Nintendo

Review: Gravity Oddity (Nintendo Switch)

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No, space cowboy, Gravity Oddity is not the love child of Bullock and Bowie. It’s time to get your gravity boots on and take a stroll. Well, maybe “stroll” is a bit of a lightweight description, but you do get gravity boots and some other interesting gadgets to play with. On the down side, the first ship name you see in the game is Cilantro. Draw your own conclusions from that ingredient.

Gravity Oddity is an adventure game where you wander around spaceships and space stations blasting enemy defenses, teleporting, floating and flitting about using your jet pack, and so on. You also have to do your best to not get killed by the myriad things which exist to do only one thing: kill you. See, I told you it would be interesting.

Fortunately, the game does give you a good tutorial where you learn how to move about, to jump off the bulkhead and use your jetpack to reach new places, to use your teleport gun to get somewhere or through something, and to use your weapons to zap enemies before they zap you.

The whole moving around part is simple—just use the L-stick. This is a 2D game, so you only need to worry about X and Y axis stuff. If there is a locked door, or no door, the transition from walking on the floor to walking up the wall is automatic. This also leads to an interesting problem; if you need to go through a door and then down, but you are walking on the ceiling, you will need to remember to get your feet back on the floor first or it’s up the hall you go. Don’t forget, you have the option to either jump away or to teleport. It may seem a little overkill, but it gets the job done.

Shooting things get interesting, too. This is outer space, so, of course, you get a blaster. The game provides a nice LASER pointer-like line to use with your teleport gun, which also works well for targeting with your other weapons. Be careful, though; you will use the Joy-Con to aim, and it is very touchy. The game also has some new things you pick up along the way, including a lively special attack which can disable enemy shields and stun things so you can take a nice clean shot at them with your blaster. All things considered, it’s a nice bit of kit to have.

As you probably already expect, you can also modify your character (skin color, number of eyes, spacesuit color, etc.). This isn’t strictly necessary, but it is a bit of fun. Space Oddity, while not a walk in the park, still enjoys a bit of whimsy.

After completing the tutorial, you get down to the real gameplay. By “real,” I mean there are a lot of things shooting at you and you need to get moving.

The game doesn’t exactly jump in without a shark cage, but it doesn’t exactly slow-walk you through the whole thing, either. Yes, this translates into, “I died on the first level on my first run-through.” For the gamers out there with the fine-touch twiddle fingers, you should be fine. For those of us who are used to implementing a bit more travel when using a controller, the touchy aiming thing can bite you fast. Be ready to put in a little practice.

The only weird points of this game include such minor things as the character’s face not necessarily pointing in the direction you’re walking when you change directions. The sounds played while the text appears on the screen is a bit bleepy (you’ll know what I mean as soon as you hear it). Finally, some of the text needs vocabulary/grammar help. Otherwise, most things are fine.

Gravity Oddity is silly enough to appeal to the younger gamers, and challenging enough for those younger gamers to embarrass their parents when they try to play. The parents can still enjoy the challenge as well, and while away some time on the quest to find the lost roommate and save the day. Either way, this is a fun little game.

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