Two FGUK writers get their hands on the beautiful Gravity Ghost, here are their thoughts……
Sean C‘s Thoughts
Gravity Ghost is full of whimsy charm, offering a relaxed atmosphere as you control Iona, the fairy-like spectre, as she glides across the universe collecting stars and flowers searching for her lost Fox. Gravity Ghost feels like it has sprung from the pages of your favourite children’s book, drawn with pastels atop a canvas of the galaxy. Each level is comprised of a number of planets. Some of these can be small and simply alter the gravitational pull throughout the level, then some could be glass and approached too fast and you’ll destroy them and yet again alter the pull of gravity.
While the game is simple, at its core it does offer considerable challenge as you make your way through to the end game. The physics take some getting used to and the floaty controls can offer a little frustration until you’ve mastered them. The addition of extra powers, such as the ability to become heavier and force yourself down to the planet, or the glide that floats you in a single direction. All the powers help with different properties and the need to simply react to more on screen as you figure out what each level expects of you. You’ll also come across simple levels where you’ll be required to play the “Marble in the Maze” game, which will require you to run around the world to control the direction of the marble to eventually work it through the maze and allow its escape.
The flashbacks of her life offer insight into the journey, while her interaction with the spirit-animals and the need to find her fox becomes the driving force behind the adventure. Each planet type has its own beautiful style that differs should you choose to terraform. The 2D nature of the game offers elegant simplicity that keeps you playing long after you thought you should stop. I sat through the game in two separate sittings and then went back in for a little more later. The game’s soundtrack (From Ben Prunty – Composer of FTL) is an excellent addition to the package and really helps to bring together the atmosphere. Although it gets a little turned around sometimes, the story at the heart of the game is of sadness, of loss and eventual triumph and everything about the package helped me feel every second of it.
Gravity Ghost is a charming little adventure and with no available fail-state, you can sit back and watch as you drift from planet to planet while offering a light challenge and an excellent palate cleanser compared to what else is on the market.
Gary Cook‘s Thoughts
First off let me start by saying, I am not a Puzzle/Platformer games player.. I’m more into First Person Shooters, Real-time Strategy, Simulators and the occasional Driving game.
But I will try my hand at pretty much anything that comes my way, and I have a soft spot for Indie developers such as Ivy Games, the creators of Gravity Ghost… so with that out in the open..
Gravity Ghost is a physics puzzle game, you play as Iona – the Gravity Ghost of the title. Due to an unknown tragic event, she is travelling through the game world searching for her friend the ghost fox. During her search she meets the 7 Guardians who task her with rebuilding the shattered universe and in doing maybe find the ghost fox.
For each level of the game you must run, jump, glide, orbit and terraform small planets to collect stars that open the door back to the galaxy map. Your first few attempts at the game will end up with you swinging wildly around the screen, as you try to work out how best to change your orbit to get that star floating near the top of the screen. Once you get used to the controls (all play styles are accounted for Keyboard, Mouse & Control Pad) you’ll be gliding about like a galactic dove.
Some levels task you with guiding a ball that’s attracted to you out of a spherical maze, I found these particular puzzles to be quite fun. Other levels give you magical abilities to turn one type of planet into another to help with the collection of the stars and flowers, yes flowers. Your magical abilities are fuelled by the length of your hair, use an ability and your hair length decreases, collect flowers and it grows longer.
There isn’t any violence, and no way to fail a puzzle, if you get stuck just return to the map screen and try again. That’s not to say the puzzles are simple, some of the harder ones did leave me scratching my head for a bit while I tried to work out where to go, what to change and at times how best to intercept the orbiting stars or pick up’s, but the sense of accomplishment when I finally worked out what had stumped me for 10 minutes was exhilarating.
This is truly a game to just chill out and unwind to after a long day at work, the papercraft-esque art style is absolutely brilliant and the soundtrack is from Ben Prunty – the composer for the FTL soundtrack and is as equally good, if not better than his last offering.
I found the story to be captivating and was genuinely touching, I just couldn’t stop myself from playing until the end credits were rolling.
My only complaint, game length. From start to finish it took me just under 2 hours to finish the story, but for the 100% completionists out there I’m sure it will take longer to get all the Steam achievements.
Gravity Ghost is a lot of fun, and I highly recommend it.
Engaging and touching story
Simple to learn
Easy to pick up, hard to put down
Very atmospheric soundtrack