By Alice O'Connor on June 7th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.
“Heaven is a half-pipe,” sang OPM, exposing the spiritual naivety of the rap-rock movement–we all know there are no skateboards in any afterlife. Untethered from the dust, they become grappling hooks. Everything a skateboard longs to be and to do finds its ultimate expression, its true form, in the video game grappling hook. And I’m not just ragging on skateboards because of all the wounds I received trying to learn to skate last summer.
Tom Francis proved himself an appreciator of graceful arcs with his leaping-on-men simulator Gunpoint, and now he too has been visited by visions of this perfect form. Yesterday he released Floating Point, a lovely little grappling hook game which I suspect is a spiritual expression, created in praise or penance, as he’s giving it away for free. Grab it from Steam.
You have a grappling hook. This lets you swing from blocks. The faster you swing, the larger the points blocks protuding from the blocks grow. Once you’ve collected every points blocks, you can move onto the next level. But it’s not about that, it’s not about that at all. Floating Point is the grace, the drift, the dance, the jerk as you latch onto something far beyond your arc, the tightening as you snag on corners, the bobbing in the water beneath, and the trail you leave hanging in your wake. How very soothing.
“When Gunpoint came out, and did well, I thanked those who bought it for putting me in a position where I didn’t have to actively chase money with everything I do. In return, I promised to ‘make new things for you!’” Tom says. “Floating Point probably could make money – if I was a publicly traded company, it would probably have to. But because I’m just a person, I’d rather just give it away as a thank-you. And because you’ve let me become completely independent, I can. Thanks again.” Yeah, he’s seen those angelic grappling hooks all right.