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Gravity Badgers

By MatthewJMimnaugh03-01-2014
StuntmanLT (editor)
Bobfish (editor)
Gravity Badgers

The Defence

Wales Interactive
Wales Interactive
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Pentium 4
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce 6600
AMD equivalent
512 MB
670 MB

The Case

Gravity Badgers is yet another Angry Birds clone, this one in the vein of the space version where players work with/against gravity. It boasts good graphics and a killer soundtrack, but does it have the chops to contend?

The Trial

For most hardcore gamers this genre is uninteresting, if not possibly insulting. The gameplay is simplistic despite being difficult to progress, the achievement is superficial, the infamous three star system from IOS gaming ported everywhere, and the storytelling is minimal, almost like flavor text to offer some artificial “uniqueness” to the title. Yes, all games are beautiful and unique snowflakes, but no one cares when there is enough to cause a blizzard.

Try to avoid anything not either green or yellow.

Try to avoid anything not either green or yellow.

For Gravity Badgers, the systems are intuitive and iterative, with the standard pull back slingshot mechanic designed for touch screens. Aside from boss levels, the idea is basically figure out what general area that badger needs to be flung and, on later levels, to time your shot to avoid moving objects. The two basic planetoids are these: red magnets and blue repulsors, each a round blob. Players are tasked with using the push and pull of these objects in order to get the gravity badger to a flashing green goal. It’s sort of like bumpers and holes in pinball, but if you touch anything in this game - you lose. There are a couple mechanics like switch activated gates, teleporters, and holding areas like Donkey Kong country cannon barrels, but the levels are always designed to be completed with a single shot.

The boss levels are somewhat different, having the player direct their badger around the screen whilst the badger fires on an enemy of sorts. This would have been rather hectic if the player had to control the firing and movement simultaneously, but the badger fires automatically. This is the one little bit of innovation that makes the game interesting, perhaps something that should have been in every level.

Standard 3 Star rating system for stages.

Standard 3 Star rating system for stages.

As the devs claim, the art is pretty good, though somewhat garish. It has all of the vibrant colors of sci-fi space, though it lacks subtlety, making the repulsive bodies blue and the attractive ones red in a fairly repetitive fashion. This is undoubtedly done so that people will not get confused, but honestly, it doesn’t take half a brain to figure out a game based on a handful of mechanics. The biggest problem, though, is the lack of animation. In later levels, there are these pretty cool looking worm/snakes that show up. They orient to the badger angularly, but, other than that, they have little animation and only act as re-skinned asteroids. The backgrounds are often quite nice too, space scenes done well enough to look at home as a desktop background.

The story is basically non-existent, however, only cutscenes showing up after boss battles in dialogue and a panned still at the beginning of chapters. The basic premise consists of having a badger save his compatriots, thereby unlocking new characters, though there didn’t seem to be any way to actually use them in game. The stills at the beginning of the chapters seem to indicate that there is some kind of war going on, but the gameplay is really at odds with this, only “combat” taking place against the bosses.

I guess that's a pun?

I guess that's a pun?

Sound assets are bog standard, the theme, a “mullet rock” inspired track, is the only memorable bit and even it isn’t anything special. For the most part, the best music is either catchy, sticking in one’s head such as the UNATCO theme from Deus Ex, or atmospheric and subtle, like the entire soundtrack of EVE Online. In that respect the background music is acceptable.

For all its mediocrity, though, it costs $5 and has 180+ levels of toilet gaming fun. It would probably be cheaper, but for some reason the PC elite seem to perceive anything under $5 as below them (barring sales), even if the same game would be priced at a dollar. We sure love to complain about the price difference, however.

The Verdict

Gravity Badgers, by strict quality and content to price point ratio, is a solid title. It feels like a game indicative of a dev team well aware of their limits: pragmatic and balanced; sad to say, this is particularly lacking today, even among “experienced” AAA’s. Outside of the casual gaming spheres, however, this title holds little appeal, it remaining implacably loyal to the genre. If you’re looking for a good casual game, but don’t have a smart phone, this might be a good title for you.

Case Review

  • Colors: Overall art aesthetic is nice.
  • Smoothness:  Play is clean with no glitches/bugs.
  • Potato Worthy: Minimal PC requirements.
  • Slingshot Action: Mechanics are genre standard.
  • Hit or Miss Sound: Some tracks are good, others, not so much.
  • Three Stars: Standard iOS game scoring.
  • Not one for the Books:  Story is almost non-existent.
  • Frozen Frames: Animation is lacking for otherwise good art.
Score: 3.5/5
If you like Angry Birds Space, you’ll like Gravity Badgers.
Comments (2)
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Posts: 1548

Well at least is very cheap... :P

Posts: 12

Honestly, I'll stick with irate birds...