Format – PS Vita
Badgers are bloody brilliant. They look awesome, they are kick-ass in a pinch and they also make excellent astronauts; at least, according to Wales Interactive’s physics-based puzzler, Gravity Badgers.
That’s right, Gravity Badgers sees you “step into the space suit of a valiant space badger as he ventures into the deadly depths of deep space to save his friends, family and the universe itself from the threat of the deadly Evil Honey Badgers”. Not the most innovative of stories but if it’s fun to play, who cares right?
The first bunch of levels sees the old grandpa badger teaching the wee baby one the ropes, over a set of simplistic tutorial missions that introduce the main things you’ll need to survive.
The basic aim of each level is the same: fling your chosen badger through space into the funky green wormhole with an Angry Birds style drag and release. Simple enough, until you throw giant space worms, asteroids and huge planets into the proverbial mixer.
The thrust of the challenge comes from using the gravitational pull (or push) of the planets to curve your badger around the various dangers and safely into the wormhole. The first bunch of levels are really easy and most can be completed in one or two shots down the obvious ‘shoot here to win’ zone. However, get into the second act and things become much tougher as you aim shots to slingshot around several planets through portals and tubes, all the while avoiding the marauding space worms.
Argh! Watch out for the space worm, badger friend…
This is when the game can become a bit of a slog – especially if you want to get 3 stars on every level – as you constantly have to restart to change your angle and power a fraction in order to hit the gravitational sweet spot. Get it right and your furry friend will float gracefully around the screen and into the wormhole. Get it wrong and he will face-plant into the nearest planet or be lost forever in the endless void of space… so, no pressure.
At the end of each group of levels you get a boss fight to rescue another of the badger clan. These are a fantastic change of pace from the more sedate standard levels, as you desperately maneuver your badger around the screen avoiding enemy fire long enough for your own auto-fire to take him down. Take down a boss and you unlock a new badger to fling around space, but unfortunately the choice is purely cosmetic with our chosen protagonist having no effect on the physics or story.
That is a symptom of my main bug-bear with Gravity Badgers. While the levels themselves are often challenging and fun, the 100-odd levels eventually do become a touch repetitive; especially as all of the obstacles in the game are available from mission one. Aside from the boss battles, there is no real hook to keep you coming back to play.
The graphics are cool and the soundtrack fun when you first hear it, but they are both used too frequently and can get a little tired after prolonged play. That said, for the price, Gravity Badgers is still a game worth adding to your PS Vita’s bustling indie game collection.
The Good Stuff
- Handsome artwork
- Interesting boss battles
- Some brain tickling puzzles
The Bad Stuff
- Trial and error gameplay
- Frequently reused graphics and sound
- Front-loaded content
Perfect for gaming on the go, Gravity Badgers gives fun bite-sized chunks of badger flinging mayhem. With over 100 levels and a bunch of boss fights, there’s plenty to get your teeth into too. Unfortunately, there isn’t the required depth of story or gameplay to make Gravity badgers a must-have purchase.
Technical Competency – 7/10
Graphic Quality – 7/10
Entertainment Value – 6/10
Sound Quality – 6/10
Network Stability – N/A.
Overall – 6.5/10