Reading the description for Gravity Cube in the PlayStation Network Store left me with no doubt as to what I was letting myself in for with this game. When the first line refers to itself as being a “high score game” and subsequently mentions that you have to “race through an infinite tunnel” you immediately know that you’re going to experience a game that may be more than a little familiar to one or two games that you may have already played before…
Already available for iOS and Android (as is their other game Star Conquest so I am wondering whether this may be a future PSM release as well) it’s a 3D endless runner set in a futuristic tunnel. Unlike BallFlip that I looked at previously, Gravity Cube is a lot more colourful and immediately hits you right from the start with it’s fast moving visuals and tunnel effects hurtling towards the screen… and that’s just on the main menu!
From the main menu you’re presented with four basic options – Play (fairly obvious!), Stats (this displays the online high scores), Options (to allow you to change the colour settings) and About (to view the credits). With the PSM online leaderboards being removed I’m not sure where these are stored / maintained but it’s certainly a welcome bonus to see this being included in a PSM title and a developer that’s taking the initiative to do so.
What of the game though? Anyone as old as I am will remember the classic Star Wars arcade game from Atari. Taknig control of an X-Wing fighter, after completing the first stage set in space defeating the TIE Fighters the game moved into the attack on the Death Star, more importantly flying down the trenches. In this stage you have to nagivate the trench avoiding barriers that were coming towards you so while avoiding shots being fired at you, you also had to fly over and under these barriers. The reason I mention this game is that this is what Gravity Cube reminds me of.
In reality, you actually control a cube and you are flying down a tunnel and have to avoid horizontal and vertical barriers by moving the cube to the side. While the PSN Store’s description refers to swiping the screen to do this (as do the on-screen instructions), using the d-pad works and this is the most effective and responsive way of controlling the game. As with most endless runners, you score a point for each barrier you successfully pass and you just have to survive for as long as possible.
Visually this game looks fantastic. It’s a fast, relatively smooth and effective 3D engine and the energy barriers look great and change perspective as you pass them and as you move your cube so the tunnel is in true 3D and not sprite based. The cube itself has some nice visual touches with a trail behind it that moves depending on your position and overall the game screams quality when you look at it. Sound is just as good. While the menu is shrouded in silence, the game is accompanied by an atmospheric chip tune that blends in well with the gameplay. So far so good…
And it would be if it wasn’t for the gameplay itself. This is a reasonably fun game but it’s let down on two fronts. First, sadly, is the fact that it’s another endless runner and doesn’t really add anything new to the genre which is already getting somewhat stale. Secondly, the control method (swiping the screen) and PSN Store description give you the impression that you have a wide range of movement in the game but that simply isn’t the case. Apart from the very start of the game when your cube is located at the bottom centre (and if you want to you can move to the top centre) your position is limted to the four corners of the tunnel and you can only move up, down, left or right. Even when quick reactions are needed later in the game, diagonal movements aren’t possible so you do get the feeling that you are restricted more than you should be.
Despite being one of the best looking endless runner games to hit PlayStation Mobile, there isn’t really anything new that the game offers to players and the limited movement provided leaves you wanting more from the game and it simply doesn’t provide anything. With more refined controls and a better range of movement this could have been a great little game, especially combined with these visuals but as it is while it’s not a particular bad game it’s nothing to write home about. Worth taking a look at but don’t expect anything particularly exciting for the price.
At A Glance
- Title: Gravity Cube
- Publisher: Sargun Vohra
- System: PlayStation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: N / A
- Cross Play: N / A
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 38Mb