Game Design, Game Reviews

Game Review: Gravity Beats – A great puzzle with a pointless story

gravity_iconI’ve always argued that puzzle games are the ultimate mobile game genre, and with Gravity Beats I have another example to fight my case.

Available on Google PlayGravity Beats is a mobile game built by the indie development team NLab™for Android. It features a space ship, some nice physics, cool graphics and mind-boggling puzzles to keep you interested for hours at a time.

The redundant story

Recently I came across an article by the one and only Maddox, who argues that a lot of game developers tend to squeeze in stories where, really, there should not be a story. Only after reading it have I come to realize that he might have a point, and unfortunately, Gravity Beats is a good example.

The game’s story revolves around a triangle (who is, in fact a rocket ship), calling himself Player, while other triangles, including the triangle king himself, call him the Prophet, and are looking at him to save their dying planet from whatever it is that’s killing it.

He can do so by collecting data discs from all the different levels of the game. In this particular case, the story does nothing to improve the gameplay experience and I get the feeling the game would be better off without a story. Just work your way through the puzzles and win the game, simple.

Gameplay and mechanics

Pointless stories aside, the game itself plays out quite nicely. The Player, Prophet, Triangle, Rocket Ship, however you want to call it, has a thruster at the back which propels it through what’s obviously a vacuum, and in order to obtain the needed discs, the player must navigate through an obstacle course and carefully land on the designated pod.

The game utilizes real mechanics and real physics, making every level unique and challenging. The goal of every level is the same – to obtain the disc and transport it to a designated location, but in order to do that, players must navigate through various obstacles such as narrow corridors, lasers and locked passages which need keys.

gravity beats screenshot

The game is looking sharp

Some levels are so big the game had to implement a Scouter mode, which allows players to scout around the map without the triangle moving, so that they can plan their moves ahead.

The interface is also solid – the game features two joysticks on the bottom left and right sides of the screen, with the right stick used as navigation, while the left one is used for landing. All in all a simple, solid solution.

I have to point out the game’s difficulty – I have come across a lot of games which simply didn’t cut it for me – they were too easy to complete and posed little to no challenge whatsoever. That is not my type of entertainment. Gravity Beats offers a lot of maps which are not too difficult, but still challenging enough to make the game entertaining. I have found myself crashing and having to repeat a mission over and over again, but at no point did I feel bored or unentertained by it. Well done!

Visuals

Visuals are also quite good, which isn’t really that hard to achieve when you’re making a game in outer space. Just add a few passing stars in the distance, a bunch of straight lines and a lot of glow, and you’re good to go. Still, the game was a joy to watch and to play.

Gravity Beats is a free-to-play game, but does have an in-game purchase option. The game shop offers ad removal, all levels unlocked, as well as a few boosts for your ship. Although it does not offer an in-game currency, it does have its way of rewarding players for sticking with the game.

Even if you decide not to spend your money on the game, you can still get almost everything the shop offers by simply playing the game and achieving good results.

In conclusion, Gravity Beats is one of those games that will stick around on my mobile device for a bit longer. It looks good, feels good and plays good. It has a solid audio background, and puzzles which are not too difficult but still challenging and entertaining.

It offers those eager to get ahead a way of buying boosts, while those who like to take their time will be rewarded for sticking around longer.  Just get rid of the pointless story and you have a great product.

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One Comment

  1. Alex NLab™

    September 23, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    “Not into the eyebrow, but straight into the eye.”

    Knew that’s coming someday! But instead of getting rid of the story, we extend it with the latest update called Eilos : The Story mode. For now it covers just first five levels, but it’s there, already. Before it has been just an intro and outro. It is also possible to turn the story off in options, for those who isn’t interested in following it. But we really hope that that actually will “improve the gameplay experience”. For those who’s seeking for the real challenge, we would also recommend to play the game on normal+ difficulty, as it has gravity. Which brings totally different gameplay, and more joy, when you got used to it. Gravity Beats doesn’t beat without gravity! That has been said it still better to start playing on easy, to get used to the controls.

    P.S. This was an amazing reading. And we are so glad that you’ve found the game challenging instead of frustrating. Thanks a ton, Sid!

    Reply

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