What's most remarkable about Gravity Bone is its sheer sense of style. From the bizarre cube-headed NPCs to the fuzzed-out interscene narrative with its "generic symbol" iconography to the cool bossa nova track of the first level, Gravity Bone is replete with well-conceived touches that reinforce its atmosphere, which is a strange combination of James Bond cool and sheer surrealism.
What's particularly canny is the way it blows up the idea that visual quality is inherently tied to high-poly models and teams of hundreds laboring over hot workstations running Maya; the characters have cubic heads, and cube are dirt-simple to model, but this is a conscious stylistic choice. Fuck photorealism.
The indie game blogosphere, such as it is, has been all over this game; Game Tunnel branded it the best "art house" game of 2008; Destructoid says it's "so stylistically unified, so consistently cool and weird and imaginative, that it's damn near impossible not to fall in love with;" Auntie Pixelante says it "succeeds where photorealistic voice-acted three-dee stories stumble because it stays in the realm of the abstract." What's a little weird, in fact, is how over-the-top the praise has been; it's a cool game, but it's also a straightforward 3D platformer, and it's not merely "painfully short" (as Derek Yu says), but awkwardly abrupt. I have no problem with "short," but just as short fiction needs different pacing from novels, so do short games; while the ending sequence is astonishing, it also makes you think that Chung got to a certain point and said "Screw this, I've wasted enough time, just end the fucker."
So yeah, play this thing, definitely. But I do wonder why certain games strike an immediate nerve with people, and others don't. Gravity Bone is cool, but its gameplay is less strikingly original than its visual approach.