‘Is that an octopus kitten?’ – Steven Hansen
No, Steven, it’s not an octopus kitten; it’s just an octopus. But, it’s a super adorable octopus that may have some kitten-like properties, and more importantly, it’s the protagonist of Airscape: The Fall of Gravity.
Airscapeis an action platformer that, as the name implies, has a lot to do with gravity. It’s the central theme of the game, as each level rotates and pulls the octopus in such a way as to add a bit of uncertainty to the standard platforming mechanics. It takes some getting used to in order to figure out exactly what Airscapewill and won’t let you do, but once acclimated, it feels mostly natural.
What doesn’t necessarily feel natural is the way that the camera swings around with the pull of gravity. It’s somewhat disorienting at times to keep track of what direction you were heading. This is especially true in the levels that seem more non-linear, as Airscapelooks as if it’ll feature a combination of straight-forward and open-ended levels.
Some of these levels, as unintuitive as it may seem, are land-based. That’s no place for an octopus, but maybe that’s why it has a space helmet. However, there are also plenty of water parts, which is where Airscapeshows off its swimming mechanic. The swimming, mixed with the gravity component, make for a challenging affair that can be frustrating, but not necessarily in an unfair way.
Adding to the challenge are several hazards in the environment. Things like mines, lasers, and moving lawnmower-type things litter the landscape, and just one hit will send our octopus friend back to the beginning. Fortunately, there are some checkpoints to help ease the feeling of defeat, particularly in the longer sections. There are orbs to collect in each level, but the primary goal is simply to get to the end.
That’s Airscape: The Fall of Gravityin a nutshell. It’s easy to grasp but not necessarily easy to play. It’s expected to release on PC, Mac, and Linux sometime this year, and is already featured on Steam Greenlight. There’s also a demo availableif you want a first-hand shot at maneuvering this kitten-like octopus. I think you’ll find that it’s just as cute as it sounds.