Monday, March 05, 2012

Gravitron X: a difficulty mountain

Gravitron X is an Xbox Live Indie Game - costing around 60p, it's developed by a part-time coder who deserves to have a full-time job somewhere.  The game's similar to Thrust, where you must negotiate passages underground, combating gravity and avoiding obstacles.  There are enemies who fire at you and air vents which push you off target.  The main objective of each stage is to destroy the generators and escape back into orbit before the entire planet blows up.  There are stranded scientists to rescue (who repair your shields) and fuel stations.

I spent a good hour playing this tonight.  The control scheme takes a little getting used to - the ship points where you aim the left stick, rather than it just rotating left and right - but this actually affords a much better level of control, letting you pull off 180° turns quickly and aiming with greater precision to shoot back.  I got to the end of level 19 with eight lives, having lost one in the first few levels while I was still learning the controls.

Level 20 was, however, a massive spike in difficulty.  There were small spaces to squeeze into, which rotated around and let you move to another gear-type contraption.  The surface of the planet was covered with enemies, including homing missiles.  It took me all eight lives to complete the level; I was half expecting that to be it, but then level 21 appeared.  I died pretty quickly.

Thoroughly recommended, even without the extra challenge modes and extra map packs.  These are included with the main package. It's a bargain whichever way you look at it.

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