When Semi Secret Software first sent out word of Gravity Hook, we immediately jumped over to their website to try out the flash game. The upward gravity flinging madness kept us occupied for hours and we felt confident that the controls would work wonders on the touch screen. They did, but what didn’t translate so well was the gameplay.
You play as a tiny space marine look-alike robot with a grappling hook arm that can grasp onto floating metal balls and fling himself upwards. The catch is that you must be close enough to the ball, or else you’ll fall off the screen to your death. As you make your way up, you’ll find multiple kinds of balls that will blow up upon impact or drop from the sky when grappled. Conceptually, this game gets a gold star.
Gravity Hook HD’s main flaw is that it’s too difficult from the second you begin. Instead of giving you many options of where to grapple, you’ll need to follow strict paths. One mistake will lead to an unrecoverable plummet, making us question the game’s proclaimed casual gameplay.
Another issue is that the pace never feels as speedy as it should. The robot pulls itself up very slowly and it can take ten seconds just to lift off the ground at the beginning of a round.
Prepare for launch.
There are some nice bells and whistles to Gravity Hook HD, however. In Doodle Jump style, you can see bars across the screen marking your previous heights reached. You can also post your scores to online leaderboards spanning the best climbs of the day, week, month, and all time.
Once you pass 500 meters in the main game, you unlock classic mode. Ironically, older is better in this case. Classic mode has a much more approachable difficulty level and quicker speed. Plus, the retro graphics are awesome.
However, what Classic mode lacks are the bells and whistles of the new game mode. The only balls you’ll encounter are the explode-on-impact ones, and there aren’t any high score markers for your other climbs. You’ll also need to manually quit the game to save a score. There are online leaderboards for it, however.
If Semi Secret Software finds a happy medium between the two modes, combining the feature set of HD mode and the speed and approachability of classic mode, Gravity Hook HD could be a real gem. We love that the app is universal, but the $2.99 price tag seems a bit steep for what you’re getting. We’d wait for some of these issues to be addressed before flinging out your money, or at least try the free online version first.