Gravity is famous for many things, the biggest jewel in its crown of achievement being its ability to keep things in their rightful place, i.e. firmly planted on the ground, as opposed to simply floating off into space. I can’t deny that I’m a fan of gravity, but what of those who aren’t? Who yearn to lift off and sail away into the stratosphere?
It’s a no-brainer: keep on dreaming. But here’s a consolation: try No Gravity, a game for proponents of that ‘unbearable lightness of being’. More in today’s review…
Features & Use
Test device: Motorola Defy with CM7
App: runs as of Android 2.2
Despite the hippy-happy tone of the introduction to today’s featured app, No Gravity is, in fact, a space shooter game. That means plenty of laser canons and battling it out against aliens on various planets, but also receiving helpful power-ups and protecting convoys and satellites.
There are three types of space ships and the player must choose one to navigate. Make your pick via touch screen, controller (Zeemote) or 3D sensor. The ship is equipped with a primary plasma weapon and a secondary adjustable weapon (a shield).
Power-ups can be obtained after you have managed to overpower an enemy ship, space rubbish or asteroids. Collect the power-ups as they can make the plasma weapon stronger (for a limited amount of time) or else provide you with the following secondary weapons:
• Rockets which will trail enemy ships, provided you have them in your aim
• A shield that will protect your ship from attacks for a few seconds (it has to be reactivated each time)
• An energy weapon (it has to be charged)
I especially like the app's narrative. A film is shown before the start of every mission, explaining why the mission is necessary. A nice feature, because it functions as a kind of leitmotif throughout the entire game. It's nice to follow a story whilst simultaneously playing a game. The films are in English only.
As far as structure goes: the whole shebang is divided into individual mission, which in turn are broken down into chapters. The player must fulfill certain requirements and basically ward off enemy attacks – with a little help from giant ships navigated by computers.
No Gravity comes with lots of extras, but, truth be told, I find these to be little more than storage space hoggers. If you want to listen to the soundtrack (which, admittedly, isn't half bad) go to 'Credits'; the same goes for if you want to re-watch certain film sequences. But I could do without all of that, in favour of saving more virtual memory. I do, however, like the option of being able to keep more than one score; this is especially advantageous on tablets.
No Gravity is an excellent game that will capture your attention for hours on end. Admittedly, it might not be as much fun on a screen that’s smaller than 3,7 inches, but the controls and graphic design are great nonetheless. Oh oh, I feel an even bigger urge to buy a tablet coming on!
Screen & Controls
While the game’s menu didn’t exactly rock my boat I am enthusiastic about No Gravity in all other departments. Navigate the ship via the device’s locus sensor or a d-pad that appears onscreen. There are a few tiny bugs it would seem, i.e. the controls axis is turned backwards via the motion sensor—but in general all it takes is to start the game anew to sort out such little glitches.
The app’s design is stunning. The light effects in particular are really well done and lovely to behold.
Speed & Stability
No Gravity’s speed is pretty good all things considered. The game lags only when the ship flies through elaborate light effects. If you’re bothered by this you can always regulate the graphic details in the game’s settings. The game also takes a while to load.
Unfortunately, the app’s stability was less than stellar during our test runs. There was a fair amount of crashing, specifically at the end of a mission.
No Gravity costs 3.99 CA$ and the price seems fair considering how elaborate the game is. It’s available from the Android Market.