Gravity Runner

Gravity Runner is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Gravity Runner Review

Like characters in so many other games, Gravity Runner’s speedster doesn’t have any stated reason to risk his life by running across booby-trapped platforms. Of course, that doesn’t stop him. But if you’re not interested in experiencing extreme frustration, you might not want to indulge his futile choices.

Gravity Runner’s chief gimmick is its use of anti-gravity. After tapping the screen to jump, you can tap it a second time to flip gravity on its head, causing the runner to fall to the ceiling instead of the floor. You’ll have to use this often to avoid spikes, collect coins, and complete levels.

As you progress, new gameplay mechanics are introduced, such as power-ups that boost your speed or allow you to shift gravity twice in a single jump. These help add variety to the gameplay and allow for interesting twists to the level design.

Peril above, peril below.

The big downside to Gravity Runner is that it requires you to jump and shift gravity at very precise moments. Often, if you miss your mark by a fraction of a second you’ll fail to grab a vital power-up or impale yourself on spikes. After passing the first few levels, which are relatively easy, don’t be surprised if you have to restart sections of levels several dozen times before actually beating them.

An endless mode is also included, but it too is extremely difficult. It also lacks level variation. Since the generator chains together a limited number of environment sections, you may find yourself doing the same thing over and over again.

OpenFeint leaderboards back all the game modes, and the persistent will definitely be rewarded with impressive scores to show off. However, unless you like an intense challenge or adore old school pixel-perfect platforming, it just isn’t worth the effort to become a proficient gravity shifter.

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Gravity Runner Hands-On Preview

We’re sure many of our readers could handle platformers like Super Mario Brothers or Canabalt with one arm behind their back and blindfolded. But how about upside-down? Gravity Runner is an iPhone platformer with a vertigo-inducing twist.

Hitting the jump button twice in Gravity Runner doesn’t give you a boost like most platformers. Instead, it flips the gravity upside-down, allowing you to run on the ceilings and avoid spikes or large pits.

Gravity Runner contains 28 individual levels, where you can compete for the best time and upload your high scores to OpenFeint. There’s also a randomly-generated endless mode, which is always a welcome addition to games like these.

Your runner moves at a set speed, but getting caught on the environment and losing lives will hurt your top time. You can also shave a few seconds off your time by flying through the air– the more time you spend jumping and falling, the faster you’ll move.

On top of this, you’ll receive a gold trophy for completing a level with no lost lives. If you’re a player with pride, you’ll probably revisit earlier levels to make them through in one solid run.

Gravity Runner has a cool retro-styled look, sort of like Pix’n Love Rush, with large pixels making up the Mario-inspired environment. It’s also got a catchy soundtrack, which you can hear in the video below.

Gravity Runner will be out on the App Store in August, and if you’ve ever wanted Canabalt, Pix’n Love Rush, and The Impossible Game wrapped up in one app, this looks like it could be it.

Battle Bears GO Hands-On iPad Preview

Four months ago at GDC, we got our hands on a very early Battle Bears top-down shooter called Battle Bears -1. That game, along with a third-person 3D shooter called Battle Bears GO, must have both touched a cursed monkey head, because they’ve switched bodies. Now -1 is the third-person shooter, and GO is the top-down shooter.

At San Diego Comic-Con, among crowds of adoring fans who surrounded SkyVu’s new Huggable and Oliver mascots, we got to play a nearly complete version of Battle Bears GO on the iPad. The game’s inspiration is drawn even more directly from Smash TV than Battle Bears -1, with a top-down view and dual-stick control scheme.

One of the reasons GO migrated to the iPad from the iPhone is because of the amount of enemies you can see at one time on the larger screen. On the iPhone, the Huggables were nearly indistinguishable from pink and yellow ants. On the iPad, you can see fluffy limbs flapping around as you mow them down with a machine gun.

Speaking of weapons, they’re mostly the same as Battle Bears -1. That means instead of a unicorn crossbow, you’ll have more conventional weapons like a spread gun and rocket launcher. Updates are planned for all three games, though, which should increase the variety in the arsenal.

The most interesting addition to Battle Bears GO is the two-player cooperative mode. Sharing the same device, each player takes half of the screen for their dual-stick controls. Oliver and Riggs can both run around the arena, and it feels very much like Smash TV.

OpenFeint achievements will be included, but boss battles won’t make it at launch. SkyVu does plan to keep the updates coming, which makes us want to give them a big ol’ hug.