Grapple Dog (Xbox One) Review with stream
Lots of stages and lots of things to collect
The challenge of completing each stage is never high but collecting all the optional items might demand a few retries
Those soft pastel visuals are gosh darn charming and adorbs
Understanding the ins and out of the grapple hook will take a little time, like swinging with momentum all the way around a ledge
Collecting hundreds of collectables in each stage can be overwhelming trying to get them all, or frustrating to replay a stage when you missed one small thing
The Contra-like somersault jumps can be a little uncontrollable at times but they sure do look awesome
Originally released on Switch earlier this year, Grapple Dog has now been ported to Xbox. For comparison, it is the same game as the Switch version only the Xbox version seems to run at a higher resolution and of course has Achievements. See my article on the Switch version here.
In summary, Grapple Dog is a pleasant and charming 2D side scrolling platformer involving a dog, his crew, and his grapple hook. Each stage has been carefully designed around the pup’s abilities while hiding a ton of collectables along the way. Collecting most of the items are optional but completionists will have their work cut out for them as there is a lot here. Finishing stages also unlocks time trials so there are plenty of excuses to go back and replay stages. In fact, this is where the challenge comes into play; you probably won’t die much reaching the end of each area, but you definitely will not collect all the items your first or even second time through.
Grapple Dog is not an open-ended grappling experience. Meaning, the grapple hook can only attach to select surfaces and objects. Not that there is anything wrong with this, just understand that this isn’t Bionic Commando or Spider-Man swinging here. Even though it is a more restricting experience doesn’t mean it is bad or of poor quality.
The heavily outlined cartoony visuals are the icing on the cake. The soft color choices coupled with the well animated visual style feels like Grapple Dog should become a Saturday Morning cartoon license at some point. It is a friendly, appealing game that also has pockets of humor. The plot, which I don’t want to spoil here, also works well with the gameplay and explorable overworld map. There is even a fun shooter mini-game in which I would like to see turn into an entire gameplay experience at some point.
I am happy to see this action platformer make it way to Microsoft consoles. Next to Ayo The Clown, I encourage you do not overlook this gem because the visuals are kiddie. The gameplay is solid and it has a puppy with a grapple hook! I mean, what else can you ask for?!
Also Play: almost any Yoshi platformer
Don’t Forget About: Kirby’s Epic Yarn in co-op mode on Wii
Wait For It: Bionic Commando Rearmed 3
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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