When I first looked at GAS, there were a few immediate thoughts that came to mind. The first, ew, because well, the game is quite literally about a man using his irritated bowels as a sort of flatulent super power. In short, the man flies by farting. Despite this slightly disturbing fact, my second thought was that the game does have a unique concept. A 2D platformer about farting, GAS, is actually about resource management, and is quite unique in that fashion. Unfortunately, this unique game play does not make up for its shortcoming.
An indie game from developers Diametric Games, this game about abnormally high levels of human gas has a unique twist. Instead of the common good or bad object concept that most games generally follow, resources in GAS are not objectively good or bad for the player. The two resources in the game, gas-promoting foods (tacos, burritos and peppers) and stomach soothing tools (Pepto-Bismol-like medicine and toilet paper), are both beneficial and harmful. Diametric games has done this through a “Gas-O-Meter” and the concept is rather simple; collect food items and your gas meter will rise, collect medicines and toilet paper and that meter will fall. You need gas to fly, and make it to the bathroom before…”Oh Crap!” but, fill that meter too high and your disgusting brown “game-over” splats are now red, because you’ve exploded. It’s an interesting concept and you need to consider both items as obstacles and necessities depending on the situation.
This makes for challenging game play, in fact often too challenging. Out of my many play-throughs I rarely made it past the first stage on the game’s “easy” setting. The screen is absolutely filled with food and stomach relievers, and often times I found myself too cluttered with obstacles to bother looking at my “Gas-O-Meter”, causing me to explode or run out of gas multiple times. Part of the difficulty is assessing whether or not you can or should eat that next burrito, or whether you should hit that Pepto and lower your gas levels so that you can consume the next 10 tacos in your way. Sadly, this fine-tuned resource management aspect of the game is over shadowed by the pure amount of objects and obstacles on screen at a time. I was often unsure of what walls and ceilings I could pass through, and whether or not that next burro was an impassable object or just a part of the background.
GAS is plagued by many of the issues that most indie games share. I do not have an issue with indie games in the slightest, and when well executed, indie games can actually be much more unique and impacting than any AAA title. While GAS does have that unique aspect, it is not entirely welcome. Farting, as a main point of play, is not the best choice. It is a crude, gross and immature mechanic, and while it works, it is very odd. The game does’t have much impact, although that is not to be expected of a $0.99 game. The graphics are seemingly rushed, slightly off-putting and rudimentary. Level-design is lacking in that environments are too cluttered and generic, and stage by stage the changes were only slightly noticeable. Sound-design is nothing to write home about, and the fart noises were not entirely synced to the button, although it was a nice touch that this noise could be shut off while keeping the simple music in the background. The game is another generic, rudimentary platformer and does not stand out in any positive way.
I personally tested GAS on my iPhone 6 and my PC, but could only get the game working on the latter. On my phone, the app crashed every time I completed the first level which was a disappointment considering that the game is not free. Another odd bug was found in that when the hard mode was toggled,the option to load into a game that I did not save was opened up.
All-in-all GAS is at its best a moderately entertaining platformer about resource management, and at its worst it is a crude, frustrating and disturbing game about a man farting past food and flying medicine as he makes his way to a bathroom. I can not recommend this game unless you have an unorthodox appeal to flatulence, and if you must play this game I recommend that you download the free version to test it out. I would have to give this game a 3/10.