There aren’t enough great games in the strategy and simulation sub-category of Xbox Live Indie Games, so it was a pleasure to discover “High Gravity Wells”. The game has you guiding spaceships to space stations through progressively more challenging and dangerous routes by using the four face buttons to activate gravity wells that modify the ship’s path. Think of the melee combat mode of the “Star Control” games, where you could get a whip off the planet’s gravity well to give yourself a speed boost, except here that’s the only way to navigate rather than an optional bonus. It plays out a bit like a physics puzzle game, with a space theme, but somehow feels more… adventurous than that description suggests. The levels are impressively varied too.
That’s the good. The bad, if you can call it that, is the game gets pretty challenging as you progress. Your ship has a lot of momentum and that forces quick thinking and quicker reactions. That doesn’t take away from its quality, but it does mean a lot of people (myself included) might not be finishing the game anytime soon. It’s only an 80 Microsoft Point game, so you might not find you feel the need to beat the game to get your money’s worth out of it, though, and with the game being both good quality and not like everything else out there it’s easy to recommended.
Here’s what the developer (Stockton) has to say about the game:
“Travel around galaxies by changing gravities to change your orbit. Avoid asteroids, black holes and more as you guide spaceships to their stations.”