By John Walker on September 24th, 2009 at 8:14 pm.
I’d not spotted Grappling Hook before, until I saw the demo appear. Now I’m wondering why we haven’t heard more about it. The creation of one-man dev team SpeedRunGames, more intimately known as Christian Teister, Grappling Hook is a first-person puzzler centred around a – wait for it – grappling hook. And as I might have made clear before, ALL games are improved by the addition of either double-jumps or grappling hooks. Grappling hooks doesn’t quite have a double-jump (there’s an extended jump instead) and as such falls short of angelic perfection. But despite this, after playing the demo I conclude it’s pretty damned fine.
Previously Teister worked as a programmer on the god-awful Velvet Assassin for Replay Studios, but a quick go with this should forgive all. It’s a super-simple 3D world, unashamedly made of boxes, some of them green. If they’re green, your grapple can stick to them. And from thence the puzzles are born. It works really well, the few levels on offer leaving me definitely wanting to play more. It’s clear there’s a learning curve to enjoy, and a lot more skill to learn to deploy while using it.
It’s also clear that the timing on this isn’t perfect. There’s a slight lack of finesse of introducing techniques in space where there’s room to safely play. Too quickly the floor is made of electricity and mistakes are punished with jumping back to the previous checkpoint. Not great distance, but since I was being asked to figure out how to fling myself for the first time, I’d have preferred to simply have to climb my way back up again.
It’s definitely worth a look, simply because anything with a grappling hook wins my favour. In this case it’s a magical electric one, so there’s no dangling and so on, but this is of course just another aspect to solving the challenges. Get the demo here. And watch a trailer below: