Mr. Gravity

Mr. Gravity was developed by students from the University of Utah, which leaves me with an overwhelming temptation to make fun of Mormons but I’ll bite my tongue and try to resist.  Actually the U of U has a rich history in gaming.  In the late 60s it had an early computer known as the PDP mainframe that played the very first computer game, known as Spacewar!  Although it was created at MIT, it made it’s way to Utah where an engineering major named Nolan Bushnell played it, fell in love with it, copied it as the first coin-op video game known as Computer Space and touched off the entire game industry.

With this huge legacy towering over them, the students at U of U have given us Mr. Gravity.  It’s one part physics-based puzzler and one part dexterity tester.  You play as a blue circle named Mr. Gravity and you navigate a maze to find your wife, a pink circle named Mrs. Gravity.  The gimmick here is you don’t actually have control over Mr. Gravity himself.  Instead, you move him by completely shifting the pull of gravity in a level.   You can do this by using the pad, the stick, or the four face buttons.  I recommend the buttons myself.  There’s no sliding scale of gravitational force, so it’s always full steam ahead, and using the buttons feels quicker and more accurate.

In the mazes you must avoid anything that’s red, or you die and go back to the start of the maze.  In addition to traps and sliding blocks, the maze is filled with various amounts of gems that you can collect.  Mr. Gravity scores each round based on how many times you die, how many gems you collect, and how fast you reach Mrs. Gravity.  Each category has a maximum score of three stars, with a final tenth star awarded for three-starring all the challenges.  Thankfully you can beat each challenge one at a time by replaying the levels, likely because doing them simultaneously I’m pretty sure is not even doable.

Mr. Gravity features 80s-style vector graphics (like Battlezone or Tempest) that keeps the action on screen clean and distinctive.  This was a brilliant style choice in a world where a lot of developers would have been too caught up drowning out everything with crazy particle effects or blooming.  It gives the game a fantastic sense of charm.  A retro feel in a game that is utterly unique on the marketplace.  I totally would endorse buying it as there’s few opportunities to play something this unique on XBLIG.  It has no zombies, it doesn’t massage your back, and it doesn’t use your avatar.  It’s only 80 points too!

Oh that’s right, I forgot to talk about the difficulty.  I’ll chalk that up to post traumatic stress disorder.  You see, I have a policy on here to play every game I review to the bitter end, but in Mr. Gravity’s case the game is impossible.  Even if you can get past the insane difficulty spike about 20 boards in you’ll be bored to tears by that point and want to do ANYTHING else.  Resisting otherwise simply cannot be done.  Thus, yet again, we have a game that goes for the highest degree of difficulty possible and as a result Mr. Gravity runs out of fun before it runs out of game.  I guess I still recommend it, if only because it’s so original that it deserves to make money, but you guys at U of U are real bastards and I thought I should say something about it.

And no, I don’t care if someone uploaded a video of them beating the final level and getting it named after them.  I bet it was some kind of Mercury Rising style prodigy child who’s efforts would have been better spent doing something more productive, like disabling our enemies’ missile systems.  Yes, that must be it.  So thanks a lot, Mr. Gravity team.  You made me feel like a surrender monkey and you put our national security in danger.  See, this is why we don’t let you guys have multiple wives.

Mr. Gravity was developed Angry Newton

80 Microsoft Points left Kairi crying in the making of this review.

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

4 Responses to Mr. Gravity

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