'Grabbity' Review - 360 Degree Platforming Fun

Grabbity is the first mobile title to come from Colombian developer Efecto Studios and publisher Televisa Home Entertainment of Mexico. The 360 degree, gravity-defying platformer follows a lone Grabbian on his quest to retrieve the stolen energy source that supports the life of his species. It's available now for iOS and Android devices, so head past the break for our full review!

Gameplay sees players guiding this fearless Grabbian on a quest to the center of his world, spinning, tilting and tapping the screen to control the laws of gravity on the way through 80 levels filled with obstacles, pitfalls and bonuses. The goal is to grab, leap and fall (not too far!) your way from one end of each level to next. Along the way you'll be collecting coins while you try to beat the clock and earn your three stars.

The game takes full advantage of the iPhone and iPad's accelerometer, while also incorporating standard touch and tap controls. Each level starts with us in landscape view, but rather than using an on-screen joystick or d-pad, character movement is all based on how you tip or tilt the device. Tip too much and your Grabbian will fall to his death, don't tip enough and you'll have a hard time beating the clock.

Like many mobile games, mastering a level rewards you with three stars – one for finishing, one fore collecting all of the coins and one for completing the level within in certain amount of time. The final level in each area introduces a boss that you'll have to take out by maneuvering an object, such as a boulder, to fall on them.

Grabbity throws the rules of previous platformers out the window and literally turns everything upside down. There are no enemies to deal with, other than occasional boss, as you're simply tasked with reaching the end of the level. It's a unique take on an often repetitive genre and works very well.

Things start out slow, introducing you to the idea, then become increasingly difficult, forcing you to grab on to the wall/ceiling/floor before you leap to reach the next coin or switch. As you move on you'll have to navigate through more and more obstacles, while leaping and falling back and fourth to hit switches and follow different paths. It's very entertaining, while still providing enough of a challenge to keep you occupied.

Visually, the game could use a little work. Overall, the world of Grabbity is more than attractive, but small glitches and screen flickers were noticeable throughout my experience. It doesn't take away from gameplay in anyway – the characters look good and nothing feels out of place, but a bit more polish would be welcomed with open arms.

I have to admit, I've enjoyed my time with Grabbity quite thoroughly, but that doesn't mean there aren't times when I found myself frustrated. The one thing that bothered me most was an instance where I was setting up for a jump only to be taken out by a row of spikes to my side. From my angle I had plenty of distance between me and the obstacle, but the game disagreed completely. If you're trying to fall between rows of spikes, just make sure you hold on and line up your drop perfectly before you let go.

Anyone growing tired of the same old run, jump and stomp action defining many platformers will surely have a good time with Grabbity, especially considering the game can be downloaded free of charge. The initial download will set you up with 20 levels, including one boss level. If you want to take the journey any further, you'll have to come off $.99 for one of two level packs, each providing 30 more stages to master.

Closing Comments

Grabbity offers up a unique control scheme that takes full advantage of the touch and motion controls offered by a smartphone or tablet. The art style is fun and suits the title well, although visuals could use a bit more polish. The free levels kept me entertained for a couple hours, but to get the full experience you'll want to spend the $2 on the remaining 60 stages. The pros definitely outweigh the cons here and even though some minor bugs may frustrate you occasionally, the game is definitely worth your time.

This review was conducted using an iPad 2

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