graviton 1Back in March we previewed Virtway's upcoming Graviton, an iPhone gravity game in the vein of classic Thrust.  The game has just arrived in the App Store [link], published by Chillingo.

After devastating the largest cities of Earth and extracting all of its natural resources, the Xugg'zak left behind a planet buried in debris.

As the pilot of the Graviton ship, your mission is to salvage the scarce energy spheres that the Xugg'zak have left behind, and take them to a safe place where will be processed to rebuild what's left from the human race.

In Graviton, the player is given tilt-based control of a ship equipped with a magnetic grappling hook.  The mission is to pick up a metal orb with the hook and carry it through a series of five different post-apocalyptic environments filled with a variety of obstacles, some of which are interactive (drop the orb into a moving cart, charge the orb to unlock doors, etc).

Graviton screenThe game features "2.5D" graphics and a realistic physics model that delivers gravity, inertia, and momentum, adding to the challenge of completing the objective.  In-game tutorials explain the action, three levels of difficulty help tune the game to the player's particular skill level, and on-line leaderboards add to the competitive value of the game.

I've played through several of the game's environments and find it to be a worthy take on the Thrust formula, with particularly clever obstacles.  My only real complaint with the game is to do with its hovering mechanic.  While most gravity games require constant triggering of downward thrust to remain aloft (which can be very challenging in close quarters), Graviton's ship will remain safely pinned in mid-air if the device is held at the proper angle.  It's a control mechanic that I find a bit too forgiving for my taste, but isn't reason enough for me to recommend that gravity fans pass on this challenging title.

See Virtway's trailer video.

Chillingo indicates that if the game sells well, additional levels will be provided in a free update to owners.

App Store Link: Graviton, $1.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • http://www.yvan256.net yvan256

    It's extremely rare for me to buy a game simply after watching the trailer.

  • Presnter

    Really good game. But: I like having no time limits (just me), and that angle calibration at the start takes a bit of guesswork to figure out.

  • http://www.squarezerostudio.com Jose

    I've been looking forward to this since TouchArcade covered the beta months ago. The finished product does not disappoint, though it definitely could use a bit more spit and polish (for example, the shadow rendering is a bit off, and I've encountered a couple of collision detection issues). All in all, it's an inventive and beautifully crafted game.

  • http://www.somagames.com John

    I saw the teaser for this game about a month ago and have been looking for it since. Right off I was not disappointed . Game play was great, graphics sweet, difficulty just right. I have only played the easiest level and have not figured out how to score much in the game but overall it gets a 5 star from me. Graviton's use of the accelerometer is top notch too.

    John

    Soma Games
    Home of G

  • http://www.yvan256.net yvan256

    The controls (accelerometer) is so far from top notch that I can barely play the game on my first generation iPod touch.

    Completely useless until they fix that. It's not nearly sensitive enough and requires way too much tilt to move the ship. I'm hoping for at least a "sensitivity/tilt" setting.

    And btw, the calibration before starting a game is too short, the first time I didn't even know what was going on before it was done.

  • http://www.yvan256.net yvan256

    Ok, after giving it another chance, I have to say that I messed up. I forgot to take the inertia of the ship into account and the controls are so sensitive that I wasn't being precise enough in my controlling the ship.

    I do wish the calibration would let me play in a more "vertical" style (i.e. the range of allowed angles to play the game, when calibrating, seems limited).

    Otherwise, I like the story background, I like the graphics, I like the music. Well worth the price.

  • http://waaghman.blogspot.com WaaghMan

    Bought the game. It starts off easy, but later levels can get really hard on some points. I love the Indiana Jones-like rolling ball on the fourth level.

  • Stu

    I tried it and it is really good. I can't wait to get next level.

    I love gravity/physic games.

  • Jim

    I have tried it and it is really cool! I love the physic ball and the use of accelerometer.

    I recommend it.