Ever since Tetris came packaged in with the original GameBoy it’s been clear that puzzle games are the perfect fit for mobile gaming sessions. Gaming generations have passed since then but one thing still hasn’t changed: puzzles on the go are one of the best time killers out there. Fulfilling my present-day portable puzzle needs is Hart [Devs] GraviMaze, a Mayan puzzle theme where you play with gravity and slide boxes.
GraviMaze utilizes the simple concept of moving a box around maze-like environments by having you tilt the environment in 90 degree increments to change the gravitational pull. As the box (along with other objects) falls directly downwards you’ll have to figure out how to use columns and other objects to alter its path. Effectively using this mechanic and landing on the final goal space will enable you to swiftly move your box with the objective of collecting up to 3 coins per stage. Sure, the idea is easy to grasp but its complexity and difficulty is enhanced with the later additions of new hazards and obstacles.
I was blissfully swiping away at the screen, changing gravity at a whim, when the stages difficulty increased exponentially. My admiration for the amount of skill that had gone into developing those later stages surged. Now instead of easily dropping the box from corner to corner steadily heading towards that final space, I had to be wary of spikes and cement blocks that could destroy it with one wrong maneuver. Due to this added depth I adapted and learned not only how to avoid the hazards but how to use them for my benefit. Very rewarding experience indeed.
Even though I’ve placed GraviMaze on a virtual puzzle pedestal, that doesn’t mean that it’s faultless. These faults while minor have an effect on the overall experience. The most minor culprit is that some levels are out of place due to difficulty. I found myself struggling with a few levels in a row, followed by levels that were solved in mere seconds. The other issue is that GraviMaze does become very challenging in the later levels. While this is not a bad thing (you can’t fault a game for offering a challenge), not having the option to use a hint or more preferably to skip the level (and come back to it at a later time) had me, at times, turn off my iPhone in frustration. However, I would like to strongly emphasis that although these two issues needed to be mentioned, they hardly dampen GraviMaze’s overall experience.
The Bottom Line:
As puzzle games go, GraviMaze achieves almost puzzle perfection as well as being one of the best puzzle experiences that we’ve seen yet from the Apple AppStore.