Gravity Runner Review
Have you ever wished you could do a flip in mid-air that would end up with you walking on the ceiling? Thanks to Gravity Runner, your dreams are well within reach! The game can’t bend real world physics to your liking, but it can provide 28 levels of gravity flipping action that should easily satisfy your inner twitch gamer.
Gravity Runner is a puzzle platformer that puts players in control of its game world gravity. Navigating a series of platforms and pitfalls, the on-screen character will jump with a single tap from the player and flip gravity with a double tap. It’s a simple mechanic, but this simplicity does little to convey the challenge that awaits.
The main gameplay element in Gravity Runner can be best summed up as “timing.” Since the on-screen character will move without any input from the player, you’ll need to make sure that you’re tapping the screen at just the right moment to complete a jump or flip the gravity. The levels are designed in such a way that even the slightest miscalculation will land you in a pit of spikes or send you careening into the abyss.
Level design is Gravity Runner‘s strongest component. Even though the game is technically a platformer, no one can dispute the heavy puzzle influence on the game. Calculating just the right moment to jump or flip gravity can be gruelling thanks to smart platform placement and some outstandingly difficult obstacles. Gameplay concepts aside, a game like this succeeds solely on how challenged you feel by the stages. In this, Gravity Runner is a runaway success.
New twists like portals and speed boosts get introduced as the game progresses, but they’re nothing that changes the experience too drastically. Gravity Runner is a competent gravity puzzler, but it feels too much like ground that’s been tread before. With games like the gravity flipping indie platformer VVVVVV making a splash earlier this year and the popular That Gravity Game scratching a similar physics-based itch on the web, Gravity Runner just feels much too familiar to really get excited about.
The visuals are a bit of a sore spot too, as it seems the developer was trying to capture some sort of retro nostalgia but couldn’t quite pull it off. Everything looks decent and polished, but it falls short of capturing the vibe they were going for. Despite this, the bright and cheery color palette employed by Gravity Runner provides a totally satisfactory snack for the eyes.
It may be little more than a rehashing of a recently popular formula, but Gravity Runner manages to offer up a competent action puzzle experience for the twitch gamer regardless of similarities. We would have preferred that the game ended up feeling more original, but the levels and gameplay are polished enough that fans of the genre should easily find themselves satisfied.