Physics Games and Physics-Based Game Downloads

Gish + Pinball + Amazing Art = Gumboy!

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006 by Matthew in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 96 votes, average: 3.24 out of 5)

It’ll be hard to escape a Gish comparison when first talking about CINEMAX’s Gumboy Crazy Adventures. The main character is a blob of springs; you roll around, stick to things, and generally interact with your physics environment. At first glance the two games seem quit similar. When you actually play Gumboy Crazy Adventures, though, the similarities quickly dim and you realize you’re playing something completely unique. Something occasionally and horrendously frustrating–but definitely different!

Stunning Visuals

I know this is a website about physics games–and I’ll talk about how well (or not) the controls handle in a second–but Gumboy Crazy Adventures deserves special mention of its standout sound and visuals. In fact, I’d be surprised if the game wasn’t a finalist in at least one of those categories in this year’s IGF. The game simply looks amazing, particularly at native resolution on a nice LCD display. Wow. The ridiculous production polish is actually one reason I’m still playing the game in spite of its physics.

Gumboy Controls

The movement mechanic in Gumboy Crazy Adventures is touchy. Unlike other blob rigs, like Gish, the gumboy has very little give. He ricochets off anything, even slight angles. Rotation instantly snags, catapulting the character forward. There isn’t any of the typical fluidly and absorption of spring-based systems. It’s much more like pinball than a liquid blob.

You actually control the character’s rotation. The game does apply a very slight arbitrary left/right impulse, too, but not enough to provide any real locomotion. I find myself wishing the ball was sloppier and easier to manage when I bounce around for 10 seconds trying to get into a narrow passage. It can be insanely frustrating at times. When I move along a line that flows well, though, I can definitely appreciate the play mechanic as something entirely unique that stands on its own. I just wish that feeling occurred much more frequently than the brutal frustration the later levels happily dish out.

Fetch, Gumboy!

The actual play experience in Gumboy Crazy Adventures is essentially fetching and guiding other objects. In each level you quickly acquire a magnetic repulsion force, which you must use to push various items to these crazy-ass creatures. In one series of levels, you’re required to collect drops of water (which, of course, break open if they fall too far or touch any dreadfully annoying caterpillars).

Because of this play mechanic, the levels have a lot of back-and-forth action. You’re constantly backtracking and maneuvering on routes that cross each other. CINEMAX has done a great job designing the levels with this mind. There are numerous paths designed into each level, yet the stages retain a decent sense of exploration.

Gumboy Crazy Adventures Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(Gumboy Crazy Adventures Game Screenshots)

Variety and Replayability

Gumboy Crazy Adventures has over 40 levels, broken into groups of 5-6 per environment. The stages themselves have a decent amount of variety, and the core gameplay is extended by powerups: jump, sticky, air ball, star ball, and so on. They’ve managed a good job of embellishing the core movement mechanic.


Overall, though, I find myself dissatisfied with the physics in Gumboy. If the game was as fun to play as it was to look at and hear, it would be an instant runaway hit. I still think they have a fantastic game on their hands, and it should do well for them. It isn’t a game that I’ll be replaying as much as others in my physics game library, that’s all. The litmus test I usually apply for physics titles is whether it would still be enjoyable with solid-color placeholder graphics. I’m afraid that Gumboy Crazy Adventures just wouldn’t pass…

Still, the game is a great title overall and definitely worth the $20. Check out the demo!

Download Gumboy Crazy Adventures Demo (42 MB)

The full version of the game is $19.95 and available to purchase at the official website.

Related Posts:

13 Responses to 'Gish + Pinball + Amazing Art = Gumboy!'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Gish + Pinball + Amazing Art = Gumboy!'.

  1. Matthew said,

    on September 26th, 2006 at 11:49 pm

    Anyone have thoughts on the longer gameplay video? Worth the extra bandwidth? Boring?

  2. James said,

    on September 27th, 2006 at 12:15 am

    reminds me of black&white. but I hate paying for these kind of games.

  3. Beakless said,

    on September 27th, 2006 at 6:54 am

    same :-/

  4. Walaber said,

    on September 27th, 2006 at 9:07 am

    i liked the video length… gave a good sense of the different levels in the game.

  5. Dylan said,

    on September 27th, 2006 at 3:25 pm


  6. Steve Swink said,

    on September 27th, 2006 at 3:53 pm

    @James: How is it like Black&White? I can’t seem to find any similarities myself :).

  7. Sinistar said,

    on September 27th, 2006 at 5:52 pm

    This reminds me a lot of Locoroc on the PSP, except you don’t tilt the world to move around.. I wonder if it’s just as fun?

  8. Sinistar said,

    on September 27th, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    This reminds me a lot of Locoroco on the PSP, except you don’t tilt the world to move around.. I wonder if it’s just as fun?

  9. fluffy bunny said,

    on September 28th, 2006 at 4:10 am

    Seems fun (and I’ve no idea why it reminds people of Black & White, which doesn’t seem to have anything in common with this game). Will definitely try it when I get the time.

  10. Marek said,

    on October 31st, 2006 at 3:06 am

    Hallo! Try this site:

    Download and try special edition of Gumboy. Welcome to the international “Features League”!

  11. Beakless said,

    on November 1st, 2006 at 11:49 am

    ye NO! i loved the video length matthew, it gives a much better insight to these kinds of games, to really get a feel for what is like!

    As for the game it’s self, s h i t ! i can’t belive someone made this pile of shizzle and expected people to buy it!

    grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, but thanks matt!

  12. Flameo said,

    on November 15th, 2006 at 8:19 am


    I think he Deserves some money out of it,
    I think if you made a game like that you would take your chances too
    Cause i sure the hell would
    = )

  13. nobot said,

    on January 5th, 2007 at 3:19 am

    DO NOT PLAY THIS GAME. It will eat up your precious time, all the while making you believe you’re having “fun”.

Leave a Reply