Grappling Hook is a fantastic first-person puzzler which is very much in the same light as Valve’s Portal. Armed with a lazer grappling hook which can only attach itself to green surfaces, players navigate metal chambers in the hope of getting back to Earth.
Like with Portal, the use of momentum and timing is crucial to success. Many puzzles involve letting go of the grappling hook at just the right time to propel yourself to safety, while others require firing in mid-air and latching onto surfaces that may not have been visible when firmly on the ground.
It’s wonderful stuff. Starting off at a slow pace, you’re giving the opportunity to get used to the grapple gun before the more taxing situations come into play. Just check the video above for examples of just how difficult it can get – perfect, precision play is essential for making sure you land on the required platform and not across the other side of the room instead, and later levels love asking you to jump into the unknown, seemingly destined for death but then a glimmer of green emerges and, with a skillful aim, you’re back on track.
With great gameplay comes style too. An Arnie-sounding announcer will constantly give you the thumbs up, shouting ‘good job!’ and ‘excellent!’ as difficult puzzles are bypassed. There are also a whole bundle of achievements to collect, for all you achievement nymphomaniacs out there (including myself!). Then, once you’re plugged your way through normal mode, there’s a hard mode too – just in case you wanted to rip some more hair from your head. Each level has challenges too, ranging from ‘complete level quickly’ to ‘don’t die’.
You’re looking at around 90 minutes of gameplay from normal mode, then probably about 5+ hours if being a completist is your kind of thing. The full game is $22.94 (Â£15.63) to buy which is possibly a little steep, but only a bit. Your best bet is to try out the demo (which includes 5 levels) and see what you think.