One of the main reasons that Apple doesn’t allow Adobe Flash on their devices is the potential competition from free online games. I can see their point, but I don’t agree with it, after all most Flash games I have tried playing on a mobile with Android 2.2+ or webOS 2.0+ are usually too slow and buggy to provide any real rival to games in any of the app stores.
So, when a Flash game is ported to a mobile device, this time Windows Phone 7, it is interesting to see how it turns out. The game is Gravity Guy, and the question has to be, is it worth buying when you can play it for free on your PC or Mac?
I’m afraid that, if you do have access to a PC(and who doesn’t?) to play the Flash version then my advice would be to stick to that, as while this Windows hone version tries admirably to add a lot of content, I just can’t see the value in it, unless you are hunting for Gamer Score.
The game follows the adventures of the titular Gravity Guy as he escapes prison in a nice cut scene and must evade the clutches of the Gravity Troops. Gravity Guy always runs automatically to the right, and the only control you have of him is to touch the screen to flip gravity.
When you do this, he will jump and run along the ceiling. Press the screen again to make him jump the opposite way and run back along the floor. Miss a platform and make him fall out of the screen and it’s back to the last checkpoint. Troops are also running after you, keeping the pressure up, and will kill you if they get too close. So, while running into walls isn’t punished directly, it means the trooper will gain precious seconds behind you.
You can confuse the enemy and get him to fall to his doom or become trapped if you are really quick and clever, but you will probably just be trying to survive most of the time. There are also some speed pads lying around to give you a quick boost. The checkpoints are very well placed in the game and prove key to keep you playing.
A big problem here is the premise and the way it isn’t fully taken advantage of in the game. You see, if you are changing gravity at will, why does it not take effect if Gravity Guy is off the ground? It would be really cool to switch halfway between platforms and watch him slow down and start to fall the other way. There could be some amazing level designs utilising this, but maybe this is the game showing its Flash limitations. Maybe it should have been called Switch Guy, as you are actually just switching platforms all the time.
The graphics are quite nice, and apart from a few added night effects, identical to the original.
There is a story mode, which is basically the Flash game with more levels, extra special effects and a couple of cut scenes. Most of your time will be spent here, but there is also an added Endless mode added for mobile, as well as a multi-player mode.
The Endless mode does exactly what you would expect it to do, but if you were expecting online multi-player gravity running in the multi-player mode, prepare to be disappointed, as while that mode is present and correct on iOS, here there is just a local four player mode. Fun, but not as addictive and compelling as online play.
This is an Xbox Live title, so there is the usual online leaderboards, achievements and free trial. If you have downloaded the free trial or played the free web version and are wondering if it is worth upgrading to the full version, well in my opinion no it just isn’t worth the steep asking price of £2.29/$2.99.
Overall, this is a fun little game that probably won’t keep you addicted for more than an hour. If you are desperate for some Gamer Score, or are a fan of the Flash game absolutely must play this on the go, then go ahead and buy it. The fact that this is available on the iPhone for a third of the price with online play is a bit of an insult, but it isn’t a bad game by any stretch, just an extremely limited experience that is horribly overpriced.