Have you ever fallen fully, completely in love with a game at first sight before? And not just because the graphics look realistic or its part of an established franchise. It’s been a few years since a game has captured my soul, my imagination, and my emotions as much as Gravity Ghost: Deluxe Edition has. The last game to make me feel this way was Hohokum, and now I am seriously torn as to which of these is my favorite.
Gravity Ghost follows the spirit of a young woman searching for her once mortal fox companion. As she returns the stars to their rightful place in the constellations of the night sky, memories are restored, revealing to us glimpses of her past.
Let Me Play Among the Stars
With over 100 stars to collect, Gravity Ghost has a lot of puzzles for you to solve. For some of these, all you need to do is reach the star and walk out the red door. Every constellation adds at least one more mechanic to it. In the image above you’ll see a level called Heavy Heart. In this level and others like it, you will be presented with a ball-in-a-maze puzzle, just like the ones your dentist keeps in the toy chest. Using the ball’s magnetic attraction to Iona, you’ll move around the exterior of the puzzle, urging the geom at the center towards the exit. Successfully completing this particular level grants the player the ability to become heavy. This is super useful for breaking glass spheres containing stars and other important objects, or to hasten your landing on a planet.
Certain levels will provide us with some insight into our young heroine. When you reunite a spirit animal with their remains or retrieve a star from a guardian spirit, you’ll be rewarded with a cutscene. Some of these pull at the heartstrings, others give you a good chuckle. The storybook presentation of these aren’t as vibrant as the levels themselves, providing us with an important contrast.
Table of Elements
Once you reach the Black Hole, Gravity Ghost throws a new twist your way. For reasons I’d rather not spoil, mastering the six elements and using these to Terraform the planets in each level will become very important. To alter your surroundings requires two key things: an Element and a lot of hair. Elements are marked on your constellation map, one tucked away inside each of the forks around the Black Hole. As for your hair, make sure you have been collecting flowers as you explore each puzzle. Odds are you’ve noticed that the animal spirits get caught in your flowing locks when you gather them up. When you Terraform, you’ll be sacrificing that length. How much depends on the size of the planet. It’s also important that you select the correct Element when performing this. I did sort of run out of hair when I incorrectly Terraformed twice. Thankfully, I was able to gather more flowers from another level so I could return and fix my error.
Come Fly With Me
One of the things that kept me playing and loving Hohokum for so long was the stellar soundtrack. I’m so glad to say that Gravity Ghost delivers on providing some calming and yet upbeat backing tracks that compliment my progression through the story. Ben Prunty, a name you might recognize if you’ve played FTL or Celeste, is the man behind this OST, now with three additional tracks for this Deluxe Edition release. Other new additions to this version include challenge levels bundled into a constellation as well as a playable character. (No spoilers!)
So why do I love this game so damn much? The puzzle difficulties are perfectly varied, giving you a challenge when you need it, then letting you come back down to something more chill and fun to navigate. I’ve never felt overwhelmed by a level, not even the ball-maze ones, and I am the worst at those in real life! Vibrant colors in Iona’s costume and the animal spirits brings me back to days spent visiting with First Nations members in my community. It’s amazing how games can speak right to you and dig out memories you don’t expect them to, isn’t it? If all of this isn’t reason enough for you to play Gravity Ghost, maybe the $9.99 US price tag will convince you to add this to your PlayStation library.
Gravity Ghost: Deluxe Edition review code provided by publisher. Version 1.00 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4 console. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.