Review: Gravity Badgers (Wii U)
I know you are all dying to hear about this title that’s hit the Wii U recently, and for that you have come to the right place. You see, Gravity Badgers isn’t just about a couple of badgers flying around in space, it isn’t even just about badgers, or space. It’s about badgers in little helmets being attacked in space, defying gravity to escape the attacks and then attack back… in space.
Well that’s what the game will have you believe. Truth be told – It’s a lot of badgering and I am not sure there is a whole lot of evidence to support it. What Gravity Badgers really is, is an Angry Birds attempt using, you guessed it, Badgers floating in space moving from one place to the next for a reason that is apparently clear to the developers but not to anyone else.
So underneath a story, where the badgers are being attacked by other badgers, the game starts with a tutorial where Grandpa Ruskin explains to you how to play. The game is best played with the Gamepad as you need to make use of the touch controls. On each level you are faced with a situation where you need to collect some glowing orbs on the way to entering the worm hole, which will take you to the next place, ala Cut the Rope. To do this, you place your finger on the character on the Gamepad, draw back like a slingshot and let go in the direction you want the little badger to fly, or float.
You can’t simply aim for the wormhole as getting the orbs gives you extra points. Well you can aim for the worm hole which means you won’t get the extra points, which actually means absolutely nothing in terms of progressing in the game. The levels also have varying difficulties as obstacles and equipment are placed in your way. Sometimes snakes float around in the sky (Yes, snakes. Why? Who knows?) which get in your way meaning you have to time your release.
There are also ice blocks which you can aim for. Once you land in one of those you can touch anywhere on the screen to go next. Making sense? NO? Right. There are also pipes which change your direction in order to get to the exit gate. The most sensible of the obstacles are little planets which either pull you in or push you out (wow that sounds a little R rated). Anyway, these gravitational forces make things a little more tricky in that you have to get the direction and force of your slingshot accurate in order to get the orbs and get into the wormhole.
It sadly never escalates too much of a challenge and a lot of the level design is repeated. Even when you think things will get harder you get a level which is straight forward and it just never progresses. It’s a pity because the idea is quite a clever one, albeit more for a mobile game than a console, but it just seems to lack imagination (Ed – Though it’s obvious they were smoking something…).
There are different scoring mechanisms per level where you can get up to 3 “stars” for a level by not dying, collecting all the orbs and making it to the wormhole. There is no real incentive to three-star any level though and you will mostly find yourself trying to get on with it.
At the end of each chapter is also a boss battle which doesn’t vary much either. You encounter one of your badger mates trapped and have to defeat the enemy who is seated in a gunship in the middle of the level. To defeat him you just need time to run out, so moving around the stage using ice blocks as quick as possible will see you outlast the enemy and save your pal. Pretty dire.
Gravity Badgers is a decent entry if you are looking for something quick to play, something that isn’t too challenging. In terms of graphics its ideal for the type of game it is, without really bringing anything extraordinary. The sound… is better when it’s off as the music and effects are largely annoying. I won’t even get started with the terrible menus.
Gravity Badgers might be quite at home on a mobile device as it can easily be played in quick bursts, requires little attention and little power. On a console, it just doesn’t quite work, even on the Wii U Gamepad that registered touches even before I had done anything. Playing a mobile game like that on console simply doesn’t appeal. However, if you can get over that and just love those kinds of games, you will enjoy Gravity Badgers, though the 140+ levels won’t last you too long.