Grapple Dog is a no nonsense, straight-to-the-point action platformer that is almost entirely based around a grapple hook. If you have been following my coverage of games over these last two decades, I have stated on several occasions that there are two gameplay elements that can make almost any game instantly better and more fun: double jumps and grapple hooks. On top of this, this game also features a puppy good boi and adorable 2D sprites!
The ultimate goal is to reach the end of each stage, collecting a bunch of stuff along the way all from the help of a grapple hook. Grapple Dog actually reminds me a lot of Yoshi’s Island in terms of collectables and even presentation. Instead of collecting flowers and red coins, the player here is supposed to grab every gem and snack along the way. Doing well can unlock more stages and time trials also become available so there are worthwhile incentives to snag it all.
Using the grapple hook is easy and fun. It is important to note that not every surface can be grappled though, making each stage tightly designed by hand. Building momentum is quick and easy yet necessary to reach those tricky platforms. It is even possible to slingshot around 360 degrees with the right technique. It all feels good but always felt a tad restricted. Instead of giving players a tool to navigate each stage at will, each platform essentially provides the player one path to the end. Not that this is negatively viewed, it just never allows the player to Spiderman swing with true freedom to any point of the map at any time. It is a much more guided experience than it leads on to be and feels a lot like Mutant Mudds just with a grapple gun.
When not using the grapple hook to grab the goodies, players navigate the world map through the use of a ship where NPCs provide extra detail of your surroundings. All these charming details blend seamlessly into a GBA-style presentation. The 2D sprite work bleeds a soft personality that looks great on a large high def set up, backed by a poppy soundtrack fitting for a dog with a grapple gun.
Grapple Dog is one of those games that can bring a stupid, easy smile to your face with its colorful presentation and gameplay gimmick. It isn’t a perfect experience but it is a sweet lollipop that is desirable and satisfying.
Also available on PC.
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By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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