148Apps Network Post
Developer: Miniclip
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Welcome to the world of Gravity Guy, a world where the laws of gravity have been broken, making poor Isaac Newton turn in his grave. Gravity Guy takes place in the future, as a gravity-flipping game that takes place in the past would just be anachronistic (though I would love to run along the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling sometime). You are the eponymous Gravity Guy, who must run along floors and ceilings, trying not to fall or fly away to his doom, while escaping the police, who will bash you into oblivion for breaking the laws of gravity, which are there for a reason. There’s a story mode featuring 30 levels to play through, an endless mode with randomly generated levels, and a multiplayer mode for up to 4 people, with Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

Gravity Guy is thankfully very easy to pick up and play – you tap on the screen to flip gravity, and that’s it for the controls. The game also features a quick auto-restart whenever you die, and in the Story mode, you will die often (more on that later). The ability to quickly restart is necessary and well-implemented here. The game also supports Retina Display graphics through a free in-app download, which keeps the app’s size under 20 MB so it can still be downloaded over 3G from the App Store. The game also comes with support for up to 4 players on one device, though I’d probably suggest picking up the iPad version if you want to play with multiple people, as 4 fingers on one iPhone/iPod touch is slightly cramped…to say the least.

The problem with Gravity Guy is that it is often unforgiving; many parts will force you to react with such precision that can only be attained through trial and error gameplay. That’s not fun, that’s just frustrating. The concept of having to acclimate to running on the ceiling and reversing gravity is such an unnatural concept that challenge comes from that alone – basing the bulk of your concept on the level design of forced precision to an unnatural concept is unfair and frustrating. What made Hook Worlds‘ gravity-flipping mode so fun was that it offered you leeway, from the spacing in its levels to the ability to switch gravity while in midair. Challenge came from the unnatural concept of reversed gravity, but it still felt fair, and was fun because you could attain that sensation of flowing through the level, of mastering the gravity flipping. Gravity Guy just doesn’t ever attain that fun/challenge balance – it tips too heavily towards frustrating challenge.

Maybe Gravity Guy is meant to be difficult, and if so, then Miniclip did a good job at making a game that will challenge you. But, I feel as if this genre has plenty of room for games that want to focus on making the concept fun as well as making it challenging, and it seems like developers default to the latter. There’s promise for a better game here, one that can provide that balance between fun and challenge that seems so hard to attain.

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Posted in: Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

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