Review – Gravity Circuit

There was a time in which we would be salivating for a game resembling old-school Mega Man. This is why something like Mighty No. 9 managed to break Kickstarter records with ease. Thankfully, we do not live in 2016 anymore. We have had a new Mega Man, as well as various compilations of older titles featuring the Blue Bomber. For now at least, nostalgia has subsided a bit. This may be the reason why Gravity Circuit flew under the radar. Which is a shame, as this is one of the best Mega Man-inspired titles out there, and everything Mighty No. 9 wanted to be, but failed at so spectacularly.

Gravity Circuit Combat

I brought fists to a gun fight. I regret nothing.

More specifically, I think that Gravity Circuit is trying to be like the Mega Man Zero games, thus appealing to the nostalgia of those who grew up with Game Boy Advances in the 2000s. Not only is the combat centered around melee, not ranged attacks, but there are other notable similarities. An introductory level set in a civil war against rebellious robot masters, a connection between the protagonist and the bosses, and a fully explorable resistance base which acts as your hub are some of the shared elements between those games. Oh, let’s not forget about the utterly monstrous level of difficulty as well.

Gravity Circuit Intro

Just like good old times, the intro level features a boss eleven times your size.

Surprise, surprise. A game based on the hardest Mega Man spinoffs of all time is also brutal as all hell. Even though it has a difficulty selection, Gravity Circuit pulls no punches. In all honesty, however, while the game can be beyond frustrating at times, it follows the same premise as other retro-styled platformers with high difficulty curves, such as Shovel Knight: infinite lives and checkpoints remove some of the tension, turning each level into a memory exercise. Gotta learn the behavorial patterns and movesets of each boss in order to take them down. As always, the first level you will tackle will possibly be the hardest one, as you will not have a weapon to take the boss down with ease. Things get more manageable afterwards.

You can also acquire new abilities by performing some extra heroics inside a level. Rescue hostages in order to receive buffs from the base’s resident nurse. You can equip these extra abilities as passive buffs, as well as new finisher moves you can perform upon filling up a special meter. Finally, depending on the level, you can actually pilot vehicles, such as a mech suit, in yet another element taken straight from Mega Man X.

Gravity Circuit Dialogue

Amen, brother.

In fact, very rarely did I feel like a death wasn’t my fault. Sure, occasional collision detection issues did happen every now and then, but for the most part, the controls felt great. Even though Gravity Circuit is melee-based, with me having to deal with a ton of ranged enemies, the combat mechanics didn’t feel overly unfair. You have access to a grappling hook, a dash and some ultimate moves which help you against those enemies, for instance.

When it comes to its presentation, Gravity Circuit knocked it out of the park. Even though I am not a big fan of the art style I can only describe as “too good for NES, too dated for SNES” (give me something like Shovel Knight any day of the week), the game looks great, and the dialogue animations were incredibly crisp, with huge character profiles with funny and expressive portraits. The soundtrack, on the other hand… hoo boy. This is some good stuff. Gravity Circuit features some of the best retro-inspired songs available in a 2D platformer. Not as epic as Shovel Knight, granted, but hey, that’s an impossible feat to achieve.

Gravity Circuit drill

Immune to spikes, bulky as hell, can kill pretty much every single enemy with one hit. Can I play as the drill mech for the entirety of Gravity Circuit’s run?

Domesticated Ant Games’ Gravity Circuit is one of the best Mega Man-esque retro platformers released in recent memory, even if we aren’t so desperate for new games stemming from Capcom or lookalikes as we were back in 2016. This is everything Mighty No. 9 wanted to be, but failed to deliver: it looks the part, it sounds great, controls like a dream, it’s brutally challenging, and most importantly, it still manages to stand out on its own, all thanks to some excellent art direction and a handful of unique elements. It will punish you, it might occasionally infuriate you, but it will make you come back for more.


Graphics: 8.5

It features a “too good for NES, too dated for SNES” art style that is certainly unique. I loved the dialogue animations. It is prone to occasional framerate hiccups.

Gameplay: 9.0

Excellent platforming and combat controls. The level design is pristine. Occasional collision detection isues happen every now and then.

Sound: 9.5

Some of the best retro-inspired songs available in a 2D platformer.

Fun Factor: 8.0

The fantastic level design and amazing atmosphere are just slightly hampered by the occasional collision detection issue and overwhelming difficulty curve.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Gravity Circuit is available now on PS4, PS5, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.