Today’s letter is G.
Does it stand for Gonzo? Groucho? No? Gravity! I knew it. Third time’s the charm.
While the name is minimalist, the game simply known as ‘G’ offers a rather complex and challenging puzzle experience in an entirely different setting — The Rain, a mysterious conglomeration of resources floating in space towards Earth. As an intrepid explorer, your mission is to gather more information about this phenomenon for the corporation of your choosing.
Gameplay is based around firing sounding rockets into space, then guiding them past by targets to gather information. This is accomplish by controlling impulse strength, burn duration and the direction the rocket fires from your ship. Impulse determines how powerfully the rocket flies, while the burn duration dictates the length of this drive.
As the name would imply, gravity plays a critical role, existing as various forms, like chunks of ice. Factoring the gravitational pull of these elements is crucial when when firing your rockets, as their strength and location will ultimately guide the rocket. Even with a generous tutorial, it can take a while to get used to the implementation of the concept, and this process is unfortunately marred by frequent freezes. Some with larger fingers might get a little frustrated with the fine touch the gameplay requires.
G only offers a single campaign mode, which begins with a taste of impressively-rendered graphics and a backstory spoken by a nameless female. Afterwards, you are asked to select your corporate affiliation from a list of 10 companies like Clarifex or Mystery Alliance. Once you select one, it brings you to a contract screen and locks your choice. A plot involving corporate intrigue is established, showing good potential for a storyline, but none of the corporations in G differ in any way, making us wonder why we need to choose one at all.
The game does tend to get stale quickly, which could easily be remedied by recognizing its potential for plot and purpose. Space can be lonely, and even with the occasional ramblings from your friendly ship chief, maneuvering those sounding rockets can begin to feel like actual research. And a slow-paced game such as this doesn’t have much of an excuse for its technical shortcomings.
But still, it’s not often that we see a puzzle game with the amount of effort and innovation that obviously went into G. Its clever puzzles and complex gameplay are certianly worth your consideration.