Let's turn the action-platformer world upside-down.
Antipole's protagonist, clad in red hat and trenchcoat, travels hazard-filled corridors, facing off against a horde of faceless robot enemies. The game plays a bit like a faster-speed Mega Man-style game. Though you carry a typical energy pistol, you have a more interesting item at your disposal, a gravity manipulation device.
Pressing R reverses gravity in a zone around your character for a limited amount of time. This can be used to run on ceilings or to simply fling yourself onto platforms that can't be reached by jumping. Furthermore, the gravity reversal affects enemies and their projectiles as well. A nice touch in the game is a consistency in environmental hazards -- for example, spikes kill enemies just as easily as your character. Players can thus use the gravity manipulations skillfully to direct enemies to their doom, or even to herd them elsewhere for other uses, such as triggering switches.
Antipole's graphics are rather barren, with a limited palette reminding me of shareware games of the 90s. However, the light industrial music is well-suited to the environment and nicely done, and more importantly, the gameplay is solid and interesting. As the levels progress, players must become more skillful with timing and the manipulation of gravity. Some stages even have their own fluctuating gravity fields. Other stages have limited lighting and laser-triggered doors, adding puzzle elements.
The game includes a number of challenge stages, which are unlocked by collecting coins from hard-to-reach areas in the regular levels, and these really test out your gravity-defying abilities. Each stage also keeps track of best times, and includes achievements.
Antipole is certainly a title to watch for those looking for something a little different in the the action-platformer genre. The game is making its way from XBL Indies to DSiWare later this year.