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GrappleApp: Android Review

By: Shawn Porter


Can you choose the right path to victory, or will you end up tapping? Improving your grappling is a screen-touch away…So, start clearing your shelf for the arms you’ll bring home!

GrappleApp is a free turn based grappling game available for free in the Google Play Store. Released by UK based Zack’s Mohawk Software in 2018.

You get started by creating a character and selecting a gym. Selecting that gym seems an important choice since it means choosing what aspects of grappling you first want to build up. I chose an academy specializing in rear naked chokes and defensive abilities then began my journey towards the ultimate goal:

Receiving my black belt.

The founder and lone developer at Zack’s Mohawk Software is Matty Mahoney. Mahoney began coding the game in 2012 and it hit the Android store in mid-2018.

“I first started developing GrappleApp as something to play around with during times when I couldn’t train, through illness or injury, and it just grew into a game from there,” Mahoney wrote via Twitter messenger.

Training is where you spend most of your time, with the modes central to the game being General training, Let’s Roll, Specific Submissions and Conditioning. Each mode includes an in-game prompt explaining the general concept and strategy behind each one.

If you already know your grappling well, then Specific Submissions mode is a great place to dedicate your time towards improvement no matter what point in the game you’re at.

Choose a submission and find yourself at the below play screen. Choose the shortest path possible towards finishing the submission for maximum gains. Take too many wrong turns and your gains diminish or are lost completely.

I choose armbar as the submission to practice and am started in the position of full guard on the bottom. Perfect, the armbar is right there for the taking! 

Holding down on the submission gives you the option to choose which side to attack. Handedness is selected during character creation.

All the in game position and submission moves are conveyed through live action video as your sweaty blue gimp battles the red gimp like it’s a Pulp Fiction porn parody.

While at first a bit odd, it quickly added to the originality of the game and is a great solution towards the problem of how to show the moves. You could alternatively animate them or just leave it to something vague like text or pictures which may prove too costly or just plain not good enough to bank on as a key element to a game. A solid solution in the end.

I noticed there were at least a few updates that came in while writing this review, I asked Mahoney about what sort of plan may be behind that,

“I’ll keep on adding bits here and there forever, the speed and scale of that depending on whether or not it blows up a bit and I get some funding/devs…I’m keen to get it recognized as the first ever game of its kind, but the future goal is to actually make it the best also.”

When asked what Mahoney thinks makes the GrappleApp so unique, he replied,

“I think it’s the first ever Jiu Jitsu game you can actually play with the same mentality and strategy as genuine Jiu Jitsu. The thought processes, and the factors that determine success or failure, are as close to reality as can be (for now). In a nutshell though, it’s a turn-based jiu-jitsu strategy game.” 

Shawn S. Porter View All

Creative Wanderer: Lost

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