The Gerbils need your help again.
When Gerbil Physics first arrived on my Xbox360, I was not really sure of what to expect. The game involved using various tools, such as bombs or ropes, in order to make complex structures of Gerbils (some in round balls, some in square bricks) fall below a line. The physics engine within the game was great and, with a few carefully placed bombs etc., the player could make the whole “house of Gerbils” tumble and the level would be complete. The game took me by surprise and I sat there until it was completed. It was great fun and highly addictive, but the length of the game was it’s greatest problem. It was very, very short.
Then, along came Gerbil Physics 2, offering more of the same. I was quite excited about this as, although short, the first game had made an impact on me and I was looking forward to getting some more Gerbil exploding action in my life.
The same rules apply, get all of the Gerbils below the line. There are a load of new tools included in this sequel, and the levels are often larger and much more complex. The physics are still great and work really well.
However, I did not find Gerbil Physics 2 as compelling as the original. The difficulty level has been ramped up almost right from the start and now the players are racing against time in order to obtain a gold, silver or bronze medal. Being quick enough to get the gold is nigh on impossible and I found that I quite often had to make do with the bronze.
In some ways, I guess this is an attempt to lengthen the game and increase the replayablility. But even once the secret of completing a given level is revealed, doing it quickly enough to warrant a gold medal is an exercise in frustration. Without the inclusion of online leaderboards, there is not really any compelling reason to try and get a better score, even for the hardcore completists amongst us.
Still, the inclusion of new tools and machines, which require the use of the buffer buttons, has certainly made for some variety. The levels this time around seem far longer and more complex, often requiring careful timing along with more precise use of the tools. There is even teh inclusion of some new surface textures, making for some rather unpredictable results.
All things being said, Gerbil Physics 2 offers more of an expansion to the first game, than an all out sequel. The increased difficulty may well put off some of the more casual gamers out there. But it offers a longer experience this time around, whilst still keeping the core elements that made the original fun. For 80 MSPoints, it offers great value for money and is well worth playing.