Developer: Adamvision Studios, SneakyBox
Other Releases: Pivot XL, Goalkeper VR Challenge
Initial release date: 2 June 2022
Genre: Shooter Video Game
Platforms: Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, and Steam
Gravitar: Recharged is the latest resurgence of Atari, Adamvision Studios developed it in conjunction with Lithuanian codeshop Sneakybox, who was also responsible for many other Atari renovations such as Breakout: Recharged and the most well-known Asteroids: Recharged.
The game itself is simply designed but very pretty; the lights and color scheme add a very good layer of calm to what is at times a very frustrating game. The developers clearly know how to put together a good pastel pairing, and I am certainly a fan of what they did. They make it easy to understand where you must avoid, leading to my advice, if it's black, stand back!
Gravitar: Recharged also offers the choice between Keyboard and mouse (kbm) or controller, having both fully supported. Personally, I found the controller an easier option, but my skill level of the game tells you that this does not mean it is correct. As someone who knows many gamers who struggle using kbm due to hand injuries, this is a welcome addition, adding another layer of inclusivity for the game.
The menu is clean, showing the options of arcade and missions, but as I only delved into the arcade mode, that is what I will be talking about today.
I did not try the multiplayer mode of the arcade, but I think it is important to note that this is a great feature of the game, as it triggers the nostalgia of playing these games with my friends and siblings a long time ago in my childhood.
When entering arcade mode, you are thrown straight into the game with a simple instruction "land on a planet." This, however, is much easier said than done. As I began the game, I realized the difficulty of Gravitar: Recharged’s controls are well modeled after its predecessor. You are not only fighting your own reaction times but also the gravity that pulls you down throughout. Standing still in this game is nearly impossible, which keeps the movement throughout.
You enter a planet by hovering nearby it for a small period of time. Each planet has a different level with some different objectives; examples include; activating the beacons, stealing the intelligence, and my personal hell reactor. These levels all have their own reasons for difficulty, whether it be limited space to maneuver, enemies shooting back at you, or just the gravity on each planet.
You shoot in bursts of 3, with a small charge up between each set of shots; this makes aiming important. If you're struggling to stay upright in a fight with another ship, that shot could be the difference between life and death in this game. The sad animation of the ship poofing out of existence breaks my heart to this day.
There are also power-ups you can collect during the game to have different effects on your ship, from health regen to missiles and more. This can make things a little easier for those of me who struggled with certain missions.
On top of everything, Gravitar: Recharged is priced at a very reasonable £7.39/$9.99 this makes it not only a perfect impulse buy but also a great game to gift friends in order to force them to play with you.
I had hoped, however, to see this on speedrun.com; this seems like the type of game that would be incredible to speedrun due to its difficulty, simplistic movement styles, and from what I saw, lack of cutscenes. I really want the speedrunning community to pick this game up, as whilst I could not run it, I certainly would love watching it!
Finally, if you are indeed a psychopath, there is also a way to make this game even harder! With the addition of bonuses including single life, no power-ups, and no shield, this adds a huge difficulty boost for those of you who hate yourself, as well as a lot of replayability.
If I had to assign a number to this game, which, as you know, is 9/10ths of the review process, I would give it a 7/10.
Overall, this was a very fun game with good replayability, albeit frustrating at times. I like the style, game options, and ideas, but I may not have the skill level it takes to really get into this game myself. Although it is a game I will likely take out every few months to rage at, watch this space to see me beat reactor one day!