High Gravity Wells

High Gravity Wells by Stockton for the Xbox 360

I make it a point to try nearly all of the games available in the Xbox Livie Indie Games section.  I try to find a gem or two a week and write a review.  Sometimes though it’s just good a idea to get some quick impressions out there to cover the mass of titles coming out every week.  In this article, I’ll briefly cover High Gravity Wells from developer Stockton.

The goal is simple: you must guide a spaceship into a space dock.  You move the spaceship by affecting the gravitational pull of objects designated with a button assignment.  Hold the button down, and the object will have a stronger pull on the ship.  You’ll have to find the right balance to avoid getting sucked into black holes or thrown off endlessly into space.

At first you’ll have a clear path to the space dock and your only challenge will be figuring out which object to pull at what time.  Very quickly the game will up the ante by adding explosive asteroids, black holes, and bounce-inducing barriers.  While developer Stockton categorizes this as a simulation game, I would argue it falls more in line with the puzzle game genre.

I had a very difficult time at first trying to figure out the mechanics.  Give it half a dozen tries or so and perhaps you’ll finally get the knack for the game, though that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.  Your ship will very quickly gain speed and be lost in space if you’re not careful.  It can be a bit frustrating at first learning to have the patience to slowly guide your ship along with a little pull here and a little pull there.  Eventually, though, it can be rewarding as you figure out how to swing the ship around an obstacle or narrowly avoid a set of asteroids.  Give the trial a shot and see for yourself whether the full game is worth the 80 points being asked for.

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Author:Brandon Schmidt

Brandon is the founder and managing director of The Indie Mine in his free time. His preferred medium is video games and he's not shy about his support for the indie development community. You can follow him on Twitter @TheIndieMine.

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