Gravity Well seems like it’d be a perfect event for the Space Olympics, but in a totally good way. It’s definitely hard to describe, but publisher Genius Factor Games probably says it best by calling it “an addictive mix of pinball and mini golf.”
Thanks to its original concept and high level of playability, Gravity Well makes for a pretty decent iPhone gaming experience.
The setup is simple. Using the power of what we can only assume is the “Gravity Well,” opened by touching the screen, the player must move a ball from one point of the board to another. The strength of the well is determined by how long it is kept open. Of course, it’s not always that easy, as the board is littered with obstacles like spikes and timed doors, among other hazards. Four strikes with any of these, and you’re out.
The gravity well itself basically acts like a black hole, pulling the ball in like a magnet. The corresponding physics, like acceleration, inertia, kinetic energy — let’s just say we hope you paid attention in physics class in high school. Understanding these concepts will probably help in the problem solving aspect of the game. Sure, it’s possible to just move the ball by tapping the screen in small increments, but since score is based on time and the number of touches per board, a little creativity comes into play. Giving that ball some crazy speed for a bank shot off the wall, through the timed gate and into the goal can be pretty cool.
There are some hiccups in the gameplay. The screen seems a little small for the board, so precise placement of the gravity well can be tough. This can get pretty frustrating on some of the more difficult boards; on the other hand, getting familiar with the gameplay is part of the fun, so we wouldn’t call it a handicap.
Tying everything together is a pretty slick soundtrack from The Humble Brothers, which is also available for download as an album from the iTunes store. As such, the Brothers override any option to play your own music.
All in all, Gravity Well is a challenging, yet accessible action-puzzle game that’s playable enough to keep you coming back for more. We recommend it.