Android App Video Review: Inertia: Escape Velocity HD

by Andrew Koziara

Every now and then, an innovative and unique title will manifest out of the ether and take you completely by surprise. Such is my experience with Inertia Escape Velocity HD from Red Fly Studio. It's by no means a perfect game and has its fair share of issues, but the delightfully original mechanics in an endless void of imitations and clones was refreshing enough to put me in a forgiving mood.

The simple premise of the game is that you crash your ship, and must go about each level collecting enough scrap metal to repair it and move on. You seem crash it in every galaxy you visit, so I'd imagine you're either the unluckiest or the worst pilot in the cosmos, and should probably quit anyway.

The game is a simple side scrolling puzzle platformer, with standard left and right movement and jumping, but with a gravity manipulating twist. At any time, you can turn gravity off and enter zero-G. You're current direction and velocity will be locked into place, and you will keep going on forever until something stops you. You can switch gravity back on at any given time, of course. Using this interesting mechanic, you'll interact with breakable force-fields, gravity manipulation spheres, surfaces that either speed you up, slow you down, or stop you entirely, and more. Each level has three medals to achieve. One for completing it, one for collecting all the scrap, and one for doing the level within a certain time limit. The time limit ones are exceedingly difficult to achieve, even if you ignore the scrap, and getting all three medals on each level is quite the challenge.

This comparison might seem like a bit much, but bear with me. This game is like Braid, but with gravity manipulation instead of time manipulation. I only mean that while Braid made use of nearly every conceivable time manipulation concept, this game makes use of a wide variety of gravity manipulation concepts. The games are very different, and this game isn't nearly the classic that Braid is, but they are similar in that regard. Unfortunately, the gravity manipulation mechanics are a bit too rough around the edges, and can become very frustrating. I almost wish they mixed in more traditional platforming with their fancy gravity platforming, but it's understandable that they'd be proud of their mechanics and want to showcase them.

The graphics are simple but well done with some pleasing visuals, and the soundtrack and sound design are good too. This is a simple platformer with some clever mechanics centered around its theme, and most people will at least find some novel enjoyment there. If you can't get enough of this game, you can purchase a whole new set of levels called Inferno Levels, which also come with the additional "mastery" world. You can buy the extra levels for one dollar in-app, and you can download this game for just four dollars. There is also a non-HD two dollar version available, and two free versions to test the water with.

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