Indie Review – Gravity Bone

Gravity Bone is an action game played from a first-person perspective where you take the role of a super spy on a few top secret missions. I say “a few” because the entirety of the game can be played in under half an hour, but it’s one of the best 30 minutes I’ve spent with a game in a long time! Kudos to the creator, Brendon Chung, for making this gem of indie gaming. It just goes to show how much one person can do with the tools that are out there.

Gravity Bone Screen Shot

Gravity Bone Screen Shot


Look & Feel

From the moment you start, Gravity Bone offers an amazing ambiance full of life. The blocky nature of the character models and animations is quickly forgotten due to the amazing textures on their faces and bodies. In fact, I almost prefer it to the “realistic” models found in a lot of other games. I spent a good amount of time just wandering around the initial area looking at the other characters from various angles. This just proves, yet again, that a game doesn’t have to have the highest-end graphics or realistic characters to be great. As a player, I am delighted to suspend my disbelief and accept the square-faced people around me as real, normal individuals in the game world. The audio and sound effects complimented the atmosphere beautifully and reminded me of a James Bond movie. The entire game has a dry sense of humor, lightly mocking itself and its genre while maintaining a surreal but serious visage to the player.

Level Design

Gravity Bone guides you through its story and goals without making you feel babied, a tribute to Brendon’s skill as a level designer. New controls, goals, and concepts are introduced smoothly and you never feel overwhelmed as you add to your repertoire of possible actions. The missions seem completely random from an objective point of view, yet somehow they integrate seamlessly inside of this brightly colored world of espionage. The story unravels at a good pace, keeping my attention at all times and even throwing a surprise twist. Maybe I should have seen it coming?… Regardless, all of you aspiring level designers should take a long time going through this game, studying the techniques Brendon uses to steer the player to specific sections without making them feel like they don’t have a choice. Even the instructions are built into the levels, appearing on signs the player encounters along the way and strategically placed to help out just when the player needs to know how to do a specific action.

Gravity Bone - Instructions signs in level.

Gravity Bone - Instructions signs in level.


Gravity Bone - More Instructions

Gravity Bone - More Instructions


Conclusion

If I have a complaint about Gravity Bone, it is only that the game is painfully short (I was serious when I said it would take you no more than 30 minutes, and that’s only if you stop and admire things like I did). But it is a bittersweet pain – every minute was packed full of action, suspense, and a nagging feeling that made me keep going. Despite the linear storyline and knowing what was going to happen, I played through the game two times just to get a broader appreciation for the environment. I sincerely hope that he’ll make a sequel. Having had this as a teaser, I’d gladly shell out some cash to experience this again in a longer format.

Get the Game

The game can be downloaded from Brendon’s website, Blendo Games, and it does not need installation or any additional files. I strongly recommend that you play it right now – you’ve got 30 min, right? Dinner can wait. You’ll be glad that you did.

Blendo Games: http://www.blendogames.com/

2 Responses to “Indie Review – Gravity Bone”

  1. Scott Enders says:

    Dang, that game is really cool. I totally agree with you. A very neat game.

  2. Alex says:

    Ah nice! I worked with Brendon on LOTR: Conquest. We all love his little project, too, and glad to hear that others are aware of it. Nice meeting you at the GGP gathering at GDC, btw.

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