Is the gravity gun the quintessential videogame tool/weapon/keepsake? After Gordon Freeman popularised it all those years ago, loads of games and mods have served up their own interpretations, and it's even taken centre stage in a nifty Half Live live-action performance.
2D sidescrolling physics puzzler Nebula [Steam page] is the latest to call upon the gravity gun's services and having spent a bit of time wandering its new-to-Early Access abandoned space station, it does so really rather well.
Nebula in its current state breaks you in gently. You're quickly introduced to its basic mechanics, shown how to shoot with the left mouse button, jump and double jump with space, and how to slow down time with the right. Then you're told that when in slo-mo you've got the power to shoot down enemy bullets, which almost immediately comes in handy as you attempt to outrun a gauntlet of ceiling and floor-mounted laser-firing cannons. It's fun, albeit fairly standard platforming at first, but then it introduces its gravity gun.
Then Nebula enters its own. You'll shoot and drag floating platforms to reach higher levels; you'll grab debris and launch it in the faces of hostile automatons; you'll shoot magnetic beams and traverse over bottomless pits; you'll manipulate the environment around you to solve physics-based puzzles; you'll...you'll do this, basically:
Nebula plans to be in Early Access for the next two years, according to developer Akos Szekretar, within which time new levels, enemy types, boss battles, and new weapons, among other things are expected to added.
Nebula is out now on Steam Early Access for the discounted price of £6.29/$8.99/8,99€.