ReviewsReview: GraviFire

Review: GraviFire

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If you follow my reviews, you’ll know I like a good puzzle game. I enjoy the break from the fast-paced nature of FPS and the constant focus required for strategy titles. GraviFire from developers, Potata Company and publishers Sometimes You, is a straightforward no-nonsense classic puzzler. To keep things interesting, they added a twist to increase the challenge.

50 levels of retro action await you in this old-school 2D puzzle game. A logic-based approach must be taken in this gravity focussed problem solver. You are stuck in a maze-like room, tasked with moving boxes to progress to the next level. Sounds easy, right? To begin with, it is, and then you must think steps ahead to be victorious.

A basic concept done well.

The joy of GraviFire is the simplicity of its approach. It knows what it wants to achieve, and it doesn’t water down its main concept. The issue with this basic focus is it can make the gameplay feel repetitive. Luckily, Potata Company prepared for this and added a nice twist of lasers and buttons halfway through.

So many lasers, so many ways to go wrong.

It isn’t all about pushing blocks around, gravity takes the load mostly. Flicking the sliders ensures blocks slide across the map, and you must position yourself to ensure they hit the targets to proceed to the next level. The rooms gradually increase in size, and the problems get more complex. Boxes must be positioned correctly, and any mistakes will see you starting over again. 

It tires badly in the latter stages. 

Though this additional gameplay mechanic has been added, it fails to evolve much past the original concept. This makes the latter and more difficult stages feel tiresome. With no new impetus into the action, it all appears a bit Deja vu. It was a shame as I enjoyed every level, I just wanted another layer to challenge me. 

Its straightforward approach was matched perfectly with its retro aesthetic. The bold colours, pixelated sprite and simple level designs all belong to the early 80s, but they worked well in this title. The fixed screen, 2D picture made for easy viewing, and it was simple to plan your approach. The old-school look won’t be for everyone, but fancy graphics and smooth cutscenes would have looked bizarre.

No-one likes being taken by aliens.

The audio follows suit and wouldn’t be amiss in an arcade game. Loud, crass and in your face music plays throughout. It wasn’t overly pleasant on your ears, but was in keeping with the retro style. 

Gravity has never been easier to manipulate. 

I loved how quickly I could pick this up and play. Though the complexity of the early puzzles was low, having easy controls helped me to learn the fundamentals. The two analogue sticks are the focus of your attention, helping you to move and alter the gravitational pull. The simplicity makes this the perfect starter game for anyone wishing to get into the genre.

Lasers and crates.

With 50 levels to play, it has some replay value. Sadly, this fades once you complete it. A lack of in-depth mechanics and no NG+ mode or move counter removes any desire to return. Potata Company could have added a competitive edge with a leaderboard for scores or moves taken. If they had done so, players would naturally return to become number 1.

Fun, but left wanting more. 

It was fun, but I wanted more! It draws you in with its simple approach, but this plateaus quickly. Luckily, it does enough to keep you interested throughout the 50 stages. Do I recommend it? I do, as it can be enjoyed casually. So buy a copy here! Can you master gravity and shift the boxes? Keep an eye out for lasers and finish each of the 50 levels. 

SUMMARY

Shifting boxes is tough, unless you have gravity to do the work for you. Avoid the lasers and get those crates where they should be.

+ Nice retro look.
+ Arcade inspired audio.
+ Straightforward to learn.
+ Easy to control.
- Lack of in-depth mechanics affect replay value.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Linus, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I've now found a new home to write my reviews, and get my opinion out to the masses. Still the lead admin for Xboxseriesfans on Facebook and Instagram. I love the gaming world, and writing about it. I can be contacted at [email protected] for gaming reviews.

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