Grappling Hook

Grappling Hook is a first-person puzzler which is shockingly based around the use of a grappling hook to reach the end of the level. That describes the high-level concept, which is as straightfoward as the name. However a game with such minimal graphics and simple gameplay can really shine in the details. Grappling Hook can shine with the best of them.

The puzzles are conceptually very straightforward affairs--collect all the gems to unlock the final teleporter to exit the level. The implementation is spot-on though, the physics are tight, the controls hyper-responsive and the grappling hook itself is very easy to use. The aiming and movement are very precise and solid. Every move you make feels deliberate, which helps because you're trying to land precise jumps while avoiding electric tiles. Where it counts, Grappling Hook delivers what the gameplay needs to succeed; namely precision and control.

The premise is explained with a tongue-in-cheek text scrawl when you start the game. You have been teleported from Earth into this complex in order to perform various experiments. To find your way out, you simply have to find and activate the right teleporter. As a first-person, physics-based jumping puzzler with minimal graphics that involves the player running through a series of experiments, the Portal comparisons are inevitable. Indeed it seems to pull straight from the Portal playbook in almost every way. Grappling Hook is all about the gameplay though, from what I played in the demo the quirky story all but disappears after the opening text. The game quickly settles in on the simple but well executed gameplay, which is where it truly shines.

Why You Should Check This Out: A game about using a grappling hook to jump around, Grappling Hook sounds simple but manages to take a fairly straightforward premise and really take it to the next level with tight controls, excellent gameplay and precise movement. A simple game that's done well, what's not to like?

[size=20]Download Demo Now (OS X)[/size]

Comments

I guess what I'm trying to say is, less fun gameplay, more snobby art games!

I try to highlight the snobby art games when I see em, if for no other reason than to piss off Lobster!

I'm sure Fatale is going to get featured at some point soon .....

PyromanFO wrote:
I guess what I'm trying to say is, less fun gameplay, more snobby art games!

I try to highlight the snobby art games when I see em, if for no other reason than to piss off Lobster!

I'm sure Fatale is going to get featured at some point soon ..... :twisted:

I wonder if we should just proclaim next week Fatale week on the Front Page.

Also, the guys who made Pathologic are coming out with the English version of their new game, The Void, pretty soon. I have it coming in at the end of October. RPS had a pretty good write-up.

Man, I have so little time for Fringe Busters anymore. Sad, really.
Either way, I think I'm more intrigued by Fringe Busters picks where the highlight is on an interesting approach to narrative (a la Dear Esther) than stuff like this. Its not to say that stuff like Grappling Hook isn't good, its just that I'm not compelled by these types of games to drop what I'm doing and play it.
Dear Esther, Today I Die, Judith, etc all did.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, less fun gameplay, more snobby art games!

I enjoyed it. Experienced a bug where you couldn't move and the screen vibrated. Luckily I was on a zap panel so I just respawned. Sending me to a site after I'm done with a demo always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If I'm that interested I'll go to your site anyway, just make it an option.

Dysplastic wrote:

Also, the guys who made Pathologic are coming out with the English version of their new game, The Void, pretty soon. I have it coming in at the end of October. RPS had a pretty good write-up.

I'm excited about that one, too.

F anyone's I, I could not get it to run on Win 7 RC ...

Teeldarb wrote:

F anyone's I, I could not get it to run on Win 7 RC ...

It ran in Win7 x64 for me just fine. Driver issue?

PyromanFO wrote:
Teeldarb wrote:

F anyone's I, I could not get it to run on Win 7 RC ...

It ran in Win7 x64 for me just fine. Driver issue?

7 x86 here

Won't run on Vista 64 here. It crashes after selecting video options and clicking OK.

Edit: Disable audio? Nope. Disable Fullscreen? Nope. Disable bloom? Nope. Enable vsync? Nope.

This is on a system with Intel E8400, 8GB RAM, NVidia 9600 512MB, and latest drivers. Hrm.

It's like portal, but with less disorientation.

Actually it's exactly like portal but you can't do the "speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out" manoeuvre. You can swing along the ceiling though. That's good for something.

Man, I feel like a dick for this but...
I grabbed the demo and I really have to ask. Why should I buy this for 20, when Portal launched at 10 bucks? I like to support my independent brothers and sisters, but sometimes I really wonder just what their product is actually worth to people.

KingGorilla wrote:

Man, I feel like a dick for this but...
I grabbed the demo and I really have to ask. Why should I buy this for 20, when Portal launched at 10 bucks? I like to support my independent brothers and sisters, but sometimes I really wonder just what their product is actually worth to people.

Portal launched at $30, and it's $20 now.

I loved this. Old school grappling games are fun, but this adds some modern features. If it was $10 on Steam, I'd buy it. I love first person time trials with sharp controls -- Portal, Trackmania, etc.

The Portal comparison is easy, but the gameplay in Grappling Hook is closer to games that predate Portal.

It's too bad about some of the bugs. A friend of mine can't play with audio and he has no issues with other games and is pretty competent when it comes to computers. I'm wondering if bugs are more common on Vista/7 than on XP, which is what I use right now.

cyrax wrote:
PyromanFO wrote:
Teeldarb wrote:

F anyone's I, I could not get it to run on Win 7 RC ...

It ran in Win7 x64 for me just fine. Driver issue?

7 x86 here

My bad, turns out my vid card is not up to spec ...

I played the OS X version. The menu was laggy to the point where it was almost unusable, but the actual 3d game engine ran just fine.

Sort of a neat concept here, but it did remind me why I don't usually like jumping challenges in first-person games. Metroid Prime is still the only game series I've played that seemed to get it right.

No, I don't remember Portal having that many actual jumping challenges; the only one that comes to mind is the room with the companion cube. There were three switches you had to hit, each one raised a pillar in a hallway, and you then jumped from pillar to pillar to escape. All the other difficult challenges I can remember involved putting the portal in the right place as you flew through the air, which is really just aiming and firing at a moving target...

I just played through this yesterday. Portal did have quite a few jumping puzzles, some having death as penalty for failure. Check gamefaqs for details.

Hans