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Gravity Oddity

Gravity Oddity

Written by Russell Archey on 9/26/2023 for PC  
More On: Gravity Oddity

I’ve come to enjoy roguelike games over the years. Games where you start out weak with no special abilities or powers, get as far as you can, then when you inevitably perish you can spend some resources to upgrade yourself and dive back in and attempt to get farther than last time. These games all have their own features and quirks that set them apart from other roguelikes…but what if there was one set in space? Well I enjoy a good roguelike game no matter where it takes place, so let's dive into Gravity Oddity and see if going to space makes for a good roguelike or if you’ll just be stuck drifting off into the void.

You play as a new recruit for a space corporation that has created gravity boots. This special invention will allow the wearer to walk anywhere inside and outside of your spaceship. However, your roommate Gary has been kidnapped by the Rio Grande Corporation for…reasons. Unfortunately you can’t pay the rent on your own (seriously, this is your character’s motivation for saving Gary) so along with your friends Newton and Stein you jump in a spaceship and attempt to save Gary from whatever the Rio Grande Corporation intends to do with him. Yeah, the entire thing sounds crazy but I’m just going to roll with it.

No matter if you’re on a ship or wandering around in space, your main method of getting around are gravity boots. While on a surface you can travel on the ground, walls, or ceiling. When you need to leave solid ground you can do so at the press of a button to start drifting away. While on the ground or floating in space you can boost yourself as well as teleport short ranges, and you have a small blaster you can use to defend yourself. The one thing you can’t really do is jump due to the mechanics of the gravity boots. This may take some players a while to get the hang of, especially when in areas with several enemies and obstacles to avoid. Mastering how the gravity boots work is a must to make any significant progress.

Speaking of making progress, each world (for lack of better term) has several smaller ships to explore, one of which contains a boss. Defeating the boss will give you the coordinates that allows you to travel to the next world. This will repeat until you reach the Rio Grande Corporation’s ship. The worlds are patrolled by enemies and defeating each enemy in a particular area will unlock a reward, typically a mod (more on those shortly). This also goes for clearing the smaller ships. Since each world lets you go to any ship first you could go straight to the larger ship and defeat the boss to move onto the next world, but then you’ll lose out on gaining those valuable mods and could be left completely underpowered for the harder parts of the run.

I keep mentioning mods and that’s where the roguelike aspect comes into play…well, that and restarting after dying. Throughout your journey to save Gary you’ll be able to find several mods to improve yourself. These range from giving you a shield, making it resistant to certain attacks, upgrading your gun, and more. At the start you can only have three mods equipped at one time but this can be changed. Once you defeat a boss you’ll come across a machine where you can exchange a mod for an extra heart to your life bar, and extra mod slot (up to a max of six), or increased fire rate for your gun. However, the machine can only be used once per world so choose carefully.

Something I found about Gravity Oddity is that it can be rather short if you know what you’re doing and are skilled enough. I mentioned that you can just go straight to the boss in each world, defeat them, and move onto the next world. You won’t have any mods to help you but if you’re good at fighting the bosses you can complete a run in a rather short time. However, there is a good amount of replayability as completing a run will unlock a few things, including some new mods that will enter the random rotation. New game modes and difficulties will also be unlocked, plus during runs you can collect small golden data chips and can spend ten of them to unlock new aesthetic options for your character, so there’s a lot to unlock. That said the game gives you several accessibility options to make the game easier such as infinite ammo, infinite jet fuel, and the ability to travel to the next world without the need for defeating a boss. If you’re thinking “can’t you just use that to go straight to the final level”, you’d be correct, and I did try that. Without any mods it can make life a bit hectic, but it is doable.

It took some time for Gravity Oddity to grow on me and it did eventually, but the one thing that took longer than anything for me to get the hang of was the controls. You can’t actually jump but you can float around and use your jet pack to give yourself a boost both on a surface and when floating about. While I mentioned you can teleport a short range, I didn’t find myself using it too often. One problem I kept running into was that when you touch a surface with your feet towards it you’ll “land” on that surface. Many times, I tried to boost myself away from danger only to realize I barely touched a surface and became reacquainted with the concept of gravity so instead of boosting myself away from danger, I dove into it head first. This can get a bit hectic when there are many small platforms with enemies on them and you just want to get yourself in position to take down an enemy but also avoid their projectiles. Once you get the hang of the mechanics it’s not nearly as bad, but even as I was completing my first full run I found myself accidentally shaking hands with lasers when I was trying to get away from them.

Gravity Oddity is a roguelike game that acts a bit differently than other roguelikes, which is fine. There is a lot of replayability with the different mods you can unlock, find, and equip, along with the different game modes and options you can open up upon completing runs. The cartoony graphics fit the vibe of the game perfectly along with the fact that the game actually incorporates your constant deaths into the story a bit. Any frustrations I had were mainly with the controls and mechanics but once I got those down things eased up a bit. While you can complete a run in a short amount of time, Gravity Oddity isn’t a game meant to only be completed once and is well-suited to play in short bursts. If you think you’re up for the task, then strap on your gravity boots and get ready to save your roommate because that rent isn’t going to pay itself.

Gravity Oddity is a roguelike game that plays differently than other games in its genre.  Instead of improving yourself every time you die, you actually improve yourself with every completed run, unlocking new game modes and mods.  While each run isn’t necessarily that long once you know what you’re doing, getting the hang of the controls and mechanics can be a real challenge, especially when a lot is happening on screen.  Once you can master that though, you’ll find a game with a lot of customization, challenge, and replayability that’s good to play in small bursts of time.  Strap on your gravity boots, save your roommate, and pay your rent.

Rating: 8 Good

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

I began my lifelong love of gaming at an early age with my parent's Atari 2600.  Living in the small town that I did, arcades were pretty much non-existent so I had to settle for the less than stellar ports on the Atari 2600.  For a young kid my age it was the perfect past time and gave me something to do before Boy Scout meetings, after school, whenever I had the time and my parents weren't watching anything on TV.  I recall seeing Super Mario Bros. played on the NES at that young age and it was something I really wanted.  Come Christmas of 1988 (if I recall) Santa brought the family an NES with Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt and I've been hooked ever since.

Over 35 years from the first time I picked up an Atari joystick and I'm more hooked on gaming than I ever have been.  If you name a system, classics to moderns, there's a good chance I've not only played it, but own it.  My collection of systems spans multiple decades, from the Odyssey 2, Atari 2600, and Colecovision, to the NES, Sega Genesis, and Panasonic 3DO, to more modern systems such as the Xbox One and PS4, and multiple systems in between as well as multiple handhelds.  As much as I consider myself a gamer I'm also a game collector.  I love collecting the older systems not only to collect but to play (I even own and still play a Virtual Boy from time to time).  I hope to bring those multiple decades of gaming experience to my time here at Gaming Nexus in some fashion.
These days when I'm not working my day job in the fun filled world of retail, I'm typically working on my backlog of games collecting dust on my bookshelf or trying to teach myself C# programming, as well as working on some projects over on YouTube and streaming on Twitch.  I've been playing games from multiple generations for over 35 years and I don't see that slowing down any time soon.
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