Gravity Badgers Review

Badgers! Badgers! Badgers! Badgers! Badgers! Badgers!

  • Developer: Wales Interactive
  • Publisher: Wales Interactive
  • Release Date: 28 November 2013
  • Time played: 2 hours (INCOMPLETE)

Once again, thanks to the generosity of Steam friends (thanks Mix-Master), I managed to grab a copy of an unusually named game called Gravity Badgers The game looked interesting and while I've only played 2 hours of the game so far, I'm past the half-way mark in terms of the campaign so I thought I'd give the game a review regardless.

Plot (1/5)
I was tempted to not even include a plot section for this game since there is so little to go on. In fact, I'm still not quite sure what's going on even though I'm more than halfway through the game. Not that you'd normally think this matters - this is a puzzle game right? Who cares if it has a good story or not? Under normal circumstances, I would agree but unfortunately, Wales Interactive decided that Gravity Badgers deserved a story when in reality the game may have been better off without it.

From what I can tell, you play a badger in space who somehow loses all his crew to some bad guys, or maybe giant space worms, or.... who knows. The problem is there's only two sources of information in the game with respect to story: (a) the cutscenes which just involve a camera scrolling right across a painting and (b) conversations between the badgers at the end of each "episode". Both methods don't tend to reveal much if anything at all.

Gameplay (3/5)
Gravity Badgers is a gravity puzzle game where you're given a whole bunch of levels to complete that are spaced out over five episodes. At the end of each of these episodes (at least that was the case for the first three) you're able to rescue another of your badger crew members. The aim of each level is to use sources of gravity and anti-gravity in order to guide your badger towards energy cores and the exit. There are also obstacles like asteroids and space monsters to avoid so some of the levels can prove quite difficult, especially later on (they definitely required several retries from me, let's just put it that way). You're able to control your badger like a slingshot, in a similar fashion to how you launch birds in Angry Birds. You pick the direction and how powerful your shot will be and then pray you follow the right trajectory. You get three lives for each level and if your badger dies, next time he/she respawns the game shows you what trajectory was previously taken and how much power was behind the shot.

The game has a simple enough premise but it's difficult to master, mainly because the gravity and anti-gravity sources are unpredictable with respect to their strength, even if visually they appear larger or smaller. You can also tell that this was a game made-for-mobile and is in fact just a port for PC. Consequently, just like Angry Birds, this kind of game would be better suited for the mobile market but it might seem a bit too casual for most PC players. It's not bad to play when you've only got a few minutes to spare though.

Apparently, Southern Belle Badgers do exist

Sound (5/5)
No complaints about the audio. Sure, there's not really any voice acting but the sound effects that are there seem fine.

Music (3/5)
Most of the music encountered during the levels proper is decent enough though nothing memorable comes to mind. The main menu theme on the other hand is an entirely different story - you'll find it very hard to get the Gravity Badgers theme out of your head thanks to it sounding like something from the Power Rangers or Thundercats.

Graphics (2/5)
The art style is fine and the cutscenes, while not making much sense, are aesthetically pleasing. The game suffers from very basic animations though. For example, whenever one of the badgers turns, it's just like flipping a cardboard cut-out.

Replay (2/5)
While I didn't finish the game before I wrote this review, I intend to do so once I have a bit more time. While the plot is lacklustre at least the gameplay can be somewhat addictive. At times, I couldn't stop playing until I managed to beat particularly challenging levels.

Polish (4/5)
I didn't really encounter any serious bugs, but occasionally the game would seem to freeze for a few seconds when I hit the level retry button.

Score – 6/10

If you're a fan of artillery games like Worms or mobile games such as Angry Birds, Gravity Badgers could very well be a game you'd be interested in. It happens to have addictive gravity puzzle gameplay and there's quite a few of them to complete. However, besides saying that, there's not much else I can recommend about this game. Wales Interactive shouldn't have even bothered with the plot, the music is merely okay (except for the rockin' main title theme) and animations are quite basic too. It does happen to be a good distraction from other more time-intensive games but I have serious concerns about the game's longevity once you've finally finished the campaign.

Gravity Badgers is available from these retailers:

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[ LINK: Official Gravity Badgers website ]