As the title implies, Gnu Revenge is a tale of vengeance wrapped up in a rather simple game that has some clever ideas. At the outset, we find out that all of the gnus have been captured by a wily space crocodile who looks a lot like a space T-Rex. However, not quite all of the gnus have been taken away; a sole gnu remains as their last hope… and he has a jetpack, to boot! And so it falls to him to rescue his kind by blasting off into outer space and smashing some space crocodiles.
Other than an”abort/retry” button, there is only one button you need to use in this game, and it controls the burst from the gnu’s jetpack. Using that, your goal is to fly into the three bubble-trapped gnus (who represent the traditional stars of these types of games) spread throughout each stage and finish by smashing into the croc’s saucer, sending him flying off into another region of space. As you progress, you’ll encounter different obstacles, such as cannons, planetoids and black holes, and bursts of air that can knock you off-course. There are no other controls besides boosting and not-boosting, so it’s up to you to make the most of your environment to rescue as many gnus as possible and knock off the croc’s block.
The gravity of the situation.
It all sounds very good on paper, and it’s fun in practice, but only for a little while. Succeeding is very much a process of trial-and-error, and with so little influence over anything besides your jetpack boost, it can grow rather boring, tiresome, and tedious. Trial and error isn’t anything new to iPhone games, but in a case such as Angry Birds, at least there are a number of variables to consider: the type of bird you launch, where it should hit, how structures are likely to fall, etc. In Gnu Revenge, it’s all purely a matter of figuring out when to boost and for how long.
Worse, a lot of stages have very tiny margins of error; boost for a microsecond longer than necessary, and you spin out of a planet’s orbit. A microsecond shorter, and you’ll crash and burn. As a result, you’ll likely find yourself flipping back and forth between the two a lot as you try to find the sweet spot which assures success.
Incidentally, we can’t say that the gnus are terribly endearing in their design, either. They remind us of those annoying characters in cartoons that you just want to smack, and the idea of rescuing them is almost akin to that of saving an army of Jar-Jar Binkses. For your money, Gnu Revenge gets you 72 levels spread across four worlds, but after a short while it seems unlikely you’re going to want to see them all. As for the gnus… well, space crocodiles need to eat too, right?