When Nathan met Nathan Fouts
3/27/2010 1:28:00 AM
After the short dash and burst of noise, light and sound that was the entrance to the exhibit hall at PAX east, I did what most other attendees don't; I went straight to the back. I admit even I was swayed for a few minutes by a Triton display showcasing their headsets with multiplayer games of Modern Warfare 2, but I quickly returned to my mission. I wanted to find something new and unique, and I found it straight-a-way. Grapple Buggy is the brain child of Nathan Fouts, President of Mommy's Best Games, and he was there playing his latest creation on a large HD tv when he offered me the controller.
I've always prided myself on being able to pick and play almost any game instinctively. Just as Nathan was about to show me the controls, I promptly swung up several platforms and destroyed a couple enemies. "Yeah, that's the mine power-up" he explained as alien goo from some sort of flying piranha was sprayed across the screen. Grapple Buggy is surprisingly easy to pick up and play, and the responsiveness of the controls fell fantastic. Imagine the combination of the level design of a Metroid and a Sonic game with the gameplay style of Bionic Commando and Ninja Cop, and you'll get some idea of the sensation of speed and control.
While there wasn't any story or dialog during my play session I was assured that there will be some genuinely funny moments during the game. My concern is that these "funny" moments will slow down the pace of the game and ultimately fall flat. What I enjoyed about Grapple Buggy was the sensation of hurtling through the levels, exploring every nook and cranny, and discovering new and strange alien fauna and flora. Having Nathan along for ride was a bonus.