A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Grapple is a downloadable three-dimensional puzzle game that requires players to jump from platform to platform to reach the end of a level. There are two modes of play, Speed Run and Time Trial, and the 90 levels get progressively more intricate and challenging as players progress. Players get unlimited lives to solve each puzzle, and if the goo ball character that the player controls falls off a platform, it separates into small pieces and respawns immediately. There's no objectionable content.
What's it about?
In GRAPPLE, players control a goo ball and must jump or grapple and swing to other floating platforms in three-dimensional space to get from the start of a level to its end. The game features multiple checkpoints on levels and unlimited lives. The control scheme is very easy to use, so the learning curve is very small, and there are currently 90 levels of gameplay and two modes of play (Speed Run and Time Trial).
Is it any good?
Initially, Grapple comes across as a very simplistic puzzle-platform game that's a throwback to earlier arcade-style games. But it's also addictive. Though the graphical elements aren't complex enough to challenge many computers, the game relies on the strength of the puzzle elements, which translates to the timing of the grappling and jumps to race across the levels as quickly as possible. This is a game that asks players to think and doesn't punish them for ill-fated leaps. Fall into the void of space? No problem -- just hit the R key and start again from the last save point.
Grapple bills itself as a sandbox game, and players can select how to get from beginning to end (except early on, and those levels are very straightforward, but they do teach players the moves and skills that will be necessary later on). Where the game falters a bit is in its 90 levels not being randomly generated, which may affect replayability. At least the easy controls make it accessible, and the affordable price should appeal. Grapple is a pleasant diversion.
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