Review for XboxHornet by WDesm
“A High Production value game at a Rock Bottom Price”
Gerbil Physics is a puzzle game where the physics engine IS the puzzle game, much in the vein of the computer games Porrasturvat (Stair Dismount) or Rekkaturvat (Truck Dismount). In physics puzzle games, you often influence the system very little, and are forced to watch the “outcome” of your specific choices. Imagine, if you will, a Rude Goldberg device that is missing a few key components. In the case of Gerbil Physics, the goal is always to get the target Gerbils below a “red” line, by demolishing the structures of gerbils – and before PETA comes a-charging, the gerbils are eternally cheerful and indestructible objects, bouncing to and fro under the explosions. As you place demolition charges over the map, your gerbils are flung around in the aftermath, ricocheting and rebounding however they might go. The key point here is that the physics engine, even in a simple 2-d form, determines that movement, so heavyset gerbils and lightweight gerbils respond differently.
As the game progress, more tools are unlocked, and these tools add further complexities to the style problems you can solve, but the game never has a single “right” answer, so sometimes the oddest of tactics will pay off, and this diversity is what prevents the game from ever becoming stressful, even in its trickier levels.
Artistically, Gerbil Physics is THE standard to which other XBLIG games should be held. I say this because Gerbil Physics has a strong level of polish – every part of the game meshes well with itself, be it animation, cute and soft-edged artwork, sound effects, or music. If nothing else, I would give this game high praise for the level of attention to detail and consistency demonstrated from start to finish – even a stage’s failure is met with cute, gerbil-related physics (that I shan’t spoil, because it’s truly worth the first chuckle).
The only downfall of Gerbil Physics is its length – the entire game is a mere 24 levels long, and even with its cute sound effects and problem-solving explosions, you will soon be left hankering for more. But, given that the game was released for a single dollar (80 MSPoints), and given that those 24 levels are chock full of high quality gerbil mania, I’m willing to accept the tradeoff: I would rather, any day of the week, enjoy a short but excellent game on the cheap than buy something incomplete, dreary, or worst of all, unpolished. If you’ve ever enjoyed any casual game, from Peggle to Pogo.com, you can safely try Gerbil Physics.
Game score 9/10
XboxHornet’s second Opinion. I have to agree with WDesm, this game is fantastic, I fell in love with it from the first play. It maybe short, but like Beringela’s first game Horn Swaggle Island it’s a polished Indie game that everyone should try.
Download a free trial of the game here.
Watch a video of Gerbil Physics here.