Who doesn’t like manipulating gravity in games? Ever since Half-Life 2 changed what 3D games were capable of (or maybe not. Something something Source Engine) changing gravity within 3D spaces has been a go-to for a lot of folks. Sky Beneath, a new puzzle game set to release this year, will give players more control than most. I got to take an early peek at the game’s demo and, while it was quite brief, I liked what I saw. Which was mostly gravity manipulation. That should be obvious by now. Keep up, please.
In Sky Beneath, players take control of Cassie, a young woman with an extremely trendy modern haircut even though the game takes place in the distant future. I guess hairstyles stay stagnant. Cassie’s friend Annie has built a gravity suit and I don’t actually know what else this game is about. Let’s take a look at the Steam page and read the synopsis. Nope, it doesn’t say. The demo begins with Cassie arriving at a research facility to obtain Annie’s tech. Once inside, she puts it on and takes it for a spin. The game makes sure that the player understands the basics by having them walk into holograms.
That’s all well and good, but the gravity manipulation here is rad. With the suit by itself, you can choose which direction you want gravity to shift. Save for upside down, that is. You can go forward, backward, left, and right. Doing so will immediately cause Cassie to fall to that side. You’ll use this to walk on walls, ceilings, and sometimes, floors. It works well and it’s satisfying to move around the environments by walking up walls. That being said, the way the camera shifts can be rather disorienting. I got around this by briefly shutting my eyes every time I shifted gravity.
As Sky Beneath is a puzzle game, there are of course puzzles to solve. I didn’t see many of these, as the demo only contains the first couple. The first one had to do with using gravity boxes. The gravity suit allows Cassie to make certain boxes float in midair, and she can carry them with her regardless of whichever direction gravity happens to be going. In this instance, I just saw good old-fashioned switch puzzles. I grabbed a box, put it on a switch that opened a door, and then grabbed a separate box. Finally, I put both boxes on a single switch and moved onward.
The next room, which was the demo’s last, offered another wrinkle. There are gravity areas that cancel out the suit’s gravitational direction and instead force a different one. I had to solve a puzzle by carrying a gravity box in and dropping it on a switch. Despite the switch being upside-down, the gravity stayed persistent, so I was able to lead Cassie through the area. Sky Beneath is set to have a bunch of abilities and different puzzle types, so I’m looking forward to seeing what else the game has in store. And there are aliens or something maybe? I guess we’ll find out in the future.