Art of Gravity magical physics based puzzle game that feels much more rewarding when you can figure out what each element does, rather than told.
Genre:Puzzle Developer:Michal Pawlowski
Art of Gravity ($0.99) by Michal Pawlowski is a physics-based puzzle game that features plenty of abstract voxel graphics and destruction through the natural use of gravity. If you liked other games like Smash Hit, then Art of Gravity is a perfect fit.
When I need to relax, I always turn to video games of some kind to take my mind off of the harsh effects of reality sometimes. Whether it’s solving puzzles or blowing stuff up and causing mayhem, it’s the best way to unwind. I’ve gone through dozens of genres of games, but for some reason, puzzles are always going to be my go-to. This is probably because I like to keep my mind busy and occupied while also relaxing, and puzzle games offer the best of both worlds. While it feels like I’ve gone through every possible puzzle game there is on the App Store since my time here at AppAdvice, I am always on the lookout for new ones that breath new life into the genre, and I believe Art of Gravity is one of those games.
App Feels Like
Visually, Art of Gravity is beautifully abstract, just as it was intended to be. If you are a big fan of how the graphics are in Minecraft, then you will love Art of Gravity’s visuals. The game is fully rendered in 3-D with blocky objects that eventually break down into even smaller blocks, and the sphere that you’ll be working with is also rather jagged and blocky, which only completes the theme. The background features vibrant, somewhat muted colors that contrast nicely with the blocks in the foreground, and the particle effects when large blocks get smashed are hypnotic and mesmerizing. All animations are smooth and fluid with no lag on my iPhone 7. There’s a rather subtle ambient soundtrack that plays in the background, but it’s definitely not too noticeable. The sound effects of the blocks breaking and falling apart are much more noticeable than the music, and it’s fairly delightful to listen to them crumble. While the premise is pretty simple (blocky objects being destroyed), I still think the developer did an excellent job with creating a captivating abstract experience.
Like many other puzzle games, Art of Gravity is level-based, and players must clear each stage before they are able to move on to the next one. However, the game does not hold your hand at all — there are no explanations of what to do, nor are there any tutorials. Instead, players must figure out how to play the game on their own, which I like, because it’s more rewarding when you find out a game mechanic without help. The goal of the game is simple enough: destroy all of the abstract objects on the level through the use of a ball and the physics of gravity. It starts out easy, but as you discover more objects like reflective balls and glass barriers, things get a bit more tricky.
The controls in the game are easy to understand and rather intuitive. While Art of Gravity does not explain what each special block does, there is a brief tutorial in the beginning that shows you the controls. Essentially, in each stage you have a certain number of balls available at your disposal, which is shown in the upper right corner. As more ball types are added, you just tap on which ball you want to use this turn. To launch a ball at a block, just tap-and-drag from the block you want to attempt to destroy. When you do this, you get to see the x and y-axis on that particular block, and you drag your finger towards the side that you want the ball to come in from.
Usually, one regular ball will be enough to get rid of the standard white blocks, but more obstacles are introduced as you progress in the game. For example, the red blocks are more sturdy, so a regular ball won’t have enough momentum to break anything past the red block, unless you take advantage of the cloning green blocks, which “reflect” the ball on the opposite side. Then there are even blue balls that will disintegrate anything that it touches, and occasionally there are switches that you can toggle to lower or raise the blue glass barriers. These are just a sample of what I’ve discovered so far in the game, but the gradual pace of new game elements being added helps to keep the gameplay fresh and interesting.
Art of Gravity is definitely an abstract physics-based puzzle game, but it does everything well. The graphics in it look great, and watching blocks break into lots of itty bitty pieces is just satisfying, especially when you combine it with the collapsing sound effects. The controls work well and let you direct the point of impact for the best solution, and there is no penalties, so you can play the game at your own pace. All-in-all, this is just a good relaxing puzzle game to sit down with after a long day.
While it’s a great game, that isn’t to say that Art of Gravity isn’t without some flaws. If you like to replay certain stages, you have to go back in the levels one-by-one, because there is no level select screen that gives you an overview of what you’ve already completed. So if you have finished a lot of puzzles, then going back can be cumbersome. I also wish that there was a faster way to restart a puzzle, because at the moment, you would have to go into the pause menu to get to the restart button, whereas there’s an always present “undo” button on the stage — having an always present restart button would be helpful as well.
Overall, Art of Gravity is a gem for any physics-based puzzle game fan’s collection. The game not only looks good with the voxel-style graphics, but it has soothing music and realistic sound effects that just add a layer of depth to the game. Controls are simple enough, and not having the game tell you how everything works is a selling point, because it’s so much more rewarding that way once you figure something out. The flaws I’ve mentioned are something that the developer should think about optimizing in future updates, but this is still a solid game that deserves a spot on your device.
I recommend grabbing Art of Gravity if you are in the mood for a soothing physics-based puzzle game about gravity and destruction. You can find Art of Gravity on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for just $0.99.