Team Ninja Thumbs has some fun with physics in their new arena brawler Grabity. This is one game that lives and dies on its engine – does its multiplayer antics hold up under pressure?
Featuring a number of different robotic companions, the key to victory isn’t through fisticuffs, but with thrown objects. Players can pick up and launch a number of items that will instantly take down enemies. This grabbing mechanic is an interesting hook; players must scour the environment for the proper tools, and each stage can provide an advantage or disadvantage. It’s not unlike turning items on in a game of Super Smash Bros – it’s not terrible, but it’s an acquired taste. Things get that much crazier when more players get into the mix – supporting up to four players, a lot of things can fly when more people (or bots) are added.
In addition, there are unique items that can be gathered on the battlefield. Not only can players nab themselves shields, there are also offensive options like a shock item and bombs. It can be fun to utilize these things, but it sometimes comes at the cost of being a little random. This isn’t a FGC ready game, but rather a party one. Items can be turned off, but the playing field is not always as level as it should be.
Thankfully, the physics in place here work as they should. Each robot has a double jump and dash move, and can also wall jump. Grabbing and flinging items works as it should, and the speed that each items moves keeps you on your toes. Death is commonplace, and a respawn is literally seconds away.
There is some variety to the game as well. In addition to the standard Deathmatch and Elimination modes, there is also a King of the Hill-style mode called “King of the Crate,” a “Juggernaut” mode that lets players bulk up after kills, and “Craterball,” which has players scoring goals with a ball while dealing with their opponents. There is no shortage of options here, and the 12 stages available keep things unique. Some are simple arenas, while others have bouncy pads, lava, and changing gravity. Players can also hit the leaderboards, and show off their prowess to the world – a nice touch.
It’s just a shame that there are so few music tracks – players will hear the same song ad infinitum. In addition, the aesthetics are somewhat plain, with players only able to adjust each combatant’s head, pack, gun, and color. Some more color outside of the playable characters, or anything distinct, would really help it stand out amidst the grungy aesthetics we’ve seen so many times before.
Grabity is a casual party game that largely succeeds at what it tries to do. It’s not the deepest or unique title around, but those looking for a new game for their group can do far worse.
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