[Review] Grapple Dog – Nintendo Switch


Lord Shmup here from Two Beard Gaming! I was privileged to review Grapple Dog from our friends at Super Rare Games, and loved that it was from a publisher new to me: Medallion Games. For me, Grapple Dog puts them on the map and spoiler alert? I’m looking forward to their next title. This action-adventure platformer tugs on the nostalgic heartstrings while carving a path of its own with a unique art style that raises the bar for indie games. Enjoy a friendly and humorous storyline while discovering new mechanics and ways to traverse the land including a grapple hook!

Grapple Dog

From the instant the main menu loads, it tells of the bright adventure ahead

Upbeat tunes, a vibrant moving scene of our protagonist sailing the sea, and the wonderful Grapple Dog logo. Accessibility has a high score with the option of eight different languages, and the ability to turn off damage or add infinite jumps. Allowing the player to choose their difficulty really opens the game to all ages which is wonderful to see!

Our main character Pablo has been tasked with stopping an evil robot named Nul by collecting some fantastic gadgets in order to save the world. The player is met with a cute story and silly characters to set the stage. Once the introduction is complete the world map opens, allowing the player to control the ship Pablo is sailing on! I LOVE being able to move the ship around to each stage or simply spin in circles while deciding what stage to play. I’m reminded of Super Mario Bros. 3 hopping on the ship to access different stages. That nostalgic trip doesn’t stop – world 1 music paired with the circular jump of Pablo puts my mind in front of a Sega playing Sonic as a child. Folks that grew up in the cartridge era of video games will love these throwback feels all while enjoying a new approach to the platformer genre.

Controls feel responsive and smooth

Once you get the grapple hook mechanic down it’s super satisfying to Spider-Man your way through areas utilising the grapple hook capability. I love that with each new level, area, or world that the player is introduced to a variety of ways to navigate the lands. Wall jumping, wall climbing, swinging from the grapple hook, and swimming just to name a few. Mastering the timing of jumps, paired with the grapple hook allows for smooth and continuous movement through the levels. I’ve been loving seeing fellow gamers post clips of their adventures on Twitter, it only motivates me to improve my swinging grapple hook use!

Grapple Dog

Speaking of timing, after each level is completed it allows the player to enter a time trial mode increasing replayability. This is where the approachability of the game increases yet again, by including the most competitive and skilled of players. If that’s not enough,
Super Rare Games are holding a speed run competition! Refer to their official site for official dates, rules, and regulations here.

Completing each level is just scratching the surface for what’s available in Grapple Dog. Collect all of the fruit and gems while searching for hidden areas, and keep a keen eye out for the B token to unlock hidden levels! Keep the gems in your sights as there is a required amount of them to continue making progress to each new world.

Music in Grapple Dog is catchy enough for not only me to be singing the tunes outside of gameplay but my Wife as well. I’m reminded again of Sonic and the awesome tunes from back in the day. Every world has its own song that plays in each level, so it can be sort of repetitive in that sense. I think it’s asking too much of an indie game to have a dedicated track to each level while still providing the amount of variety that Grapple Dog has.

Grapple Dog

Visually we have a simple yet fantastically executed art style that can be misleading to the difficulty. I’ve been known to judge a book by its cover and with the cutesy 2D look it could be assumed that Grapple Dog would be an easy run through. I would challenge those that thought the same as I and see how many simple deaths were caused by underestimating this game. Take a look at any scene and there may be eight or more layers in the background. Larger enemies or laser blasts really show out the style in a way that is simply satisfying to the eye. I recall my graphic design days in high school, and my art teacher always said “keep it simple” which can be extremely difficult. Medallion Games opted for that simple look and that hard work paid off. This game looks great!



Boss battles take place towards the end of the last level per world. As I said about larger enemies and designs, I LOVE the large boss from world one! This showcases why the art style is so awesome. All the smaller designs are great but the larger are by far my favourite. I dig that the player must make their way up, down, or right through a level in order to fight a boss. I expected them to be a level of their own but it just calls the player to use checkpoints to their advantage if they take the required four hits to death.


Final Words

I feel that I’ve only scratched the surface with Grapple Dog but that’s okay because I don’t want to spoil the game for anyone. Enjoy jumping, grappling and swinging through colourful worlds in this unique and fun adventure. To put it simply, I highly recommend picking up this finely crafted game for £11.99 / $13.49 on the eShop, or meandering over to Steam to make your purchase today!

We know our friends at @SuperRareGames would love to hear from you on Twitter so please follow and tweet them your thoughts on Grapple Dog.

star 9

Review code provided

Platform: Steam, Nintendo
Release Date: 10/02/2022
No. of Players: 1
Category: Arcade, Action, Platformer
Developer: Medallion Games
Publisher: Super Rare Games
Website: www.superrareoriginals.com
Twitter: @SuperRareGames
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop

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