Energy Hook is a very promising Kickstarter project that comes from the creator of the swinging system in Spider-Man 2 (review coming soon). It’s also the first campaign we’ve ever seen with a funding target of one whole dollar.
Jamie Fristrom was the technical director on and a designer for Spider-Man 2. He invented the swinging system that received very positive feedback from reviewers such as Ben “Yahtzee” Crowshaw who would spend more time swinging around the city than actually progressing the storyline. The idea behind Energy Hook is to take this kind of addictive gameplay and create an entire game around the one mechanic – and why not throw in a jetpack as well?
The title is set in the future at a time when the ice caps have melted enough to flood entire cities, leaving only the tallest structures standing in the new seas. The energy hook is a technology normally used in construction but has been redesigned by athletes for use in extreme sports – a bit like parkour but without the restriction of only using your body. We play as Delilah, who needs to compete in Energy Hook competitions to fund her sick daughter’s medical fees.
The swinging gameplay is expanded upon by taking elements from series such as Tony Hawk and SSX with tricks to perform and rails to grind, all while strapped into a jetpack. Fristrom’s experience of working on games in the Tony Hawk series will definitely add a lot of depth; Energy Hook looks to be on its way to providing some addictive gameplay at time a time when titles typically concentrate on graphics more than enjoyable mechanics.
I mentioned that this project has a $1 funding goal: why is this? Fristrom has fallen in love with the game and has stated that he’s going to finish it regardless of funding, but any money raised will make it even bigger and better. While he’s the only developer, his twenty years of experience in the industry will enable him to create much more of the title by himself than other indie teams working on their first projects.
The Kickstarter project is currently at $35,495 funding and has already passed the third stretch goal, that sees composer Brian Luzietti come on board with his wealth of experience in creating game music. The next goal of $40,000 will bring us Oculus Rift support, a first-person view and an additional level with wall-running mechanics. One stretch goal to aim for is $55,000 when James Zachary, animation director of Spider-Man 2, will join the team to add more animations for flips, grabs, and spins.
There’s enough force behind this project to create some great gameplay. If you too loved the swing action in Spider-Man 2, head over to the Energy Hook Kickstarter project and pledge some money. We’ve pledged enough to get access to the beta version and look forward to swinging among the rooftops once more.
The game is estimated to be released in March 2014 and will be available for PC, Mac, Linux, and possibly the Wii U. Make sure you give Fristrom a thumbs-up on Steam Greenlight.