GAME NAME: Gravity Badgers
DEVELOPER(S): Wales Interactive Ltd.
PUBLISHER(S): Wales Interactive Ltd.
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo Wii U
RELEASE DATE(S): May 29th, 2014
As more and more mobile games start to get ported to the home consoles and steam, we have begun to see an influx of Angry Bird clones and other games similar in gameplay style. If you are going to mock a game though, Angry Birds would be one at the top of a short list. Gravity Badgers, from Wales Interactive, carries some similarities to Rovio’s franchise but does enough to differentiate itself and stand alone as a good puzzle title.
While not having the greatest storyline, there is a story present in Gravity Badgers. You play as Captain T. Bayback and you mostly travel through space to battle the Evil Honey Badgers a.k.a. The Hellsett. There are a few cut-scenes that progress the story, but I’d be lying if I said that they were interesting or well done. I feel that if the cut-scenes were more lighthearted or comical and had some voice-acting to go with them, they may have held my attention better.
The gameplay is very reminiscent of the Angry Birds franchise except that you are trying to collect 3 coin type items and end up in a green swirly hole. The physic-based puzzles are where the game shines. Trying to figure out the exact trajectory and power to launch the badger at while adhering to the gravitational push or pull of the planets is a fun aspect. They also throw in different elements such as glass tubes, which change your direction and ice blocks, which gives you the ability to relaunch yourself in any direction. You can use different control styles, such as the touch screen or buttons, but I would recommend the touch screen, as again, this is a mobile game port. Another cool feature is that if you miss the exit target, you will see your previous trajectory, which will help you adjust your shot the next turn.
Gravity Badgers is split up into a tutorial chapter, 5 actually story chapters and then bonus levels which gives you over 130 levels to play. One of the coolest features to this game is the boss battles at the end of each chapter. You have to launch yourself away from the boss while his energy level is depleted by laser shots. They are welcome breaks from the standard puzzle levels. The scoring structure is the same tired scoring structure from just about any mobile game on the market. If you finish the level without dying and collect the three coins you walk away with three stars. Once you lose lives or miss coins your stars go down, but you advance past the level.
Graphically the game looks okay, its HD visuals are crisp and the art style is pretty, but it lacks the overall polish of other titles I’ve seen on the Wii U. The soundtrack is awesome on the main screen and some of the boss fights, with groovy 80’s hair metal cheese. The in-level music is atmospheric but gets old after a bit
Gravity Badgers is a good game with a lot of content all for the price of 4.99. I would recommend it to any puzzle game fan looking for a fix on the Wii U. The physic puzzles are clever and fun to figure out. The biggest complaints I have is that the puzzle market is becoming overcrowded and this doesn’t do enough to stand out amongst the others with the story and mobile game menus and feel. If you can look past these few nuisances, Gravity Badgers is a worth addition to your Wii U library.