Gravity Duck Review

I’m really going to struggle to fill out very many words in this review. While Gravity Duck is fun enough, there’s really not much to it. A procession of short, snappy levels keep the game flowing nicely, though there’s rarely one that actually poses a challenge.

The central – and only – concept here is that a press of the A button will flip your ducks alignment of gravity. Up becomes down, left becomes right. Think along the lines of VVVVVV and you’ll get the idea. You can only manually flip one direction though – floor to ceiling, or wall to wall – at any time. When it calls for you to change your axis, you’ll need to find one of the yellow switches to pass through, which will turn you 90 degrees.

Levels are designed around short, sharp play sessions. Most will take no more than 20 seconds to clear, even on your first try. There are 4 world themes, each with about 30 ‘unique’ levels each. I put emphasis on unique, as I’m fairly certain I saw more than one stage across the worlds that, while not necessarily copied, felt pretty much identical to some previous efforts. I guess this just highlights the limitations of such a simple core idea, but if that’s the case, fewer levels would not have hampered the game at all.

Actually controlling the duck is at least snappy and responsive. Rarely did I find that I died because I lost control. In fact, most deaths were because of the slightly wonky hit detection. Moving hazards were especially hard to judge, as just being even a pixel too close resulted in a restart, even if it appeared as though you were in the clear.

Restarts are not as fast as you’d expect in a game such as this mind. While still only a couple of seconds, an instant restart – such as that found in Super Meat Boy – would have made things that much smoother, and less frustrating when the aforementioned collision detection killed you yet again.

Conclusion

In the end, anyone with even a modicum of ability and patience will breeze through Gravity Duck in about an hour. While there are a couple of trickier levels, you’ll likely blitz through most on your first try. With no incentive at all to replay levels (no time attack/hidden items etc) and the full 1000G gained in half the time it takes to clear the game, I can’t really recommend it to anyone outside of achievement hunters.

This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.
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Good
  • Visuals are charming
  • Snappy controls
  • Easy 1000G
Bad
  • Far too simple
  • Complete lack of replay value
  • Recycled level designs
  • Cheap deaths at the hands of collision detection
2.8
Awful
Gameplay - 3
Graphics - 4
Audio - 2.5
Longevity - 1.5
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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