Grabbed by the Ghoulies' largest problem is that it's overly simplistic. At first, the game feels quite fresh. The environments look great and are highly interactive, in that you can destroy most parts of them, and the combat, at least, looks cool, even if it isn't very complex. Aside from that and the varying rules that show up in the rooms, there really isn't much more to the game. The game has a lot of different rooms, but in the fetch objectives that permeate the middle of the game, you'll have to backtrack through a lot of the same rooms. The game is also completely linear. You're never really given the option of walking through the wrong door, which is nice, considering the game is more of an action game than an adventure one. However, the game really does force you down its singular path, even if the game occasionally makes a big deal about marking objectives down on a pretty useless map so you won't get lost.
While the gameplay in Grabbed by the Ghoulies gets old fast, the look of the game really goes a long way, and it, at least, hides some of the game's flaws. The graphics may not push the most polygons that the Xbox has ever seen, but everything is lovingly designed and animated. The game has a great, cohesive look to its design, and the result is a cartoonlike atmosphere combined with a level of spooky, yet humorous, surroundings that make the whole game feel like a modern-day Scooby-Doo. The animation is great at conveying emotion, from the way Cooper's hair spikes when he's afraid to the loving looks he trades back and forth with his girlfriend upon her rescue.
Combat is as simple as moving the right analog stick towards your enemies.
The sound also really adds to the experience. Much like The Sims or some of Rare's previous work on the Nintendo 64, the characters in Grabbed by the Ghoulies speak in a series of nonsense syllables. This nonsense, however, is uttered with a precise focus on tone and inflection, and, as a result, it conveys the feelings of the characters better than full voices probably would have. The music and sound effects are also strong, with each monster getting its own sound effects and voice in the process. The spider's "memememememe" shrieks can only be described as totally cute.
While Grabbed by the Ghoulies may present itself quite well, the dull gameplay that hides behind the great graphics and sound really hurts the experience. The game's short length makes it perfect for rental, as most anyone should be able to blaze through the game and see many of its unlockable items within a day or two.