There’s one complaint I hear more than any other: “Man, I wish there was a game where you could play a gooey space blob, that flies around the stars by latching itself onto magical floating platforms and also sticks to them in order to reach a black hole at the end.” Well… As oddly specific as that wish is, today I’d like to show you a game that FINALLY caters to you poor space-blobless souls!
Grapple, a 3D puzzle platformer where you swing around a lot. Like Spiderman, minus the brooding and angst. The goal is simple, reach the black hole, portal, whatever, by any means possible! Which in this case is grappling, jumping and sticking to stuff. As simple as it is, it’s ridiculously good fun to fling yourself around, even if you fall and die by hitting the… Space floor?
There’s a wonderful sense of momentum as you sling from platform to platform. You can also influence it (and your mid-air flight) with the movement keys, though I’d be cautious if you’re moving sideways. You can reach some pretty ludicrous speeds by simply strafing without letting go of the grapple. Not to say it’s useless, it’s incredibly funny when you finally let go.
Bright green collectibles litter each level if you’re up for the challenge of carefully collecting each one. Occasionally, a very rare purple collectible shows up every couple of levels but is very well hidden or risky to reach. There’s nothing to stop you from blasting through the level, but it’s nice there’s more to do than simply reaching the finish point in the fastest time.
That being said, although the game is perfectly happy to let you move along at your own pace regardless of skill level, there’s also a speedrun mode for those of you who are interested. Though, personally, I like the chilled vibe (and music!) the game has. Infinite lives, frequent checkpoints and if you find a collectible and die, you keep it providing you don’t leave the level… It’s nice.
The game progressively gets harder over the 90 levels, but it’s always up to you to figure out your own route to the end… It’s one of Grapple’s biggest strengths thanks to its movement system. It’s not gonna blow your mind with anything revolutionary, (except when you glue yourself to a cylinder and twirl around it!) but it’s simple, satisfying, sandbox-puzzle-platforming fun.
So I recommend Grapple! It’s also pretty cheap, just in case you needed more incentive. Give the trailer a watch, I can’t really do it justice with screenshots. The only two complaints I have are that there are no custom maps and that the controls can’t be remapped. I don’t know why, but there’s basically only move/jump/drop anyway, so I can live with it.
Now go out there and show the endless universe what gooey space blobs are made out of! (Except goo.)