Gravity has been at the heart of many games and movies. Whether you’re Isaac Clarke traversing the Ishimura, or Dave deactivating the HAL 9000 to the tune of “Daisy Bell”– gravity, or the lack of it, can be thrilling. The latest game to use gravity at the core of its design is Gravity Error, a new Indy title with a few novel ideas to set it apart from its peers.
Gravity Error is a puzzle platformer that tasks players with collecting white orbs before making an – at times – perilous getaway through an exit point. It’s a simple premise, but what sets it apart is the aforementioned gravity switching mechanic. Prior to starting the level, arrows can be placed onto the stage. When triggered, they change the direction of the level’s gravitational pull, allowing for new areas to be reached.
The stages vary in their complexity. Some stages require no preplanning, leaving you to rely on manual dexterity alone, while others leave you scratching your head in dismay as you decide on strategic places for your gravity arrows. One commonality between the stages are their clever designs, owing to its innovative gameplay.
An area of the game which leaves me wanting is its presentation. The simplicity of the gameplay is mirrored by its visuals. Its unassuming aesthetics wouldn’t look out of place on the app store, but it lacks much of the polish of the competition. Stages consist of differing intensities of black and white, meaning visual diversity is largely absent. Even the orbs are an unadventurous white.
The visuals aren’t the only aspect of the presentation that could do with a makeover. The music, although suitably cosmic and otherworldly, begins to repeat after a short playtime. By the end of the game, the looping tracks start to grate the nerves.
The scoring system is also missing a trick or two. Each stage can be completed by picking up large white orbs. This works fine, but some stages can be completed without using all of the available gravity arrows. Better yet, although some stages are complex, there are opportunities for speedruns. These are ways in which the game could become more competitive, but inventive play-styles aren’t rewarded in the slightest.