Mr. Gravity #XBLIG VVG Indie Verse Review
VVG Indie Verse Review
By: Mr. Deeke
From the independent game studio Angry Newton comes a quite unique title called Mr. Gravity, which takes aspects of puzzler, platformer, and gravitational physics and mashes them together in a quirky Xbox Indie title. This game is one of the few titles released from the students at the University of Utah’s class on the computer programming language C#, the others including Xbox Indie titles such as “Minions”, and “The Last Pod Fighter”.
Mr. Gravity 80 MSP
Mr. Gravity is a delightful and original little Xbox Indie in the vein of Pac-Man in terms of design and layout, yet it’s mechanics are physics based and rely on player’s wits and focus. Melding platformer, physics, and puzzler with race/rally aspects all into one, this enjoyable XBLIG title is sure to please gamers of all ages. Adorable and quite charming, the graphics are simplistic but the main character, Mr. Gravity, is quite cute and it’s hard not to like him.
- Developer – Angry Newton
- Genre – Puzzle & Trivia
- XBL Marketplace URL – Mr. Gravity
- Release Date – 5/16/2011
- Try or Buy? – Try Before You Buy
- Price – 80 MSP
- Rating – 3.5/5
Shift gravity to navigate Mr. Gravity through a series of challenging (and most times perilous) puzzles to find Mrs. Gravity! While moving through these puzzles be sure to collect the gems along the way, but be careful…
I. Story Line
It’s up to players to help Mr. Gravity, our circular hero, find his beloved Mrs. Gravity and reunite the couple so they can live happily ever after. Use your wits to navigate through multiple stages with a smorgasboard of enemies trying to stop you at every turn, and successfully use the power of gravitational physics to pull and push Mr. Gravity in all directions and collect stars to reunite the two.
Will Mr. Gravity ever see his betrothed pink and round wife again, or will he fail in his task and be alone to roam the stars forever?
II. Game Mechanics
The game mechanics are quite unique and are responsible for making the game original in terms of how it functions and how players utilize controls to play the game. Players must use the analog stick, D-Pad, or the four face-buttons (A, B, X & Y) to navigate through areas and paths throughout the levels. The face buttons and analog sticks correspond with which direction Mr. Gravity is pulled towards–for example, since X is left in relation to the other face buttons, it will make Mr. Gravity move to the left, whereas B will pull him towards the right. This rather simple concept makes up the backbone of the in-game mechanics for this Xbox Indie title.
While the concept of movement and gravity is simplistic in theory, utilizing it in-game is a different story and requires some focus and control. Players must pay attention to how Mr. Gravity moves as the directional pulling makes Mr. Gravity slide quite a bit in the corresponding direction. Players can hold down the analog stick to keep Mr. Gravity moving, yet to control him with finesse it takes timing and focus as the opposite direction must be applied to slow or stop him from colliding.
These control mechanics may seem a bit troubling at first, yet they’re not hard to get used to and in no time players will be dodging enemies and collecting stars while successfully navigating through set paths without colliding against the walls. The in-game physics are quire original and creative, and it is refreshing to see this sort of thing in an Xbox Live Indie Game, especially one from an independent studio of students.
Throughout the game players must collect as many objects as possible all while dodging enemies and lethal blocks such as spikes and other dangerous obstacles that can kill our blue circular friend on impact. Care and precision is required at times, and on certain levels players will have to try a few times to beat later stages as they become a bit tedious. Players are awarded stars according to how long it takes them to beat the level, and on the upper left-hand side of the on-screen interface there is a Timer that counts off the seconds.
III. Unique Features
There are a few unique features in Mr. Gravity that distinguishes it from other games on the Xbox Indies marketplace including it’s simplistic yet creative physics system, and it’s charming in-game graphics. Overall it’s a small but intriguing game that combines puzzle mechanics with a bit of racing as players try to beat the level as quick as possible without any mistakes.
The creative physics system is to be admired as it requires both care and precision to navigate the myriad of levels in the game–players who don’t carefully control their movements will assuredly fly right into an enemy or a lethal block, making Mr. Gravity one unhappy circle. The physics system also adds in a hint of puzzler as players must plan out their moves and focus intently on the obstacles in the levels so they don’t collide with them and die.
Mr. Gravity’s charming in-game graphics are simple yet they are also quite adorable and irresistable to some. While many gamers out there enjoy hi-def graphics and action-packed games, there are a few gamers who equally enjoy charming graphics and humorous visuals. While Mr. Gravity is pulled in any direction his face animates in a few facial features–even when he’s defeated he makes a certain face.
Original Game Mechanics. The in-game physics system is both intuitive and original in a game of this sort–a hybrid of Pac-Man with a puzzler with hints of racing elements as well. Combining these elements together with a gravitational physics system may seem like an unlikely title, however Mr. Gravity utilizes these mechanics quite well in a fluid and seamless Xbox Indie that provides for a unique and original gameplay experience.
Easy to Play and Understand. Just about anyone can pick up this game and play it right away–while the success is moderately determinant upon the player’s skill, focus, and control, the basic understanding of gameplay can be picked up by all gamers. While it’s underlying mechanics are simple–run through the maze, collect items, etc–the specifics are a bit tricky as players must learn how to successfully utilize the physics system to their advantage.
Charming and Simple Graphics. The hilarious facial animations that Mr. Gravity portrays on his round body are quite charming and appealing, making the game fun and humorous. The graphics themselves are simple yet they are illuminated with neon-like brightness, somewhat reminiscent of the arcade classic Pac-Man.
Fun For All Ages. This game can be enjoyed and played by gamers of all ages, and it’s a great game for younger kids to play as it not only refines focus skills but can also help children learn dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Even older players can enjoy this title as it’s not complex or overwhelming–it mirrors the classic titles gamers would find in coin-op arcades or on retro consoles like the Atari 2600.
Not For All Gamers. While many gamers are sure to enjoy the charming graphics and puzzle-like mechanics of Mr. Gravity, this game may not be right for those that enjoy action-packed titles with blood and gore everywhere. Mr. Gravity offers a slow-paced and calming atmosphere where there is very little stress and players aren’t overwhelmed with having to eliminate screens full of enemies or take down huge bosses in combat.
Overall Mr. Gravity is enjoyable on many levels and makes for an original and unique Xbox Indie title. For only 80 MSP players can relax and chill out with a fun and simple XBLIG, taking a break from the frenetic retail multiplayer titles and help our round blue friend find his beloved pink wife. With a unique physics system heavily influenced on gravity, this game is a mashup that combines many elements together into one small but entertaining package.
Other Xbox Live Indie Game titles created by the University of Utah’s Student Development Team (Angry Newton):