Gravity Duck


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Rating: 4.1/5 (131 votes)
| Comments (18) | Views (122)

TrickyGravity DuckDucks. Who doesn't love ducks? We love them when they wear sailor suits and antagonize chipmunks. We love them when they guide speech-impaired hunters to the homes of smart-alecky rabbits. And we love them when their Maoi Duck God grants them the power over gravity so that they may gather golden eggs for tribute. Such is the case with WoblyWare's new pixelated physics puzzle platformer, Gravity Duck.

You'll be guiding your duck through forty levels of egg-gathering action. The [arrow] keys move your duck left and right (or up and down depending on the gravity). Hitting [X] when on a solid surface flip-turns the gravity upside-down, sending you careening from platform to platform, with the ultimate goal of making way to the golden egg on each screen (and it is required that you be rotated the same way as said egg to pick it up, something that creates a minor but palpable increase in challenge). If you hurtle yourself into a spinning yellow gravity well, the gravity shifts 90 degrees based on which way the well is rotating. Spikes, smashing blocks, caterpillars, spitting flowers and shooting fire flies later make appearances, attempting to poof you into non-existence, as well as the prerequisite bottomless-pits/ceilings/walls. Restarting a level is just a click away however, and progress is saved as you go on, but your progress is erased if you return to an earlier level.

Gravity DuckAnalysis: Gravity Duck is cute and has charm to spare, even if the gravity flipping mechanic is a trend that has been done before and better in more complex games like VVVVVV, the Shift Series or even Metal Storm on the NES (though, to be fair, none of those starred ducks). I did find some of the design elements a little random: the lack of a jump button was odd, especially considering how you control something that has wings. The fact that you could not change gravity in midair made things a little frustrating (though admittedly that might be because I have gotten use to that ability in some of the aforementioned games). I also found it strange that this duck seems to have no defense against creatures typically found lower on the food chain. The levels are consistently breezy and fun, though some of the later ones rely a bit too much on having too perfect timing to complete. But the music is bouncy, the graphics are retro, and triumphing over a level that had given you trouble is as satisfying as always.

What I found most refreshing about Gravity Duck, though, is how it breaks away from some of the pretensions of the niche gravity game genre. In the past, if a platformer was to play with gravity, it seemed that it also had to try to play with your mind, or at least was required to have a severely bleak aesthetic. By contrast, Gravity Duck is colorful, playful and kid-friendly (provided said kid is looking for a challenge), and while it's not particularly unique or varied, it's an all-around enjoyable world to take a waddle through. For what it's worth, the ending sequence cracked me up. I would have said "quacked" me up, but the bounty the word-play police has taken out on me is large enough already.

Play Gravity Duck

18 Comments

Just finished it. I thought it was a very good time waster and not too challenging, but challenging enough to give you a sense of small gratitude when the level is over. (Especially the last couple, or any where you're being missile'd)

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Grasa Total Author Profile Page October 28, 2010 11:56 AM

I don't know about the others, but you can neither jump nor flip gravity midair in VVVVVV. (As casual-ized versions of hot games go, this actually seemed pretty good, but that's damning with faint praise.)

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I also can't flip gravity in mid air. The game is unplayable for me.

[That's one of the constraints of this game. You're not supposed to be able to flip gravity in mid air, except for when touching a yellow gravity well. -Jay]

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colin72,
You aren't supposed to be able to flip gravity mid air in this game, use the yellow orb thingies instead.

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That was really fun.

After winning, I was half expecting

to be able to play through the levels wearing the top hat

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fattywads Author Profile Page October 28, 2010 3:33 PM

cool game till it crashed flash!

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Cool game til I went back to the earlier levels to remind myself the gravity rules. I was on level 38, went to level 4, and all my progress was lost. Not gonna waste my time playing it all over from scratch again.

Pretty serious bug too, if you ask me.

[That is a pretty serious bug, and I've confirmed that it doesn't save the highest level you've completed, only the last level you've completed. I've contacted the developer to see if we can get an update that fixes that. -Jay]

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Cyberjar88 Author Profile Page October 28, 2010 5:41 PM

I am predicting many Ragequits on this game...

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Wow, this is making me hate fireflies more than anything since Owl City. That's a compliment (to the game, not to Owl City). Yaay ducks.

The physics does seem a little slippy; I think I tend to overrun the edges of platforms even when I've let go of the arrow, though that may just be poor reflexes.

Also I think gravity-switchers may have dark premises because you die lots.

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Easy peasy. Which is great, I really hoped that this game wouldn't pull the "first 90% game easy, last 10% impossible" trick and it didn't.

However, I wasn't that impressed with the ending. Too predictable.

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New version up that fixes the 'lost progress' bug.

Thanks, Lauri! :)

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I got up to level 40, and then stepped away. When I reloaded the game, I lost all my progress. No thanks, I won't be trying it again. Don't need to finish it.

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It seems to be loading forever? :(

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Wait, nvm. It works now. Took so long!

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The link isn't working at all now.

The loading screen never appears; it is just the blue JIG background.

[Looks like Dreamhost is down right now. Try back in a little bit, should be a temporary issue. -Jay]

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@SkylerF - the server is back up. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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The last level is a real pain.

My computer lags or the duck slides off the edge instead of flipping gravity.

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hi, I am stuck at level 40...
what is the trick to cross that one?

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