Gravi is part of an Alpha Bundle at indiebundle.org where you get 3 games, all in alpha for $5! That is quite a bundle right there. Think of it as a way to fund the game and get some alpha testing experience. The game I was given was Gravi, a gravity based puzzle platformer. After doing the review of Another World 20th Anniversary edition last week, Dan realized that I still hadn’t ripped out all of my hair and gave me Gravi to finish the job. Gravi isn’t like most puzzle based platformers. It’s easy to know what to do next to advance. The problem is execution.
Since it is in Alpha, the game just went straight into it, so I didn’t really think there was a story, but I found the the trailer and the gist of the story is that you are a robot, and your objective is to escape a sort of prison while being chased by another robot. But the fact is, this is not a story based game. It is one based on gameplay and challenging puzzles.
It’s a modern day platformer, you control a spherical robot which rolls around, and you have the ability to shoot these magnetic fields which help you manipulate gravity. You basically want to get from Point ‘A’ of a level to Point ‘B’ while trying to get a collectible on the way. It’s not compulsory to grab the collectible, but its more challenging if you do. Sometimes too challenging.
This game had me at my wits end, its a challenge when you don’t know what to do next, but it’s downright frustrating when you know what to do, but your fingers aren’t fast enough to execute it. But the joy you feel when you finish a level you spent hours on is just brilliant. Although eventually I gave up after my fingers started to hurt and i am sure I got carpal tunnel. Ouch!
I loved the artwork of Gravi, it had a very dark and dingy feel to it, well duh! It’s a prison environment, but they still did a great job with the backgrounds and the obstacles like flames that breath into life as you try to get away from them are pretty amazing that you end up dying because you were looking at the flame while you should have been looking to get out of its way.
It’s one of the awesome parts of the game, its got a proper techno feel to it. From the start when you open the menu to when you die(and you die a lot!), it’s quite a musical experience.
They claim this is an alpha game, and one thing i love about Indies is that their alpha’s feel more polished and finished than some mainstream “complete” build games. I spent about 5-6 hours on the game, and there wasn’t a single bug. It felt smooth, easy on the eyes and the physics mechanism did a brilliant job and gave me a real sense of fighting against gravity on some instances. Considering you get this and another two games as part of the bundle, and the fact that you will be supporting grateful indie developers like HashBang, it is well worth the price. I wish the puzzles had more of a gradual learning curve as far as manic button mashing is concerned but ultimately the game did live up to its expectation and gave me hours of challenging puzzles and hair pulling fun.