Developed By : Woblyware
Published By : Ratalaika Games
Category : Puzzle, Platformer
Release Date : Aug 16, 2019
Animals are phenomenal creatures, some capable of feats that are otherwise impossible. Giraffes have their long necks to reach super high trees for food, bats are capable of navigating in the dark to stalk their prey, and ducks are capable of manipulating and alternating gravity. Um…wait, I’m being handed a note from my producer here…okay it looks like ducks can’t manipulate gravity. However, if you wish that they did have this power, then look no further than Woblyware’s Gravity Duck on the Nintendo Switch.
Now, the duck that you’ll be controlling in this game doesn’t naturally have the ability to control gravity. Instead, it’s bestowed upon the duck by a totem in the woods. The totem tells you there are golden eggs scattered around the world, and you are being forced to retrieve these eggs. If you do, and retrieve all of them, the totem promises to make you rich, and in turn gives you the power of gravity to help you on your quest.
Gravity Duck is comprised of four worlds, totalling in 140 levels all together, and each one has it’s own egg that must be retrieved. Visually, the worlds are themed to The Forest, Underground, The Mountains, and The City in turn, but the theme also brings along the introduction of new obstacles. No matter what lies in your way though, you’ll need to get to retrieve the egg by reaching it’s place at the end of a level.
You can walk back and forth like normal, or up and down when the situation calls for it, and you can flip the gravity to it’s opposite of where you currently are anytime you want. The catch to flipping gravity is you need to be standing still on the ground, you can’t flip it willy-nilly and float across long chasms.
For the majority of the game you’ll only be concerned with the gravity pushing either up or down, but eventually you’ll be dealing with the addition of gravity wells. These are represented by yellow dots, with a smaller revolving yellow dot that will shift it 90-degrees to the right. The easiest way to track this is with your feet, when falling with your feet down if you hit one of the wells, your feet will now fall towards the right.
As far as the things trying to prevent you from getting the eggs, some of these will be static obstacles within the level, while a few things can move and sort of hunt you down. The most popular obstacle is going to be the first one you run into : spikes. They are present on surfaces that can be floors for you, and are usually there to try and trick you from landing, since you can control the duck’s side-to-side movement in the air. Others include objects that fire off a single round of something, or swinging spike clubs that have to be timed just right.
Moving enemies include things like goats or dogs that will be triggered if you share a platform with them, causing them to run back and forth until they either hit you or you get far away. Bats will track you down and fly after you once you are within a certain proximity, but again will stop if you get far enough away. There is even a Native Chief who patrols back and forth in a certain area, but if he sees you in front of him, he’ll stop and start shooting a blow-dart at you.
If you’re looking for a challenge, the one offered in Gravity Duck isn’t a lot, but there are a fair share of levels that will have you gritting your teeth. A lot of levels are pretty small, allowing you to see the end from where you start so you can pretty much map your route and how/where you’ll need to flip gravity. Other levels are a toss-up dependent on how well you can react on the fly. These will either be reactionary levels, or become a sort of memory game, committing you to break the level down into segments mentally. Either way, they’re not crazy tough, and the entire game can be tanked in a couple of hours at the most.
Visually and audibly, the game is very reminiscent of old 8- and 16-bit games. Backgrounds are specific to each world, and either do not change at all for the entirety of that world, or do so in a very minute way that is hard to notice (unless you’re trying to notice). The layout of the levels changes constantly, so you’ll always be seeing varying amounts of the background anyways. The music fit really well with the game and was a very fun background noise, one that just blends right in with the gameplay instead of being obnoxious and trying to stand out.
Overall, Gravity Duck is a pretty fun game. For adults it will be an easy task to rip through everything in a single sitting, but you may be able to pass the Switch on over to your younger gamers and present them with a challenge that will scratch their brains. And for such a low pricetag, it’s really hard not to recommend this game. So I guess, if you don’t like fun things, don’t buy this game. Otherwise, clear some room on the digital shelf, and prepare to get ducky!