It was a problem that has befuddled the Greeks, mystified the Babylonians, drove the most brilliant dynastic Chinese scientists over the edge and it is even said to have had a hand in why Galileo decided to investigate planetary motion instead. But we finally know the solution to how to get a robot up a vertical plane using a chain and a bunch of unevenly spaced balls as attach points. After spending some time studying Gravity Hook HD, the answer is "devolve into random clicking panic".
But the wise ancients were not very far off. They figured it would be something involving reflex, speed and co-ordination. Sure, after playing the new game from Adam Atomic and Danny Baranowsky (obviously a fake surname — whoever heard of someone called "Baranowsky"?), the talented creators of "run like hell" sim Canabalt and the previous incarnation of Gravity Hook HD (deceptively called Gravity Hook), you might employ skills other than madly clicking. But initially, panic is your friend and you should learn to embrace it.
The concept is dead simple. You start at the bottom with a robot, equipped with a grappling hook. He can attach to a floating sphere above him by clicking on it and, as he swings past it, gets propelled upwards. As soon as that happens, he needs to latch onto another sphere, because if he drops below the bottom edge of the screen, he explodes. As you might have figured, this is where you come in. You have to time these attachments by clicking on a sphere. Do it too soon and he has no momentum. Aim for a sphere too far and
Sean Connery loses to the Nazis he dangles, eventually stretching down and Boom! Basically, aim close, gather speed and, oh, avoid latching onto the exploding spheres for too long. The higher you go, the better you are doing. There is no cake - just more spheres. And bragging rights over your friends.
The original game was fun, but hellish in its expectations and difficulty. Gravity Hook HD is MUCH easier to play. It is also prettier, has a better soundtrack and no doubt hides other gameplay enhancements I didn't detect, for I royally sucked at the first game. But its ultimate boon is being MUCH more conducive to addiction. Yes, you will come back again and again to play this one. If that isn't enough, you will soon be able to buy it as an iPhone game (which explains the vastly improved attachment system). But play more you must. Honestly, it's also why Archimedes never got around to discovering Calculus.