At the bottom, this is clearly a climbing wall: artificial handholds, a ladder leaned just so, a sense of urban kibble to things. And you know Twitter, the pull-back-to-refresh action? That action spread everywhere on touchscreens, and it's how you climb this wall, too. You pull back, feel the elasticity in your body, and then let go, and you arc through the air, hands and feet flailing and gripping onto any colourful handholds they come into contact with.
Your body is a papery thing, bright colours, face and clothes that can be randomised whenever the prompt appears. It is a ragdoll, individual parts rigid but the whole thing cobbled together in cheery floppiness. If the game were more grim it would be a bit like launching a corpse up a scaffold, but the game is not grim at all, the grey of the wall offset by the colourful handholds and chains, the bells you ring as you reach respawn points along the way, the flashing dots you collect, presumably for points.
Dangers! The handholds disappear the moment you leave them, so if you don't attach yourself to something further up, you may drop back into the abyss. Then there are circular saws and roving red meanies. I left my daughter alone with the game for a few minutes over the weekend and when I returned she was crying with laughter, having de-armed and de-legged her climber on a saw.
What I love about this game, which is called Climbing Flail, and is made by Korigame, is both how focused it is - fling yourself up physics-toy mountain, and once you get to the top, do it all over again - and how much it gives me the sense of a developer playing with an idea and watching it develop. At the bottom, it really is an artificial wall. But by the time you reach the top there is a mountain peak with snow and all that jazz. Climbing Flail is an absolute delight. It's a game made for Twitter, with its GIF-ability and its easy physics comedy, but it also offers a lovely sense of a journey and - at the summit - a weird thrill of victory.
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