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Gravity Ghost Review: A weird yet alluring puzzle game with animal ghosts

Let me sum up Gravity Ghost in one sentence. Gravity Ghost is a quirky and colorful indie game where you go around collecting the spirits of dead animals. Seriously!

Okay, so it’s about a little more than that, but that’s the game in a nutshell. Ultimately, it is a game about death and the grieving process. While that sounds like a heavy premise for a video game, it is actually a fairly relaxing experience – playing the game, that is… not dying.

You play as a young girl named Iona who goes around the galaxy collecting stars and reuniting the ghosts of animals with their corpses. Sounds weird, right? It is!

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The ghosts and stars are scattered about the galaxy, which is divided into various stages. Each stage consists of a planet, planets, or asteroids. These objects have varying degrees of gravity depending on their size.

At its core, Gravity Ghost is a physics-based puzzle game. The objective is as simple as collecting items. Stars open doors to new worlds; flowers can be harvested to extend the length of your hair and to terraform planets. I did say this game was weird!

And as for those animal ghosts, first, you have to catch them. They move in the direction opposite of you, so you have to manipulate gravity to make sure that you meet each other at the same point. Once you catch them, you can return them to their body and “free” them from this world.

When I say that you can manipulate gravity, I mean that you start with a basic jump ability. Eventually, you’ll find other abilities like a dash, the ability to fall faster toward an object, and a useful gliding ability that basically puts you on an elliptical path.

Larger planets obviously have more gravity, pulling you more than smaller objects. Some are hard and can’t be penetrated. You can go “through” planets with lots of water with relative ease, but it’s not as easy to jump from them. Other planets are bouncy and act like springs in a pinball machine.

If you have enough flowers, you can transform these planets into different elements. Simply circle the planet with your desired element equipped and you’ll terraform the planet. For instance, an ice-covered planet can be transformed into an aquatic paradise.

The PS4 version of Gravity Ghost comes with twenty extra levels not included in the PC version, which came out in 2015. Other than that, the two are basically the same.

By the way, there is a story involved that is told through cut scenes. I would rather not give away the details lest I spoil the plot. As I already mentioned, this is a game that basically deals with death in a loving, almost soothing way.

While I’ll give the developers credit for creativity and tackling a tough subject, the story feels disjointed. The cut scenes look like they are hand-drawn, which is neat, but the storytelling feels out of place a lot of the time. It doesn’t help that the voice acting lacks an emotional punch. I think it’s fair to say that the cut scenes were a bit cobbled together.

That being said, there’s more to like than dislike in Gravity Ghost. It’s a game that is worth experiencing just for its quirkiness alone, even though it is not very challenging as a physics-based puzzle game. I also like the fact that there is no killing involved – just collecting, discovering, and enjoying the peaceful and colorful world that the developers put together. Plus, the $10 price tag is not going to set you back much.