Tilt, slide and jump to victory in Grabbity

Grabbity is a new iOS game developed by Colombian outfit Efecto Studios and published by Mexican media company Televisa. It’s available now as a free Universal download from the App Store, with additional level packs available via in-app purchase.

Grabbity is a platform-puzzle game in which players take on the role of a black rabbit-like creature known as a Grabbian in an attempt to rescue his friends. Players navigate around the increasingly-complex and dangerous levels by tilting their device — the Grabbian is affected by gravity so will always either fall straight downwards or run/slide down hills — and tapping to jump. Many levels require the player to turn the device around by 90, 180 or 270 degrees to walk on what initially looked like the “walls” or “ceiling,” giving each level an interesting sense of being more than just a collection of platforms for pixel-perfect jumping. The control scheme also means that there are generally several different solutions to each level.

The game is presented very well with rather minimalist graphics. The background sound is high quality (if a little repetitive) but the animation of the main character is full of personality — tilt the device a little and he’ll run, tilt it a lot and he’ll slide. Everything is perhaps a little on the small side to truly appreciate on the small screen of the iPhone, but on iPad it looks particularly great. The game was clearly designed for iPad first and foremost, though, as its tutorial messages invite players to “turn your iPad 90 degrees,” even if they’re playing on a phone or iPod touch.

The control scheme seems to work quite well for the most part, though the game does feel rather sluggish at times. This may be deliberate in order to allow players an appropriate amount of time to respond by rotating their device, but it does sometimes make it difficult to time jumps effectively — since the Grabbian takes so much time to get up to speed, it’s easy to jump, miss the far side of a pit and plummet towards a spiky death. Fortunately, the penalty for death is minimal — a new Grabbian simply appears at the level’s entrance for players to try again.

The game is free-to-play and offers 20 levels in its initial download. Two additional level packs are available for $0.99 each — the “Mantle Pack” and the “Core Pack.” These must be purchased in order — Mantle first, followed by Core. These each contain 30 additional levels. There are also 48 Game Center achievements for players to attempt, some of which are highly challenging — between these and the already difficult levels, there’s a decent amount of content here even for those who do not wish to pay extra — those who purchase the add-on packs will doubtless have several hours of entertainment ahead of them as they try to master all the game’s challenges.

All in all, Grabbity is a surprisingly good iOS game and, like any good mobile game, is friendly to both short and more protracted play sessions. The free download is a satisfying enough experience for players to get a feel for the game, while the paid additions allow for more varied, difficult challenges. Whether or not it will be able to pick up a strong audience outside its native South America remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a solid game that deserves some attention.

Grabbity is not currently listed on any App Store leaderboards at the time of writing. Check back shortly to follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.