Backtracking Disney’s Bolt

Note: Backtrack articles only include our ‘fun level’ factor while playing an old game. It is not a review, and is meant to be similar to a person-to-person conversation. These articles may contain spoilers. You’ve been warned.

Disney’s Bolt… ugh, frustrating. It’s a ‘kid’s game’, any gamer should breeze right through it while experiencing a fun story, flashy graphics and overall a short game (4 hrs). Although, my expectations were everything this game is not. It’s not bright but very dull colored, story is OK, and the game is insanely long. Very repetitive with sections that just drag on, not to mention numerous camera issues that make the entire experience more frustrating.

Story & Gameplay

The real main character is Bolt, but every dog has an owner, and Penny is Bolt’s. Disney’s Bolt starts off with Penny’s dad getting captured and it’s up to you to save him. One thing the story does have going for it is you play as two characters, Penny and Bolt. This provides some variation in otherwise repetitive gameplay. Which is the most fun? Surprisingly, playing as Penny. You have all kinds of gadgets to easily take out enemies. She has these little smoke bombs that slide along the ground only to end up directly under an ‘unsuspecting’ enemy’s feet. The bomb goes poof, and the enemy falls over. You can also do cloaking, which makes the game insanely easy. Turn on cloaking, run up behind an enemy, slap a button on the controller, animation starts, and there’s no contest. The only frustrating part playing as Penny was a level when you have to sneak around a bunch of shipping crates. The camera angle is the death of you here. It is very difficult to see the proper angle you need to jump on, so most of the times when you die, it is because you mis-jumped thanks to the camera.

Playing as Bolt is fun but also a bit frustrating. It is no surprise that you’ll spend most of the time playing as Bolt, it is his game, but some of the combat is annoying. Again, I think the annoyance and frustration stems from the fact that the camera angle is terrible. There were many times when I had a general idea where an enemy was at, but since the camera angle was terrible, I couldn’t see that the enemy had started running and is charging directly at me. Of course, Bolt gets flattened and loses the majority of his health.


The camera is your real enemy. It isn’t the funny looking bad guy, or repetitive waves of enemies, no, the camera is your enemy. The game wants you to climb around a mountain with rock ledges, good luck, that camera will mess you over, time and time again. You want to see an enemy that could be trying to attack you, again, good luck, chances are they’ll shoot some weapon or charge at you before you can even see it coming. I can’t imagine 99% of kids (their target demographic) even having enough patience to complete the game. They might play it for 3, yes THREE, levels before they become completely frustrated. After playing one level, I had to take a break, it felt like I had played all day. The game is exhausting.

Although, if you are hunting achievements you can easily get 585/1000GS by playing through the story. If you can stand to play the game longer, it won’t be too difficult to mop up the remaining 415GS.

I like playing games, but there's not enough time to play all of them

Further reading

Dolmen | PAX East 2022

Surrounded by darkness, jump scares, and bosses you have no business defeating (unless you got skills), Dolmen brings the same feeling as Dead Space...

Recent posts