Gravitar: Recharged – casual shooter meets interesting physics

Gravitar: Recharged is the latest in the Atari Recharged series (which includes Breakout, Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command,) and when I had a chance to grab a game code for the Nintendo Switch, I jumped at it as I recalled fondly playing it in arcades.

Turns out I recalled wrong and confused Gravitar for Sinistar and had somehow managed to completely miss Gravitar.

Oddly not having ever played it didn’t ruin the 1980’s arcade nostalgia feeling as I played. This felt like my childhood games. It felt like Lunar Lander meets… maybe Defender or Asteroids… in some ways. Fly around a sun/black hole, go into systems where gravity works differently, or doesn’t work, use your space craft to activate beacons or destroy enemies.

Clear all gravity areas of enemies, or activate beacons, or whatever the mission calls for. There are no time limits that I’ve noticed in game play except if you trigger a self destruct or blow up a boss.

I don’t have any gameplay video of my own. I contemplated purchasing a Switch HDMI capture device, but decided that was a bit overkill as I rarely review Switch games these days. Most of the game play is putzing around, lining up a shot, waiting for gravity or inertia to line you up perfectly.

This is some video from the VCS release. Other than aspect ratio looks about the same.

It’s a very playable, absurdly casual, game. There are multiplayer options and some challenge modes, but as it’s pre-release and I only have one Switch and little time, those did not get explored.

The only thing I dislike about this is the controls do not appear to be configurable. This may be remedied or changed release date, but I do not like the layout as it stands. Aiming is a bit more difficult than it needs to be, but honestly it fits perfectly with how these games used to be.

Gravitar is available now on Atari VCS, and launches on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, Steam, Epic Game Store on June 2, 2022.

It’s quite an enjoyable throwback.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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