Since James Cameron recently described Gravity as the finest sci-fi film he's ever seen, I'm definitely checking it out once it hits theaters Friday. It's also directed by Alfonso Cuaron, the master storyteller behind Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Y Tu Mama Tambien. Gravity may be Cuaron's most ambitious outing to date, so does the app Gravity: Don't Let Go serve as the perfect primer?
As far as length goes, Gravity: Don't Let Go follows suit with the 90 minute film, as there are just three adventures featured in the app. So if you're looking for a meaty experience filled with hours of game play, this simulation journey may not be your cup of tea. The difficulty level is pretty high, this isn't exactly a game you can just pick up and play. Since your explorer is drifting through zero gravity, navigating in space is tricky business.
The directional button on the lower left side of your device propels you forward, with the up icon on the right hand side used for acceleration. The second chapter, which requires your astronaut to repair the ISS, needs a bit of coordination and multi-tasking skills. As the first section of the title only deals with keeping your astronaut stable, the ISS section calls for oxygen replenishment as well as repairing the craft. If you overshoot the craft even by the slightest of degrees, a quick hurtle through space will usually end in the astronaut's death and a restart of the level.
Restarting is not a bad thing, however, as your successful repairs will still be recorded. As long as the job is completed and your oxygen is filled, then you'll be able to proceed to the final stage.
The last chapter, which consists of flying the Soyuz module and syncing up with a space station, is also a headache inducing experience, as the goal of the stage is to not hit any debris during the flight. Dodging a couple of obstacles here and there is not a big deal, but what happens when a whole slew of junk heads your way? After countless attempts, my piloting skills ended in absolute failure. Since she's driven a speeding bus with the Point Break dude watching her six, I'm sure Sandra Bullock's module skills are much sharper.
Although it's just a few stages, Gravity: Don't Let Go has a ton to offer as a compelling simulation adventure. It's definitely lonely out there in space, and the app accurately captures the sheer desolation as well as the sublime beauty of the environment. Gawking at all the pretty graphics is hard to do when you're trying to stay alive, but there's nothing wrong with enjoying the view during the cut scenes.
Gravity: Don't Let Go is an intriguing enough app which ably serves as a complement to the highly anticipated film. There's a multiplayer mode that is being offered in a future update, but as a free to play title it's still a worthy download, especially if you're in the mood for a cool little space odyssey.