A physics-based puzzler where you catapult a single body into several objects in order to earn stars to progress? Gravity Lab! couldn’t invite comparisons with Angry Birds more if it tried.
Yet if Mobile Snap’s game lacks a little ambition, its polished design and execution make it an interesting counterpoint to Rovio’s monster hit.
Avian ammunition has been replaced by a single steel-plated projectile: Steve the Robot. Your job is to launch Steve into coloured crates, sending them tumbling into the stars spread across each stage.
Bots and boxes
The different hues aren’t just for visual variety, either. This is, as the title suggests, a laboratory where traditional rules of gravity don’t necessarily apply.
So, hit a blue crate and it’ll veer left, with yellows falling to the right. Reds float upwards, while green ones are your boring regular Earth crates, toppling downwards.
There are three stars on offer in each stage, and initially, it seems more difficult not to snag them all. Gradually, though, the stages get more intricate, and you’ll have to figure out the order in which to topple boxes into one another.
Trampolines are introduced, though these often make it easier to gauge the rough direction to head in, with mere fine-tuning required to earn the full quota of stars.
Once you unlock the second lab, however, things get a little tougher: gravity fields adjust the colour (and thus the trajectory) of boxes that pass through them, as well as determine Steve’s path should he glide past.
Where previously you’ll have fired Steve at top speed, you’ll now need to reduce his departure velocity accordingly. It's a joy to see him arc around for another pass, disappearing off the screen briefly, only to curve into a pile of blocks to collapse them into the final star.
It’s still fairly easy, mind, even if it might take more attempts to get all three collectibles. That said, the fact that you feel compelled to keep trying before moving on speaks volumes about the game’s easygoing charm.
The floaty physics feel just right, and there’s a satisfyingly musical quality to the chimes that ascend in tone as each star is collected. Get all three and a fourth note will play, creating a pleasing arpeggio of sounds.
Move onto the third lab and portals are introduced, with fairly predictable results. Again, the stages start off relatively straightforward, with only the final few posing any kind of challenge - before you know it, you’ve reached the end.
The low difficulty level may prove the undoing of Gravity Lab!, as once you’ve earned all 225 stars, there’s no reason to return. But perhaps it’s best to be left wanting more, and it’s undeniably refreshing to experience a puzzle game that never once feels attritional.