Airscape: The Fall of Gravity is a gravity based platformer putting players in control of a Dumbo Octopus who must swim and jump through strange lands to rescue his fellow aquatic friends from aliens.
Players are dropped into the ocean immediately starting a new game in Airscape: The Fall of Gravity, providing an opportunity to learn the controls and get a grasp of how gravity comes into play. After about a minute, the Dumbo Octopus and the rest of sea critters are sucked into the air by an alien spaceship. From there, players are dropped into the first level. If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is likely an homage to the beginning of Ecco the Dolphin.
Players control their octopus with the arrow keys with Up to jump and Shift used to dash or activate a special ability in some cases. Other octopuses with unique abilities are unlocked as players complete zones. My favorite is the blue one, which can teleport small distances instead of dashing. Each zone is broken into about three or four levels with a few exceptions. These zones are made of stylistically themed floating platforms and waterways and each introduces a new kind of danger or platforming element. Some zones introduce stretches of acid players must swim through before it kills them, snipers that instakill if the player stops moving, roving robots that follow the player along the ground, and later levels will combine these elements.
On their own, many of these obstacles would make for a challenging enough game, but it’s the excellent use of gravity and momentum that really gives Airscape: The Fall of Gravity its edge. There’s the gravity that pulls players to floating island platforms, like a planet’s gravitational pull, not unlike Super Mario Galaxy. This gives the octopuses weight and momentum in each of their movements whether running, jumping or swimming that makes planning and predicting the trajectory of your jumps a must. Landing into the water too harshly may plunge the poor octopus into a hazard, moving slightly to the left too much on a floating platform may flip it and the octopus to its destruction. While momentum and gravity are hardly new concepts in a platformer, they’re handled well enough to make Airscape: the Fall of Gravity an intense platforming experience in the later zones.
The one questionable piece of Airscape: The Fall of Gravity is the screen rotation. Whether you’re swimming in the water or walking up a wall, the screen rotates to keep players’ perspective of their octopus right-side up. On land this is fine, but swimming freely in the water can become a dizzying experience as the map spins around the octopus. A scale is available to adjust the intensity of the screen rotation to the point where you can turn it off completely. This means the perspective stays stable, but arguably adds a bit of difficulty in having players control their octopus based on the octopus’ direction rather than the player’s perspective of direction. It’s hard to say whether any of this truly has an effect on difficulty or gameplay, but I feel it’s nice players have a choice in the game’s perspective.
That’s the only questionable piece of Airscape: The Fall of Gravity. The music has an exciting fantasy-adventure style that perfectly fits the theme of each zone you go to and the game’s colorful artstyle yields surprisingly detailed screens. While Airscape: the Fall of Gravity isn’t terribly original, it blends familiar platforming elements well enough to make the game stand on its own and please platformer lovers of all kinds.
TechRaptor received a review code for this game.
While not the most original platformer, Airscape: The Fall of Gravity mixes many elements into a challenging and nerve-wracking platformer that anyone can enjoy.