Day 205: Gerbil Physics

Posted: 2011/06/02 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #205, and today’s game is “Gerbil Physics”.

Suggested by Mass Deduction reader “David Loves Sandy”, today I picked up Gerbil Physics. This game is fantastic, and should appeal to fans of Angry Birds, “FishCraft”, and Crush the Castle. Gerbil Physics has you destroying towers made of blocks (and reinforced by gerbils) using bombs, robes, a disintegration tool, and newtonian physics.

First, from the developer (Beringela):

“Physics-based gerbil demolition fun! Buildings formed of gerbils await destruction for your amusement using a variety of demolition tools. Use bombs, ropes and disintegrators across 24 levels of gerbil mayhem including the ‘terrifying’ Iron Gerbils. No gerbils were hurt during the making of this game.”

The simplicity of the game is a strength, enhancing its pick-up-and-play nature. Destroy the gerbil towers using the tools at your command (with more powers, and enhancements to existing ones, granted to you as you progress).

As is commonplace for the puzzle genre, things get harder as you progress, but things that might at first seem like a hindrance can sometimes be a benefit (I’m particularly thinking of explosive scenery in later levels that, with some deft manipulation, can actually help cause chain reactions that will assist you). Later levels also introduce indestructible blocks that force you to find ways to get the blocks around them, and gerbils that are heavier than others and require different strategies to destroy and/or utilise properly.

Presentation is hilarious, with gerbil animations that are simultaneously amusing and heart-wrenching (depending upon the level of affection you have for gerbils, I suppose), with everything backstopped by some satisfying explosions and cascading chain reactions. Power-ups factor into the game, forcing you to manoeuvre an appropriate gerbil into them to collect. If you get stuck on a level you can skip it, and come back to it later, something other puzzle game designers would do well to copy. Ultimate failure in the game comes if you use up all your items without bringing down the house, as it were.

Updated at some point to version 1.1, it’s nice to see the game has seen some after-sales support. 80 Microsoft Points is a steal for this game, and I highly recommend it.

Click here to download “Gerbil Physics”, and then please come back after playing to rate the game.

Know someone else who would want to read the review, or rate the game? “Share This” and invite them to.

  1. David Loves Sandy says:

    Funny thing! I just bought FishCraft this morning thanks to your blogs. And I just did a Google search for Crush the Castle and I’m headed over there to play that. Just my morning fix of gaming before I have to work this afternoon.

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