Gravity Ghost: Deluxe Edition is a beautifully written and well-crafted experience that takes players on a cosmic adventure through space in a heartwarming story about life, death, accidents, and forgiveness. Originally released in 2015, this updated version features a brand new constellation with 13 Challenge Levels for experienced players to test their skills, the ability to play the game as Voy the Fox, as well as Light Bar support on the PlayStation 4 controller – the light colour matches that of the terraforming ability the player currently has selected.
Developed by Ivy Games, Gravity Ghost: Deluxe Edition tells the story of Iona, a 12-year-old girl, who lives with her family on Bell Rock Island in 1946 as the keepers of the local lighthouse. One night, Iona is awoken to find that her best friend, Voy the Fox, has disappeared and sets out on a mission to find her lost friend. What’s unique about the story itself is that it’s presented in a nonlinear format, meaning that cutscenes are actually seen out of order rather than chronologically. This might seem confusing at first, however as players progress through the game, the payoff is a lot more impactful and emotional once all of the pieces are put together.
The world is divided into 7 playable areas, each taking the form of a different animal constellation: Salamander, Mouse, Deer, Owl, Rabbit, Wolf, and Dog. There are over 100 levels to explore in the game and each one has a single goal – collect the star. This might sound easy at first, but some levels will require a little more thinking and some solid problem-solving skills in order to get the job done.
Traversing through each level is fairly simple and involves the use of gravity and gravitational pulls; very reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy but on a 2-Dimensional scale. Over the course of the game, players will unlock terraforming abilities which will allow them to change and manipulate the planets within each level; giving them new gravitational pulls – fire planets can be used to propel you higher while air planets become very buoyant, causing players to ricochet off of them like bumpers on a pinball machine. Collecting flower petals scattered throughout each level will help to increase the length of Iona’s hair which is necessary to terraform larger planets – they always regenerate, so just go back and collect as much as you need.
Along the way, players will also encounter several animal spirits that must be reunited with their bodies; although this is completely optional and not required to finish the game. This simply involves running after them, sometimes between planets, and colliding with them. A Blue Paw Print found on the map screen indicates an animal spirit present in the level and a Skeleton indicates where the body can be found; matching the correct animal to its body will do the trick. It’s a lot of fun trying to catch them; some of which are tricky and elusive, but it’s a great way to test out the various skills and techniques that you’ve learned along the way.
At the end of each constellation, players will be greeted by the respected Animal Guardian that grants them a reward for talking with them, waking them up, playing with them, and in some cases, feeding them. Doing so will unlock another section of the story which can be found in the area at the centre of the map called The Black Hole; terraforming must be used in order to view each new cinematic – it’s becoming clearer as to what’s happening now – keep going!
Players can expect to play through the entire game in about 2-3 hours, although this isn’t a game that should be consumed so quickly. The art style is beautifully rendered and animated – hand-painted scenery mixed with paper doll characters is a match made in heaven. The soundtrack is very peaceful – composed by Ben Prunty (FTL: Faster than Light) and the game features a stellar voice cast which includes Logan Cunningham (Bastion), Ashly Burch (Horizon: Zero Dawn), and Sarah Elmaleh (Days Gone).
It’s undeniable how much love and care went into the production of this game and Erin Robinson Swink, Founder of Ivy Games, stated that “it was the culmination of several years of work from our wonderful team, and it also fulfills my longtime dream of bringing a game to a console.” You can read about it here on the PlayStation Blog. Previously, Gravity Ghost was only available to download on Steam.
Gravity Ghost: Deluxe Edition is Indie Studio development at its finest and there is a lot to be excited about for this iteration of the game. With its breathtaking visuals, peaceful soundtrack, and stellar performances, players won’t want to miss this incredible and heartwarming experience.
Gravity Ghost: Deluxe Edition is available for download on PlayStation 4 in North America and most South American countries. Limited Run Games will also be distributing 2000 physical copies of the game on Friday, August 9th, 2019 so be sure to secure your copy before it’s too late.
You can find Chris on Twitter at @ChrisZaiser if you want to chat about Gravity Ghost… or any game really!