Gravity Circuit Review – Intensely Satisfying Platforming Action

    This game is a beautiful love letter to retro action platformers.

    Capcom seems to have mostly redeemed itself in recent years, yet Mega Man fans are still suffering. Sure, there’s been some cool releases such as the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection. However, if you wanted to play a new Mega Man game, your options are quite limited. So, what if Mega Man fans took matters into their own hands? Gravity Circuit is a result of that. 

    Developed by Domesticated Ant Games, Gravity Circuit attempts to capture the charm of classics such as Mega Man X. The game unapologetically wears its inspirations on its sleeve without infringing on any copyright. So, does Gravity Circuit manage to reach the quality of the best Mega Man games? Here’s what I think. 

    A Familiar Structure

    Gravity Circuit Mission Select Screen

    Gravity Circuit takes very little time to throw the player straight into the action. After the game briefly introduces the player to its stylishly futuristic setting and conflict, the first stage begins. It isn’t a difficult level, but it requires the player to learn all the basic mechanics to get through it. In other words, it’s pretty much everything a first stage should be. 

    It’s quite reminiscent of how the first Mega Man X game started. The player finds themselves in a city engulfed by chaos and must try and stop those responsible. However, if the game’s primary inspiration wasn’t already clear, everything after this stage will make it so. 

    After a bit more exposition is revealed, a level-select screen becomes available. Gravity Circuit lets you tackle levels in whichever order you want. However, some levels may be preferable to tackle earlier than others. Each stage is a blast to play, but some may be more enjoyable when more abilities are available to the player.

    The Aggressive Gameplay of Gravity Circuit

    Kai kicking an enemy from above

    It becomes immediately apparent that combat is generally quite close and personal. Kai can dish out a flurry of punches and kicks that can stun many enemies. This is the default method of attack, but Kai also has a few more tools up his sleeve. The player can utilize a grappling hook to attack enemies from afar. However, the range of this weapon is still limited. 

    Once an enemy is defeated, there is a window of opportunity to grab them and toss them into other enemies. This can be a very efficient way of dealing damage to opponents (it’s also a joy to execute). Players can also utilize Burst Techniques to take out tougher opponents with ease. 

    Once the mechanics are mastered, Kai feels like a very aggressive yet efficient dealer of destruction. As I got better at the game, I started to feel like a true force of nature. While simple, the combat is addicting and works perfectly within the context of a fast-paced platformer. 

    A Wonderful Platforming Challenge

    Using the Hookshot in Gravity Circuit

    Gravity Circuit is a game that constantly tests the player’s knowledge and general skill. If you are looking for a relaxing 2D platformer, this is definitely not the game to pick up. Each stage feels distinct from each other and provides unique platforming challenges. Thankfully, the controls of this game feel very precise and reliable for the most part. However, I do recommend using a D-pad, especially with platforming sections requiring the use of the Hookshot.

    While the stages in Gravity Circuit are challenging, they do everything to minimize frustration. Failing a platforming challenge usually results in minimal punishment. If the player falls down a pit or hits spikes, they are transported to the previous platform at the cost of a little health. Each level contains several checkpoints in case the player’s health ever reaches zero. 

    Perhaps my only issue with these levels is the health and Burst Guage upgrades hidden within them. Some of these are incredibly difficult to come by, even when thoroughly exploring a stage. While I don’t mind some well-hidden secrets, these seem like basic progression items that are meant to be utilized by most players. I’d expect not to use them in a challenge run of the game, but it’s likely you’ll only find a couple of these items on your first playthrough without a guide. 

    Easy to Learn, Difficult to Master

    The opening screen of a boss battle

    The core mechanics of the game don’t take much to understand. However, there’s always an underlying sense that there is still room to improve your skills even after the final boss is defeated. In fact, the final boss proved to me that there was a lot I could do to improve at the game. 

    Options open up as the player gains access to more Booster Chips and Burst Techniques. However, it is impossible to equip all of these options at the same time. While some abilities seem more useful to have around more often than others, there are still instances where a player may want to experiment with what they have.

    Gravity Circuit strikes a nice balance between intrinsic and extrinsic rewards for the player. The sense of progression not only comes from the abilities you unlock but your general skill. It’s insanely satisfying to blast through levels at blistering speeds and take out bosses efficiently. This is why I keep coming back to Gravity Circuit

    Gravity Circuit Is Worth Every Penny

    Kai jumping over an enemy in the Steelworks stage

    Overall, Gravity Circuit is an excellent side-scrolling action platformer that deserves your attention, especially if you are a Mega Man fan. Despite being a short game, it’s effortlessly replayable. Especially with a New Game Plus and hard difficulty option available, it’s unlikely that you’ll be playing this game a single time.

    While heavily reminiscent of another game series, Gravity Circuit manages to contain a wonderful sense of style, a charming soundtrack, thrilling mechanics, great boss fights, and more. The game doesn’t do anything particularly innovative, and it’s displayed in a somewhat odd aspect ratio, but it’s an incredibly refined package. There’s very little more I would want out of a game like this. 

    While I fear this game will get overshadowed by the many amazing games of 2023, I’m glad I got to experience it. I strongly recommend Gravity Circuit to anyone who’s on the lookout for a retro-themed platformer. Gravity Circuit is currently available for PS4, PS5, Switch, and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store. For more game reviews, be sure to keep an eye on Final Weapon


    Gravity Circuit is an outstanding 2D action platformer that deserves more attention. This game is an easy recommendation for fans of classic Mega Man games. It's hard to go wrong with fun stages, great bosses, a catchy soundtrack, and an awesome sense of style.
    Itch has a strong passion for PC gaming and retro consoles (especially the Dreamcast). From Melty Blood: Actress Again to Forza Horizon, he will play just about anything that catches his eye. Ever since playing Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit as a young child, he has been in love with the medium of video games and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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    Gravity Circuit is an outstanding 2D action platformer that deserves more attention. This game is an easy recommendation for fans of classic Mega Man games. It's hard to go wrong with fun stages, great bosses, a catchy soundtrack, and an awesome sense of style. Gravity Circuit Review - Intensely Satisfying Platforming Action