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Great Puzzles, Okay Platforming

I am a big fan of team Anamei's games - especially the brilliant Shooter/Life Sim SkyE. Gravity is a typically good game from team Anamei, but isn't as inspired and polished as their other titles.

Gravity is a Metroid clone. The player navigates their avatar through an open, inter-connected world, complete with doors that must shoot to open. The areas are littered with enemies and tricky jumps. Occasionally, the player will encounter an obstacle that cannot be crossed until a power-up is collected elsewhere. The design is pretty familiar, but the level layouts are pretty good, so the game certainly doesn't feel like a strict retread.

Gravity is set apart primarily by its namesake - the inclusion of gravity into game design. All puzzles in puzzles in Gravity are solved through some sort of gravity puzzle or another. All new abilities the player collects provide more control over gravity, and this in turn allows the player to solve more puzzles. It is refreshing to advance through the ability to stack blocks on top of each other, rather than being granted a double-jump or the ability to turn into a bat!

Gravity's puzzles start off easy, but get progressively more interesting as the player progresses. Unfortunately, this means that most players will quit before they get to the meat of the game - the first 20 minutes of this title do nothing to convince anyone that there is anything interesting about it. It is only after further play, and after acquiring a few gravity manipulation abilities, that Gravity is fun or stimulating. In that sense, it is a slow burn even though it is a short game.

Gravity excels as a platforming puzzler, but it is only average as a platforming actioner. Enemies stick to plain patrol routes, and are not usually very aggressive. Many enemies are frustrating for stupid reasons, such as being difficult to hit because the player's bullets are too high. Also, the level layouts are not bad, but they are not always very good, either. Some platforming sequences are boring or frustrating.

Gravity is an excellent amateur game. Team Anamei has produced yet another title that is more impressive and more creative than just about anything else the community produces. The inclusion of gravity-based obstacles is a great idea, and sets the title apart from the Metroid and Castlevania titles it is inspired by. However, the basics of platforming gameplay are not at their best in this title. Jumping and shooting are not as fun as they could (or should) be, and this is a fault of the level layout and enemy design. Gravity is not spoiled by its average platforming gameplay, but it is certainly not helped by it. Mercifully, Gravity is so good in some areas that most players will probably not mind that it is average in others.