Control the universe from the palm of your hand

You’ll no doubt already have heard the phrase “there’s an app for that.” In fact, you may already have used it – both ironically and legitimately – to describe a feature that can, in some way, improve or affect our lives. It’s the reason the humble smartphone has risen to popularity, after all, enabling users in a number of ways, from making the daily commute easier, helping lose weight or even a means to waste a few minutes while waiting for an appointment.

Gravilux, however, does none of these things. It is helpful in no way, and can only really be described as ‘entertainment’ in the very loosest sense, but that doesn’t prevent it from being a very intriguing app. The idea is simple: beginning with a bed of pixels – which the app poetically refers to as ‘stars’ – you can alter their trajectory and send them bouncing around the screen. All it requires is a single touch, though the fun comes in interacting with the stars as you try to manipulate their momentum.

Anyone who has downloaded Scott Snibbe’s previous apps will already know what to expect, as you twist and bend a galaxy to your whim without any real purpose. There are a handful of options, from colour to star density and amount, but while you may initially be tempted to switch the settings to maximum, not all phones can handle this pressure, and the highest number of stars will cause serious lag. Gravilux is best used at its optimal settings, where controlling the stars is tactile and immediate.

The problem, however, is in its limited array of options. While you can attract and repel, there’s little else beyond colour and amount that you can change, which is a shame, especially considering the interaction with music that the iPhone version can tout.

Nonetheless, there’s no denying Gravilux’s appeal. It’s mesmerising to track the stars around the screen, even if there really isn’t much point to it. It’s as close to art as an app can get.

Rated 4 out of 5

There’s no real purpose to Gravilux, but that doesn’t stop it being an entertaining app.