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GDC 2011: Upcoming ‘Rope Racket’ Rocks

Let’s talk about Rope Racket. It’s a physics-based puzzle game with adorable birds and long, brown lengths of rope. Instant hit, right? It might be, but not because of its inclusion of two of the hottest trends in iOS. Fact is, it’s a plain-old entertaining and unique game.

You’ll get a better sense of what Rope Racket is all about in the video below, but I’ll express what I can here. The goal is to wrap a wobbly bit of rope around a set number of rotating wheels. Then, you can free a bird with said rope at the end of a level.

Of course, there are hooks and interesting pieces of design. Rope is limited, however, the way you approach each wheel “puzzle” is not scripted. There are different solutions. But some of your more unconventional approaches might bring you too close to the Rope Racket’s diverse set of obstructions: vampire bats that relentlessly follow your bird around, cannons that fire flaming stones, and even darkness.

I want to note one mechanic that grabbed me. When you wrap the rope around a special wheel, the wheel then moves with the rope. In the short demo I watched at GDC in San Francisco, I saw Untame’s Itay Keren block those flaming cannons with the wheels. This is remarkable, to me at least, because you’re using the world to interact with the world.

We’ll be keeping our eyes on this one as it comes down the pipeline. It’s slated for a release on the iPad and iPhone 4 at some point in the next month.