Friday 27 May 2022

Gravitar Recharged Review (Switch)

Atari have been producing their recharged range for a while now, taking classic franchises such as Missile Command and Black Widow and giving them a shiny neon look to bring the arcade fun to a new generation. The latest of these is Gravitar, an inertia-based space shooter and exploration game which formed a popular sub genre in the world of early consoles and microcomputers. Aside from on the Evercade we haven’t really played much of the original Gravitar, but we do love Thrust so this had us excited.

Gravitar Recharged, is very much an arcade experience at heart so if you are after anything more than a high score chasing experience this probably isn’t for you. However, it is a very good arcade experience which perfectly encapsulates the tone of the original while updating the graphics to make them look super neon and vibrant. There is some longevity added through the addition of local co-op multi player missions but really it’s you versus the game for as long as you can survive.

The game starts with you floating in space, orbiting a sun. Planets roll around the sun and you need to jet to them in order to undertake missions. These are varied enough to keep things fun as well and range from simply destroying all enemies to stealing documents, blowing up reactors or setting up sensors. Once a planet has been completed you blast off back into space and its orbital trajectory line disappears from the play field. Once all the planets have been completed you move to a new galaxy and start again.

The main gimmick of the game is that gravity continually pulls your craft down to the surface. Players must boost their engines to stay stable and float around the environments. This is made more difficult by the fact that you only have limited fuel supplies. Once your fuel runs out you will simply fall to the surface below and explode. More fuel can be picked up in levels, along with other power ups and this vital to staying alive.

The ship itself handles really well which means although the game is fairly difficult it is always down to the player when you crash or get blasted out of the sky. You also only have three lives which means you will be restarting often so this really is a throw back to old school gaming. Even Gravity Crash on the Vita didn’t take this approach but if you want to progress here you simply need to learn to the play the game better.

Overall, Gravitar Recharged is successful at what it has set out to do. It has updated the look of a game which first released way way back in 1982 and presented it in a fun way that feels fresh in the modern day. It may not hold players attention for long but in short bursts this is a great blast of retro action and so few games use the inertia gimmick it keeps it unique enough to warrant a place in your library.

Overall 7/10

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