hit “Play.” Some harder missions will carry bounty; in these limited-time missions players will aim to enter the top rankings and earn credits for completing them with the least amount of fuel loss.
Gravitations is more of a platform for creating difficult games than a game in itself. The ability to not only decide how and when to play, but also creating missions and sharing them with others, makes for a good few hours fun - and the visuals, although simple, are really a small delight.