Isaac Newton’s Gravity 2 offers a lot of what we wanted from a sequel, but it needs a larger community to benefit from the addition of player-made levels.
Just like its predecessor, Isaac Newton’s Gravity 2 is a puzzle game that centers around the idea of testing and interacting with a relatively complex physics engine. The puzzles themselves are challenging and involve plenty of trial and error, but once you figure out how to use the different objects at your disposal, it’s can be a very satisfying game. As you’d expect, this sequel brings brand new levels and objects, but the big change is the option to share the levels that you’ve created with the rest of the online community.
Gravity 2 appeals to your very base needs as a gamer and as a human being, by tasking you with the pushing of a giant red button. You’re given a limited number of objects to place within each level and once you’re satisfied with your decisions, you’ll press play to release a ball into your setup and see what happens. The idea is to use the momentum of that starting ball to somehow reach the button and progress to the next level.
Early levels involve guiding the ball to the button by placing objects that keep it moving in the right direction, but the puzzles soon become more complicated. You’ll need to make use of new elements like switches, trampolines and magnets to complete later levels, and the whole process can start to feel overwhelming when you have 10 or more objects to place.
In an attempt to offer a helping hand (and make some extra money!), the developers give players the option to purchase hints through the “Gravity Store.” Using a hint during a level automatically places an object in an appropriate location, which can be incredibly useful, as there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of guides available online. That being said, the beauty of games like Gravity 2 is that there’s often more than one solution to a puzzle. We certainly got through a challenge or two using brute force, rather than perfect object placement. You can also purchase level skips from the store, but we don’t much like the idea of paying to skip game content.
The biggest drawback of Gravity 2 is its controls. Dragging objects feels clumsy, and this can prove to be disastrous when you’re trying to carefully place objects on top of each other. Thankfully, there is an “undo last move” button, which helps to ensure that this problem is kept as an occasional annoyance, rather than a game-breaking issue. The touch controls can also become temporarily unresponsive, which means you’ll need to repeatedly tap the screen, or even relaunch the game to continue.
Completing a group of levels unlocks a sandbox mode, in which you can mess around with the objects and mechanics that you’ve been using. It gives you a limited degree of freedom to test how the physics engine reacts to different situations, but Gravity 2 really does need an objective to hold your attention. If you want to delve into how this game works, you’ll want to use the level editor instead.
The original Gravity allowed you to create levels and share them with your friends via bluetooth, but with Gravity 2, you can upload your most sadistic puzzles for the online community to enjoy. This adds a huge amount of potential replayability to this sequel, but of course that depends on the size of the playerbase. At the time of this writing, there are only around 50 player-crafted levels to check out, with only a few of them being worth your time.
Isaac Newton’s Gravity 2 is free to download and will give you immediate access to 10 starting levels, as well the level editor and a limited number of player-made puzzles. That’s a lot of content to check out without paying a cent. You can then choose to purchase two additional levels packs (each containing 50 puzzles), at a price of $0.99 each, as well as additional “community credits” if you want to download more player-made content.