Game Review: GravityMan (Minard, 2019)
Genre: Games, puzzle
Roll in industry: Casual
Target Demographic: 12+
Monetization: Free app, advertising, in-game purchases.
I downloaded and played the puzzle game GravityMan (Minard, 2019). The premise is simple. You are helping a little rag-doll space-human escape to the nearest airlock. Normal gravity is down. But, press the screen to invert gravity; now down is up, as it were. With the aid of sloped walls, fans, motorized treadmills, teleportation locations, and powerful magnets, (and the randomizing effect of bouncing off other floating objects) you float around the room (inverting gravity as needed) collecting up to three golden stars on the way to the airlock. Make sure you turn off the hallway blocking lasers before they cut you into little space-human pieces.
The game is solid and well-engineered. The graphics are cartoonish, sure, but fit the games casual genre. The first levels allow you to get the feel for the simple invert gravity control. Each time a new feature is introduced, it is a nice and easy level designed to smooth your way into the new technology skill.
The User Interface (UI) is wonderfully simple. Do nothing, and heavy things fall down. Press anywhere on the screen, the background glows electronic green (shown) and gravity inverts – now heavy things float up. I must admit, the first time I played the first level, I just had fun inverting gravity on and off – just to watch the little rag-doll space-human bounce off the floor, ceiling, (can I use these terms in space?!) and walls.
I found I wanted to tilt my smartphone to help the space-human go to the left or right. I think adding the accelerometer to the game play would help. This might be added as a monetization or reward option.
GravityMan is a solid and well-built reminder that games do not need to have complex UI and strategies in order to be fun. But, I did tire of the game after about thirty minutes of play. I might launch it a few more times… before I delete it from my phone. Such is the harshness of space.
Minard, A. (2019). GravityMan (iOS) [Video game].