Cargo! The Quest For Gravity

What Cargo lacks in execution, it makes up for in pure, unfiltered charm and Fun!

By Daavpuke, Posted 01 May 2011

Weird midgets! There, review done.

No, just kidding, but that would be the summation to one of the only concepts one can wrap their head around in Cargo! The Quest for Gravity. To say this rich, colorful universe is bizarre would be an understatement. In an earth devoid of gravity, an engineer named Flawkes departs on a mission to bring cargo to some remote islands. Upon arrival, small tikes called buddies, shoot up in the air with the power of Fun and spontaneously explode. Are you still with us?

In Cargo, the point is to restore gravity and ultimately save Earth. To do so, Flawkes will need to shake all the Fun out of the buddies, whose joy is used as currency and the only ingredient that can have an impact on the weightlessness. This is not to the liking of the 3 mechanical god-masks circling the central island, which had different plans for Earth. While residing in this desolate place for 4 seasons, Flawkes will build her own fleet of vehicles from various parts, bring buddies all over the island group, restore volcanic activity and so much more. This is all presented in very crisp and cheerful detail, even if it seems somewhat rough and empty at times.

NoobFeed Review - Cargo: The Quest for Gravity
Take that, you rotten little leprechauns! I'll teach you to mess with my cargo.

Mainly because there’s little to no life outside of the islands’ surroundings, it can sometimes feel like the barren retreat comes straight out of Waterworld. Additionally, the collision detection is awful and getting over ledges seems like an insurmountable obstacle. There’s a ton of flaws in the art conception of Cargo, but its completely wacked out style and cheerful nature make up for that a lot. In fact, the color explosion will be quite impressive at times and the barrage of floating debris will hint at cult classic Psychonauts.

The music will follow this marvelously with crazy oom-pah tunes, rhyming midgets and a separately adjustable music tool. As there’s a 1 minute limit to the tool, not all songs will be applicable, but man is it fun to let those buddies mosh it up. Put on some Ceremony, Outbreak or even Combat Wounded Veteran and then watch the sparks fly from all sides.

NoobFeed Review - Cargo: The Quest for Gravity
Cargo: The Quest for Gravity offers the most cheerful and childlike allegory towards pimping.

There’s even more to the great direction, with giant UFO’s, huge buildings coming down from the stratosphere, completely customizable vehicles for air, land and sea alike; the list goes on. If anything, this alone will force you to play the game to live out the experience for yourself. But luckily Cargo also offers some nice gameplay in this twisted adventure. Even though the collision bugs, vehicle creation, constant non-sequiturs, lost save games and more can cause severe frustration, there’s always a sense of wonder to roaming around Cargo. Tasks are unclear from the get-go and often Flawkes will wander aimlessly to find the next step, but just one look from a buddy and all is forgiven; especially since she can kick them to oblivion.

When geared up, Cargo can actually generate some speed and not just from vehicles. With a varying set of mission goals, Cargo will explore many different gameplay attributes whilst doing fetch quests for machinery requiring Fun. Add to that the changing seasons offering new gameplay options and each short-lived chapter will be more magical than the previous one. The customization of vehicles also offers a nice way to tinker with settings to see just how skilled an engineer Flawkes can be. This will ring especially true for the separate Sandbox mode, where just messing about is the only goal. And who wouldn’t want to mess about in Cargo, with all those elements beckoning them?

NoobFeed Review - Cargo: The Quest for Gravity
Cargo: The Quest for Gravity is truly at its best when blazing through the skies.

At times, the many bugs and flaws from Cargo: The Quest for Gravity can be truly aggravating, certainly since the main story is only 8 or so hours long. Gameplay facets are dabbled in, but could’ve used more meat on their bones to really shine and the game sure as hell could’ve done without frustrating errors spread throughout it. And yet, this world is so enchanting, vibrant and plain fun to vacation in. At any time, Flawkes can decide to just hang back and mess around with a boat, plane, submarine, car or just start experimenting with buddies. One can only imagine what an instant classic this would’ve been if all aspects were correctly worked out. In any other world, this cheerful sandbox couldn’t have been pulled off or seem empty, but the vibrant world of Cargo sucks in anyone with a heart and latches its claws in deep. This might be the most flaws ever overlooked in a game, but what Cargo lacks in execution, it makes up for in pure, unfiltered charm and Fun!

Gallery (19)

My Playthrough (21)

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Viva Media, bitComposer Games
Developer(s): Ice-Pick Lodge
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2011-04-21

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