Developed by Tuesday Society and published by Midnight City, Grapple is a smooth-as-silk puzzle platforming game that is as challenging as it is therapeutic to play. With a crisp yet simple control scheme and equally uncomplicated visuals, this is quite a pleasant study in physics.
In Grapple, you control a sphere of goo and are tasked with traversing it along a series of platforms from point A to point B. The gooball can slink along the ground, jump, and swing to other platforms by shooting out a portion of itself and attaching, not unlike a piece of the Symbiotic parasite suit worn by the Marvel anti-hero Venom. You don’t face hordes of goons with machine guns or wisecracking superheroes in this game, but missing platform after platform may indeed lead to violent outbursts. It’s like playing a 3D version of Super Meat Boy set in the digital world of Tron, but stripped down to its platforming essentials.
As far as the actual platforms themselves, they’re far more varied than the singular sphere you get to swing around as. There are horizontal planes, towering vertical planes with curved slopes, giant cylinders, and orbs (among others) to carefully interact with. Additionally, some platforms explode your sphere on contact, and others still provide a boost to send you jumping sky high. There are even a few cannons strewn about for reaching otherwise unattainable vantage points, though it only gets more difficult as you progress through Grapple’s 90 levels.
The level layout in Grapple ranges from the straightforward to the supremely creative. Some courses allow you to see the next two or three platforms you should aim for, while others aren’t as intuitive. Take my word for it- you are going to fall a whole lot. Balancing out this challenge factor are two gameplay features: plenty of respawn points, and no restrictions as to how you can reach your goal. While there may be certain platforms available to get to the next save point, it doesn’t matter if you run and jump atop or swing below them so long as you get there. This freedom within a restricted space towards a specific goal makes for a wonderful few hours of gaming.
While it doesn’t have the personality of Portal 2 or the engaging nature of Antichamber, this is a great addition to any puzzle lover’s library. Grapple is accessible and endlessly fun to play, and at the end of the day, is there anything else you’d want from a videogame?
Grapple is now available on Steam.