There might be an awful lot of theories, but no one truly knows what happens after death. Some believe in a heaven and a hell, some believe in reincarnation, and many believe that once we pass that’s it and we’ll only continue to exist in any sense through memories others have of us. Gravity Ghost is a game that looks at that transition from life to death, but it isn’t a distressing or particularly mournful game. In fact it can be quite soothing at times.
Gravity Ghost is a puzzle game in which players float around as the ghost of Iona. She is journeying through space looking for her fox, Voy, who is also now a ghost. How they both ended up in this realm is told through a series of short hand-drawn cutscenes which reveal the story in a non-linear fashion. There’s voice work involved and most of it is decent too, with Iona’s actor giving the character some engaging moments of sulking, sadness, happiness, and wonder. It’s quite well done with the support characters also voiced well, and cracking some silly jokes along the way.
The puzzles themselves are, for the most part, very easy and can be completed in a matter of seconds in some cases. In each puzzle you need to fly about with Iona to catch a star and animal spirits which can then be reunited with bodies waiting to ascend to the afterlife. You can spend as much time as you like with each puzzle and if something is proving tricky then you can go back to the map and select a different one to try instead.
There are no fail states in the game, so there’s no pressure to succeed. You can spend as much time as you like with each puzzle and if something is proving tricky then you can go back to the map and select a different one to try instead.
Puzzles can feature different planet types, with some being bouncy so you can bump off them, while others can warp the space around them a bit. All have a gravitational pull so if you get too close to one you may be drawn down to its surface, but if you angle your approach properly you can use that same pull to slingshot around them. As Iona makes progress she gains powers to terraform planets using elements like water, earth, fire, and air. Terraforming can give access to stars that may be within the centre of a planet, for example turning a rocky planet into water so you can dive right through it.
While the puzzles are easy, the controls can be a bit finicky even with the power-ups you earn to help navigate. These power-ups include gliding and dashing, but simply turning Iona can be an issue when zoomed out, as it’s difficult to see which direction she is pointing in. Speed can also be quite tricky to gauge at times, and when certain puzzles require some fine turning, blasting across and misjudging a turn can be frustrating. It’s a good thing that there are no way to fail in the game, so that you can try as many times as you want.
With the PS4 release, Ivy Games have added more content and added a Deluxe Edition label. Part of this is now being able to unlock Voy the fox as a playable character, with stronger launches but trickier turning. They’ve also added thirteen new challenges for those that have mastered the game, with musical clovers to collect in sequence and without touching planets, exploring more parts of the game’s puzzling potential.