Naught 2 Review

Naught 2 Review

Feb 10, 2014

Blue Shadow Games hits us with a refreshed version of its atypical platformer in Naught 2

Calling Naught 2 a platformer probably does it at least a little bit of a disservice. The playing area looks and feels like a spelunker’s dream, with deep, sizable and ever-roaming caves. The darkly rendered paths are anything but flat or straight in the way they curve and twist around. Black and light grey (with judicious dashes of other colors) make up the motif of the game, and they do a good job of highlighting the motion. With silhouettes being the basic design paradigm, the game is able to be foreboding without spooky.naught1

Gameplay wise, the developer does a good job with eerie backstory, and the control mechanism can be selected from the option of either using virtual buttons or the accelerometer. Our protagonist, naught, is a cat-like being with upright mobility that, in his quest to escape the darkness, collects stuff and avoids dangerous things as he attempts to get from point A to point B.

Gravity, as a concept, is the backbone of the gameplay. the “ground” is a function of the accelerometer (if that is the control set used), in that rotating it causes Naught to treat the area closest to the ground as the source of the gravitational pull. It is pretty cool and strangely logical in practice, akin to watching how a wingless bug in a jar reacts to an inquisitive child flipping and rotating the jar. In the hands of a skilled player, obstacles become travelways.

As the leveled gameplay moves on, the ground structures become more intricate, as do the dangers. There are sliding and rotating bodies, lethal plants, bubbles, tentacles and more. Speed is exhilarating, but can be fatal. there are sections with a dearth of light, and the whole games comes together quite well.

It takes some of the better elements of the first iteration and improves on them. There is much of the same, but thankfully, it feels more refined, and the upfront pricing does help as well.

Gravity Guy Review

Gravity Guy Review

Jan 12, 2012

What do you get when you cross Mega Man with Ender’s Game? Well, you might not be expecting it, but the answer is Gravity Guy. This is a constant-runner game with a twist. Or rather, I should say, with a flip.

In Gravity Guy you play as this guy who is trying to escape prison. Well, you’ve broken out, but now you’re a fugitive and being doggedly pursued by a little Stormtrooper-looking fellow, who is just waiting for the microsecond when you hesitate in your flight to blast you mercilessly out of existence. But here’s where it gets different: this is a platform game that has no Jump function. Instead you navigate stairs and divides by manipulating gravity. What this means is that you can run along the platforms, come to a hole in your path and, with a tap on the screen, flip up to begin running along the ceiling. You never lose momentum unless you rebound off of something, and the gravity change is permanent until you switch it off. This took a little getting used to, as I would flip up to avoid a hole and then when I didn’t flip back down soon enough I would fall straight up into the sky to my death. You also cannot change gravity orientation mid-leap – you must rebound off of something and flip to change direction. It is possible to flip in a second with one tap, which is vital as Gravity Guy is fast. There are even platforms that speed you up even more. There are also distractions in the form of massive jets that zoom past and shake your whole screen.

Gravity Guy also has many different modes of play, but you have to earn them. I’ve been playing it for a few days now and can still only play in Storymode > Run. There’s apparently a mode called Rescue, but I can’t play it until I beat Run, or unless I want to pay another dollar. I’m okay to wait because I am enjoying Run mode a lot. There are frequent save points that you pass through, and this is fortunate because I don’t think there’s a single stage int he game that I’ve passed with less than 5 attempts. Luckily you have unlimited lives. There are also a few power-ups in the form of shields and slow-mo mode (slow down game play to help you navigate a particularly tricky area). This game relies on some hair-trigger reflexes and a single hesitation can send you falling down or up to your death, or get you trapped long enough to get you zapped by the storm trooper.

I’ve been playing this game with every free second that I have, and it still hasn’t gotten old. The only thing that makes me ever stop is the anxiety levels that start to build up when I get trapped in a level that I just can’t seem to beat. I’ve had to do certain area over and over till I feel like I might throw my phone at the wall, but I never do because I’m always certain that this time I’ll get it. I rarely find a game that I get so obsessed with that I must finish it at all costs, but right now Gravity Guy is this for me.

It does need some significant improvement though in one important area: you change gravitational orientation by tapping anywhere on the screen. because he runs left-to-right I’ve had to get used to tapping with my left hand (I’m right-handed) because otherwise I’m obscuring my own path. But that’s not the problem. Rather, the screen requires a pretty firm strike to register a flip. There are too many times that I know I hit the screen but I still die abruptly. I don’t know how the sensitivity can be adjusted, but if it’s at all possible it would reduce some of my frustration and stress, which would make it infinitely more enjoyable.