Gravity Duck is a simplistic yet charming puzzle-platformer from Woblyware and Ratalaika Games. Taking on the form of a wealth-hungry duck, your goal in each level is to collect the golden egg waiting for you at the end, as instructed by a sentient Maui Statue. In order to get there, you’ve got to run, flip and fall as you manipulate gravity to suit your needs.
As with most puzzlers, there isn’t much of a developed narrative to speak of beyond this. The first few levels act as an extended tutorial, slowly introducing you to the various mechanics, and make clear the essential two rules of the game: that levels must be completed without a single error, and in order to collect an egg, your centre of gravity must match that of the egg. Yes, you read that right; if you die, you’ve got to start the level all over again – so don’t get careless.
Avoiding all of the hazardous obstacles in your way is, without a doubt, the most challenging aspect of the game. Sharp spikes, moving blocks, flying enemies and crawling bugs are just some of the hurdles you’ll come across, and often they’ll be in close proximity to each other, leaving little room for error.
Sadly, this can often feel unfair, as in many situations you have to make a “leap of faith” due to the lack of insight as to what’s ahead of you. Trying, and trying again, ends up your only option. As such, if you’re going to take on the challenge of Gravity Duck, you’ll need to have a steady hand and copious amounts of patience. Thankfully, there are no time requirements or limits to worry about.
Physical obstacles aren’t the only challenges you need to watch out for, though. Second-guessing your movements and timing your leaps incorrectly can be equally fatal mental challenges to face. Often, you’ll think you’re leaping towards a gravity well at the right time to be sent in the right direction (spoilers: it isn’t), or you’ll instinctively move yourself out of what you think is harm’s way, only to find yourself in an even worse predicament. Trusting your instincts is not always beneficial to you here, so take the time to evaluate your choices.
There are four chapters to explore in Gravity Duck; the forest, the underground, the mountains, and the city. Each of these chapters is visualised in a vibrant pixel art aesthetic, making for truly great level design variety. These visuals, together with the energetic 8-bit background music, make Gravity Duck a genuinely enjoyable experience – if you can avoid making any mistakes, and turning your console off out of spite, of course.
Gravity Duck‘s intuitive and accessible control scheme only adds to its appeal. It’s as simple as using the left analogue stick or left on the D-pad to move, and A to manipulate gravity. Touchscreen controls, though, would have made this title truly at home on the Switch. It is a shame that this opportunity was passed up, considering how much more comfortable the game is to play in handheld mode over docked.
With a solid offering of 140 challenging levels, Gravity Duck is a nifty little title that will make a welcome addition to any Nintendo Switch library. Although it can feel frustrating at times, and you might find the gameplay slightly repetitive in the end, its gorgeous pixelated aesthetic and engaging puzzles more than make it worth its £4.99 price tag.
Gravity Duck £4.99
Gravity Duck is a nifty little puzzler, offering plenty of levels to try your hand at. Although frustrating at times, with a price tag of only £4.99, its stunning pixel aesthetic and enjoyable gameplay more than justify your purchase.