Nailing that feeling of satisfaction when you’ve figured out a solution to the task at hand is very difficult. Not all mechanics allow it and not all games offer more than one route from point A to point B. I believe gravity manipulation and physics-based gameplay is one of the greatest things gaming has bothered exploring. When done well, it is logical, intuitive and rewarding. It’s like pulling out that second to last piece of Jenga.
This is what Defy Gravity Extended is: an extremely satisfying game. You play as Kara, following the Samus school of power armour where you couldn’t tell the gender were it not for the game description. She has to prove herself as a Gravitymancer in the Gauntlet, using her sassy gravity gun (which looks a bit like a Super Soaker). The gun can set two kinds of fields: one that attracts and one that repels. This is the basic premise, and the levels are variations upon previously-set rules. You might encounter enemies who are also affected by the gravity fields, a level may turn your anti-gravity shield permanently on, or you’ll have to use platforms affected by your gravity gun as well.
The graphics are really basic, and I admit I was a tad skeptical when I saw some screenshots, but after 5 minutes into the game all my doubts were washed away. The levels are very well-made and reward smart thinking. The first few stages give you hints where to place the respective gravity fields, but you will soon realize that you can use even less resources than recommended.
The music is also really good. Now, I’m not a music reviewer and I lack the capacity to translate how music feels using words, but Defy Gravity’s soundtrack took me off-guard in a very pleasant way.
The only complaint I can think of is a lack of level editor, which seems extremely appropriate for a game like this.
You can find the game on Steam. It’s short, it’s cheap and it’s really fun. Puzzle or platform fans will love it and I’m sure even those who haven’t dabbled in the genre would likely enjoy it.
Developer: Fish Factory Games
Genre: Puzzle platformer
Time: 90 minutes without finishing hardcore mode.
Gripes: Lack of level editor.
Get it for the: Very satisfying gameplay and good gravity mechanics.
Full disclosure: PXOD was given a PC review copy of the game from the developer. The game was played to completion save for the unlockable hardcore mode.