Platforming games are often overlooked nowadays. Despite their simplicity in terms of design and style, they can also be some of the most entertaining. Stripped away from over complicated plot lines and not forced to rely on stunning visuals, the best platformers feel akin to sitting down with a nice novel or puzzle on a cold night. Settling nicely in this niche, Grapple is a nice foray of intriguing platforming levels using a cool combination of timing and physics to create a great indie game.
As you progress your stick buddy introduces you to familiar concepts such as “don’t touch the lava” and “right click to swing”. It is a simple, effective way to show the player how to beat the level without weighing everything down with a lengthy tutorial.
Graphically, Grapple is simple. The geometric shapes are all gray with either blue or red computer chip like veins running through them and the background is simply stars in space. The trance soundtrack and the techno looking environments give the game a funky feel and provide an interesting game experience. For some players that simplicity could be appealing as it allows you to focus more on the actual puzzles of the game.
One of the key features is the powerful movement. You can slide, swing and jump your way through the level anyway you please. For the most part the controls feel very slick and responsive with some minor issues on vertical surfaces. While you control your goo ball with the WASD keys, on vertical platforms you must also point your mouse in the direction you wish to go. This can be frustrating when trying to make a little leap over an edge as you won’t be able to see where you’re going at times. The controls could use a little tweaking when it comes to the vertical aspects.
Ultimately, Grapple is a simple, challenging puzzle platformer with a charming play style that more than holds its own. It will hook you, pull you in, and keep you swinging level after level.