Gnu Revenge by Bulkypix icon

Gnu Revenge ($0.99) by Bulkypix is a physics-based puzzle game where the goal is to send gnus out into space to destroy the crocodiles, once and for all, as part of a centuries-old war.

You do know what a gnu is, right? No? Well, it’s a wildebeest or antelope, aka, a hooved mammal. The gnus in this game are no ordinary antelope – they’re wild and crazy space adventurers on a mission to put an end to the crocodiles that have oppressed them for years.

It’s your job to help launch the jetpack-equipped gnus into zero gravity, calculating planetary pull to send them orbiting around planets. During the trip, gnus will grab their lost compatriots and smash into crocodiles, sending the wicked reptiles off into the abyss of space.

Gnu Revenge by Bulkypix screenshot

Each Gnu’s jetpack is controlled with a throttle button that’s on the right hand side of the screen. Pressing it firmly will send the gnu flying through space, but a light tap might send him crashing right into the side of a planet. The idea is to use just enough throttle to get your gnu to loop around the planet, snagging fellow gnu and ending the level by hitting the crocodile.

This control scheme is awkward at its best and entirely frustrating at its worst. The jetpack controls take very fine input to work properly, and the gravitational field of some of the planets is so tiny that there is little room for error. I replayed levels dozens of times trying to hit the exact right spot to finish the level.

Each level has a different planet or asteroid type with a unique gravitational pull. There are also obstacles to overcome, like path-blocking asteroids, barrel cannons, portals, and flight boosters. It will take both skill and extreme luck to time your accelerations just right to compensate for obstacles and to end up on the right trajectory.

Gnu Revenge by Bulkypix screenshot

Gnu Revenge has the misfortune of being similar to Rovio’s newly released Angry Birds Space, so if you’ve played that game, it’s the same general mechanic at work here (also similar: Rocket Bunnies). I’m not sure if this is an unfortunate coincidence, or intentional, but Gnu Revenge doesn’t live up to the more than satisfactory gameplay of its competitor.

On the plus side, Gnu Revenge has great graphics and a unique theme, but these do not outweigh the poor level design and frustrating controls. I would take a pass on Gnu Revenge, at least until there’s an update to improve the gameplay.