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Grapple Hoops' playable alpha is about acrobatic explosive dunks

Mirror's Edge meets NBA Jam

Grapple hooks: the confirmed best thing in videogames. Grapple Hoops: a first-person game in which you grapple hook across an obstacle course, smash and kick through doors and windows, and then explosively dunk a basketball into a hoop. There's a pre-alpha demo you can play right now, but at the very least you owe it to yourself to watch the video.

There have been a lot of these kinds of games over the past few years, but I've found a lot of them quite unsatisfying to play in practice. I spent a happy 15 minutes with Grapple Hoops five level demo though, which you can download from Itch.

I made clear my allegiance to the grapple hook up top, but it might be the double-footed window smashes and accelerating door pounds I enjoy even more. Bursting out of a door forearm-first was my favourite thing in Mirror's Edge and it feels similarly fantastic here, giving a rewarding rhythm to the build-up before the climactic dunk. Messing up a jump can send you off into the void and force an instant restart, but I was always happy to have another go. These levels aren't super challenging either, even for a dummy like me.

The obvious hope is that a speedrunning community will form around the game, and there's already a Discord set up to help players of the alpha share their runs. That's not my scene, but maybe you are not a dummy like me. Eithe way, this is a fun distraction and one to keep an eye on.

Thanks, AlphaBetaGamer.

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Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.