Too Much Free Time

Discussion and reviews of games for NES, Intellivision, DOS, and others.

First Impressions: The Adventures of Rad Gravity

Posted by Tracy Poff on May 22, 2008

The Adventures of Rad Gravity is a platform shooter by Activision.

The game begins by giving us our mission: to discover teleport locations by infiltrating the computers on the planet below.

With this goal in mind, we are sent down to begin. The enemies are rather odd, and the level designs leave a great deal to be desired.

It isn’t obvious from these pictures, but certain of the blocks which make up the scene can be walked through, and others must be jumped over. There’s no particular indication which is which, although I think that they are color coded.

After passing through a few screens, we encounter these robots, which are initially very difficult to kill. The weapon we have at the beginning is some sort of energy knife or something, and its range is about the width of Rad’s body. The robots move fairly quickly, so you have to tap the button pretty quickly as well in order to kill them.

As you move through the level you pick up powerups, including additional life bars and a gun, which seems to be slightly less powerful than the knife, but has the enormous advantage of being a ranged weapon.

Not all the levels are identical, as you can see in the above screencap. The thing with the up/down arrows on it is a sort of elevator (which I got stuck on and had to jump to disembark), and the thing center-right is a teleporter.

Here we see an example of extremely stupid level design. Every horizontal line is a surface, so you can–if you release buttons at the right moments–move yourself to whichever height you desire. Of course, it’s much easier to dodge the electricity (which is bouncing between the ceiling and floor) when you’re at the bottom of the screen, since it gives you more time to run past it, so there’s no particular reason you want to be anywhere except on the the ground.

If it weren’t for the rather painful graphics and horrible level design, Rad Gravity might be a pretty good game. If you can stomach those faults, give it a try.

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