Get-A-Grip Chip? Never heard of it. When this game landed on my desk through a series of wooing the Gatekeepers of review codes, I made a mental note, then a note on the ‘to-do list’ to have a look at it when the time came.
That time is now. A relatively small file to download onto your Steam account, it was sitting in my library giving me a cheeky little wink each time I’d click on Space Crew or Fishing: North Atlantic – in the hope that I’d notice it.
You see, Get-A-Grip Chip is an indie game through and through: it looks like an indie game, feels like an indie game, and smells like one. Why give it any more thought? Well, here it is…
Get A Grip Chip PC Review
A game by Redstart Interactive, Get-A-Grip Chip is a platform puzzle told from the perspective of a robot named Chip, and his powerful grip. All very storybook-like, but the latter is helps you sleep before bedtime – this game will keep you up at night. I er, don’t read storybooks to myself…
It’s not because the game is ludicrously hard or a stress fest, but it’s that glorious metaphor of a packet of chocolate Hobnobs: just one more, just one more. In this case, it’s another round to see how far you can get in the six environments on offer in the game.
There is a brief tale at the beginning, which I missed the first time around. It’s not needed as it’s all about gameplay. Your task is to get from the start of the stage to the end, rescuing your robotic buddies as you go along.
Each time you complete a stage, you unlock a new one, but some require that you rescue your chums way before going on ahead without them. I gathered a fair amount in every level, but you almost need to collect ’em all before proceeding.
As a platform game, you’d expect that Get-A-Grip Chip involves plenty of jumping, but no, he’s a robot on tracks – don’t be silly. How about a jetpack? That neither. Instead, you have to use your built-in grip to latch on to objects and swing to a higher elevation.
When starting, it’s very counter-intuitive as instinct makes you want to press a button to jump, but nothing happens. For the first four stages, there are around eight levels to each ‘world’. I died a fair amount of times, and these deaths were related to a phantom jump – redundantly pressing a button for nothing to happen.
What you need to do is aim your grip which fires like a grappling hook, you’ll then grip to machinery that you can use to launch Chip ahead, or perhaps ride to a higher location, hanging on to a drone or as a switch to unlock an area or open a door.
I played Get-A-Grip Chip using a controller; the right analogue stick was used to aim, RB to fire and also hold so you can hang on to objects (note that some of them will deteriorate while you’re hanging for dear life. Timing is fundamental, as often these mechanical parts that are already in motion.
By the time I eradicated that muscle memory of jumping, the deaths were still piling up, but this time it was down to my errors such as swinging too soon/late or swinging into sharp pointy things or even lava. Nobody wants to keep dying on a level, but there are generous checkpoints about, and it never really felt unfair.
Get-A-Grip Chip reminded me of Super Meat Boy to some degree. The controls, once grasped, were tight and dare I say, I played many of the levels as if doing a speed run. At the end of each stage, you’ll be told your time, how many you saved and your deaths then added to a leaderboard.
I’m not the type to dash through, but it just felt so natural and forgive the pun, you can get into the swing of things. It’s not perfect, of course; sometimes there are levels of rising lava and similar mechanics, meaning you have to think fast. On occasion, the camera would go too far ahead or behind and result in death – annoying if you’re trying to get a clean sheet.
Visually the game is relatively low-key with simple, with somewhat cute visuals. I’m not into robots (I don’t mean that as a fetish), so it didn’t do much for me in terms of presentation, but have to say that I loved the music. It felt totally out of place as you’d expect some kawaii pop, but it’s a bit more visceral and in some respects, induces a lot of tension. The skinny: I loved the soundtrack.