Playing through Gravity Ghost is a beautiful, relaxing, somber and uplifting experience. In just a few short hours the game acted as a much needed palette cleanser, a dive into the simplistic beauty of childhood and a reminder that sometimes you just need to have a good cry. Not since Thomas Was Alone have I played such a cohesive, stunning, simple video game.
I really think Gravity Ghost is going to be one of those games I play time and time again, every time I feel in danger of forgetting why I sought to dedicate myself to covering this medium. Gravity Ghost is that solid an experience.
So, what actually is Gravity Ghost? Gravity Ghost is a 2D puzzle platformer where you jump through space, collecting stars and flowers, reunite animal souls with their bodies and ultimately explore the events that lead to end tragic end of a young girls life.
Much of the challenge of the game comes from learning to manipulate the young Iona’s orbit among a series of planets You leap off from one hunk of space rock, fling yourself into orbit and attempt to soar in arcs around space. It’s calming, it’s mesmeric and it controls unbelievably smoothly. The art style of the game and the hypnotically beautiful soundtrack certainly add to the mechanical sense of simplistic majesty.
Throughout the experience you’ll unlock abilities designed to either manipulate your movement through space or the planetoids you come into contact with. These abilities, often tied neatly into narrative plot points, are well spaced out and provide a great sense of progression and pacing across the two to three hour experience.
When you combine the superb mechanical simplicity and polish, mechanical pacing, visual style and soundtrack together, you’re left with something stunningly beautiful in every regard.
Still, by far the most important aspect of Gravity Ghost’s appeal to me was it’s superbly written narrative.
At it’s core, Gravity Ghost is a story of childhood innocence. It’s a story of the beauty of innocence and a story about how the world will pull away pieces of that innocence, no matter how hard you try to prevent it. It’s a story about understanding that exploration and risk taking are a part of childhood, but that those necessary childhood experiences never come without costs, no matter how innocent the intentions behind them. It’s an incredibly moving tale that, by it’s conclusion, is incredibly relatable in a way that left me weeping cathartic tears.
Gravity Ghost is simply stunning. It tackles universal themes that people struggle with at all stages of their life in a package that’s simple, accessible and gorgeous. If you ever find yourself struggling to remember why you love video games as an art form, this game is a perfect way to regain that sense of wonder toward the medium.
Now, no more me ruining the experience, go look into this game.
(Also, if you buy the game from the developer’s website you get two Steam codes and a giftable DRM free link. So yeah, spread the joy around).