Sometimes I just want to go fast.
Developed by Cybernetic Walrus and published by Iceberg Interactive, Antigraviator is a breath of fresh air that brings a modern twist to nostalgic gaming. It’s been awhile since I have found a game that has filled the hole that F-Zero and Wipeout left in my heart. Antigraviator brings back this genre of racing and pushes it to the max.
I enjoy platformers, open world fantasies, and racing video games. It’s tough to find a racing game that isn’t similar to others in its genre, and that’s okay. Racing is a simple concept for video games. It’s therapeutic to cruise along and listen to good beats, enjoying the landscapes as they zip by. Games like Antigraviator give me a different escape than going to a fantasy world. It makes me feel like I can travel anywhere.
Booting up Antigraviator, I was worried that it was going to be a poor knock off of Wipeout. I didn’t want that to be the case, and thankfully it wasn’t.
I jumped right into the campaign mode without even looking at anything else. I was there to do one thing — race. As the lights signaled “GO!” I took off down a physics defying race course which twisted through a futuristic city. Like Wipeout, I started to pick up speed, and then some more speed, and then even more speed. It dawned on me that I wasn’t going to slow down until I hit something or was wiped out by another player. This game was taking racing to another level and feeding my appetite to break the sound barrier at the same time.
As I traversed further into the campaign by unlocking additional cups, I found that each world was incredibly unique. This is something that I cannot say about Wipeout, which for the most part has a colorful array of different courses that look more or less the same. That is not the case with Antigraviator. World building by interpreting the setting around the player is really important to me in a video game. As I careened my space ship through tropical islands, desert wastelands, and futuristic cities, I started to think about what happened to these worlds and how civilization was built on all of these planets.
One particular planet had me zipping through desert canyons and I suddenly felt like I was back in the Star Wars Episode 1: Racer, a game I loved in 1999. Antigraviator felt like that game in the moment, except far better produced. Unlike my favorite Star Wars pod-racing game, Antigraviator has seamless controls and a vehicle building system that is so much easier to navigate.
In racing games, building the perfect racing vehicle is important to me. It’s ironic how much I know about building cars, even though I am not a car fanatic by any means. I am one of those people who goes by the logic of “If it runs, then that’s good enough for me.” In video games, that is an entirely different story.
I appreciated that Antigraviator kept the vehicle building system simple. Similar to Mario Kart, it provides me with the specifications for the equipment I’m considering for my racer. It also provided me with the cost for each component, which allowed me to save my in-game currency for the equipment I actually wanted, instead of entering into a vehicle upgrade raffle. This is because Antigraviator has one goal for the player, and that’s to go fast.
At first, it took me a while for me to get used to the controls. They aren’t complicated, but when you’re going at an ever increasing velocity through a race track on another planet, it’s a lot to take in during the first round.
Usually when I play a racing game, I eventually hit a speed limit. Not Antigraviator. I just kept going forward faster and faster. But once when I had the controls down, I built the space ship of my dreams with all of the right specs and took it for a spin on the track. Though I have to say, once when I hit light speed, I couldn’t really tell the difference in my specs anymore.
The player has the ability to lay traps to slow down other racers. I found that I didn’t necessarily need them as much as I needed to learn how to avoid being hit by another racer’s weapon. What I did need was the fuel lining the track. Boosting was far more important to me than wiping out other players. Once when the boost was activated, the whole world would blur around me as I surpassed the speed of light.
As world after world zipped past and my head bobbed to the subtle beats playing on the track, I felt my eyes glaze over. I finally looked away from the screen and realized that it was 1:00 AM. I had been playing the game for quite a few hours. This is a game where player loses track of time when flying down these courses because they are just so relaxing and addicting to play.
There is something very nostalgic about Antigraviator that really hits all of the right notes. Often times I felt like I was playing a game from 20 years ago, but modern and with far better controls. It also brought that therapeutic feeling I would get when I play a racing game at the arcade.
If you want a game that goes fast, this is the race for you!
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