Grapple is a free and ad free platform game by Oakmead apps. You play as a king who has been dethroned. Naked and alone, you’re tossed into sort of an evil forest where you try to get key pieces (and clothing) so that you can reclaim your rightful place on the throne.
Grapple features a variety of puzzle elements and is very reminiscent of Escape Goat. Players control the king with on screen controls. You’ve got three buttons. Left, right and up. The buttons appear at each bottom corner of the screen. I suspect this was to accomodate both people used to having a D-pad on their left and buttons on the right (like an NES controller) and people who are used to using arrow keys with their right hand, and other keys with their left.
Actual gameplay starts out pretty slow, with a series of tutorial levels. Some people dislike tutorial levels, but I’d rather play through them than read a manual (or worse, not get any instruction at all). After you get out of the tutorial heavy levels, the game gets pretty challenging. You work to dodge saw blades, position boxes on buttons and catch platforms to reach a single treasure chest which contains a portion of a key, or an outfit. If you die, there is no real penalty. You just fail the level and have to try again. Levels are timed, both as a fail condition, and as a means of replayability by challenging yourself to beat your previous best time.
Grapple has Google play achievements.
Grapple is a pretty game. It features SNES-like sprites. It seems pretty retro, with the exception of a few gradient backgrounds which are too smooth to be retro, and some particle effects which are beyond most retro systems.
The only thing I’d change about this game, would be to move the controls around a little. It’s way to easy too accidentally jump. This could be solved by moving the jump buttons to the upper corners so it’s impossible to hit a jump button and direction at the same time, on the same side.