By: Jeff Cater
Developer and publisher Wales Interactive have stepped into the “fling-a-creature” genre with their release of Gravity Badgers. In Gravity Badgers, you assume the role of Captain T. Bayback, freshly schooled by his grandfather in the ways of being a true G.B.
The mechanics of the gameplay really cannot be more simple: everything is done via touchscreen. After being introduced to a few of the various obstacles that you’ll encounter in space, such as interstellar entities that can either pull you close or push you away, you’ll immediately feel that the game is a furrier, more badger-like version of Angry Birds.
Though the core mechanics are similar, the objectives are different enough to warrant a play, especially if you’re a fan of these particular physics-based titles. In order to complete a stage, you must calculate the appropriate trajectory to lead you to the goal on the other side of the level. In between you and the goal will be a smattering of various obstacles that, as mentioned above, can heavily influence your course to the end.
Of course, in order to achieve a perfect score for a level you’ve got to nail them on your first try or keep grinding away until you’ve found the pixel-perfect point to draw you Badger back to before releasing. This single-finger (or thumb, rather) control system suffers from the same problem many games like this do: it is hard to release where you want because of the slight movement of your finger upon releasing. Therefore, what looks like the perfect shot can be easily botched, leading to artificial and unintended difficulty.
The game looks pretty decent, but it’s hard to say that it looks poor or great. The galactic backdrops are full of vibrant colors and celestial swirls, but the total lack of animation quickly dampens the initial “Wow, sleek!” feeling.
Characters are drawn well but again, the lack of life to them gives an uninspired overall vibe. Characters are literally so 2D that when they turn from left to right they disappear like a piece of paper. Maybe it is intentional, or maybe it is just a lazy way to take care of things, but the graphics truly cheapen the experience.
The audio is pretty well done, but other than music, menu selection and failure noises, the soundscape is pretty barren. The tunes in Gravity Badgers are very mellow and generally enjoyable to listen to, and they provide a very relaxed feel to the game up until the point where you come across a boss battle. Then, the music ramps up into wonky guitars close to that of a Dynasty Warriors title. So, the sudden change can definitely throw you for a loop, but a pleasant and comical one that gives the player a break from the fling-grind that is the rest of the game.
Unfortunately, Gravity Badgers is hard to recommend when considering the mass of similar puzzler games, but at its price and availability (the game is on mobile devices, the Vita and Wii U) can and will provide fun for someone who is a fan of physics and badgers. Hell, with that last line it sounds like the best game in the world, doesn’t it?