Grav|Lab is a physics-centric puzzler which has you devising ever more elaborate ways to guide balls from one point to another. A simple premise, but one that lools instantly appealing.

One of the HTC Vive’s most effective showcases early on was the wonderful room-scale application of the classic flash game Fantastic Contraption. It provided the perfect demonstration of how powerful freedom of movement and motion controllers can be in VR and that tactile gameplay executed well enough need not be weighted down with bloated plots to be a captivating experience.

Grav|Lab is a puzzle title which aims to take that tactile ethos and throw some extra physics-based gameplay into the mix. The game has you guiding spheres from a spawn point with your mission simply to get said spheres to the goal by any means necessary. Those ‘means’ take the form of a selection of platforms and tools made available to you and magicked into the world via a very near controller-bound menu system.

You may well have seen standard 2D titles like this before, the Incredible Machine series for example. But leaving aside the obvious appeal and instant gameplay satisfaction motion controls give you, constructing solutions to these physical logic puzzles within a 3D space you’re free to move around in, looks altogether more fun, challenging and rewarding.

As you progress, the solutions required by the game become more elaborate, and as well as platforms with physics-altering properties (downhill becomes uphill), the developer seems to be having great fun devising numerous gizmos to include. Mini launchers that propel the balls greater distances, requiring you to judge elevation and velocity as you build for example.

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Grav|Lab is still in development for both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift & Touch and will be available this year via Steam’s Early Access program. No firm release date has been announces just yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we learn anything.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Mettanine

    I remember seeing an early video of this. It looked compelling then, looks even better now. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Strawb77

    “more fun, challenging and rewarding.”
    so long as increases in difficulty don`t just involve more balls, less time, and further away goals- that would just be so lame