Review – Get-A-Grip Chip

Where the hell did this game come from? I had never heard of Get-A-Grip Chip prior to receiving a press release about it and even then I wasn’t exactly sure if the game itself was going to deliver. I still decided to tackle it, as you never know when a small unknown indie can eventually turn out to be a hidden gem (like MO: Astray, for instance). To my surprise, Get-A-Grip Chip ended up being exactly that: a hidden gem. A damn good indie title whose only main flaw is the fact that it is currently a PC exclusive and not available on the Switch, where it would truly shine.

Get-A-Grip Chip

Get-A-Grip Chip doesn’t feature many cutscenes, but the few included in here are just downright adorable.

Get-A-Grip Chip features a plot, but storytelling isn’t exactly its forte or its focus. You control the titular Chip, a robot set on quest to rescue small battery bots that were scattered around a gigantic factory after one of its supervisor robots went haywire and tore the place upside down. You’re not a combat robot, nor something built to be athletic. You can’t attack, jump, or defend yourself against threats. If anything touches you, you’re toast. How the hell do you make a 2D platformer with such a premise?

Do you remember of Bionic Commando? It was a classic Capcom platformer that was released on the NES many, many years ago. That game’s main feature was the fact that you couldn’t jump either. Instead, you relied on a grappling hook to climb platforms and solve puzzles. Get-A-Grip Chip is a cuter, less violent take on that formula. Chip has a small grappling hook that lets it cling on certain targets and surfaces. You have to combine that feature with momentum-based jumps and a loose yet responsive aiming system tied to the right analog stick in order to traverse obstacles and finish each level as quickly as possible.

Get-A-Grip Chip

Don’t touch these drones. They are deadly. I learned the hard way.

Each level is masterfully designed, which impressed me. The folks at Redstart Interactive were clearly inspired by 2D Mario games, as well as other classic Nintendo platformers. Get-A-Grip Chip‘s level design, progression system, and overall difficulty curve felt similar to the approach taken by Nintendo with their games. It manages to constantly throw in new obstacles and gameplay features at a steady rate, without ever wasting the player’s time with tutorials or anything else that would otherwise affect its pacing. Levels start off with a simple obstacle that will become their main feature, with gradually harder puzzles being introduced in a very natural way. Despite being your typical “easy to learn, hard to master” kind of game, its gameplay is so intuitive that you will quickly learn how to hop around from a platform to another with ease.

Every level in the game features eight battery bots for you to rescue. You don’t need to save them all at once in order to beat a level, or the whole game for that matter, but the way they’re so well-hidden makes you want to replay each level more than once in order to find them all. It’s not the hardest of challenges, but you will need to pay attention to visual cues at all times. Just like in Super Mario Odyssey, Get-A-Grip Chip rewards curious players: if you see something that looks quite odd in a level, and if you decide to explore it, chances are that you’ll find a secret room with one of bots you have to rescue.

Get-A-Grip Chip

These chase sections reminded me of Rayman Legends, and that’s never a bad thing.

At the end of each world, you’ll be greeted with a level comprised of a chase section mixed with a rhythm platformer. If that sounds familiar to you, yep, that’s basically the same thing featured in Rayman Legends. Taking inspiration from one of the best platformers of all time is never a bad thing and I commend the developers for coming up with these amazing levels. It also helps that the soundtrack is absolutely amazing, with lots of rock, electronic, and funk tunes featured throughout the entire game. This is worth adding to your Spotify library.

Honestly, it’s quite hard to find issues in Get-A-Grip Chip. The only thing that I could call “something that could have been improved”, and not exactly a fault, is the fact that some of the backgrounds look way too similar another. That’s to be expected, however, as the entire game game is set inside a big factory. The ultra adorable character design, as well as the excellent framerate, make up for that small issue.

Get-A-Grip Chip

Aim at these targets and press the right trigger to grab them. Think of it as Bionic Commando, but 100 times cuter.

I love when games like Get-A-Grip Chip show up. I love when a game I have never heard of ends up winning me over. This is a downright fantastic indie platformer, almost completely devoid of big flaws. Maybe the only thing I would consider an issue is the fact that I’m playing it on a PC, the only platform it’s currently available for, and not the Switch where it would absolutely become one of the system’s best hidden gems. If you’re into 2D platformers, don’t think twice: Get-A-Grip Chip is worth your time and money. Little gems like this one don’t show up every day.

 

Graphics: 7.5

The adorable character design and excellent framerate more than make up for the somewhat repetitive backgrounds.

Gameplay: 9.5

This is a 2D platformer in which you can’t attack nor jump. All you can do is move around and use a grappling hook to move from platform to platform with intuitive momentum-based mechanics. The game is masterfully designed to the point you’ll quickly learn how to hop around like a champ.

Sound: 9.5

A collection of rock, electronic, and funk tunes. What do they have in common? They’re all absolute bangers. This soundtrack is worth adding to your Spotify library.

Fun Factor: 9.0

An expertly crafted platformer with great level design and a sublime difficulty curve. Its only issue is the fact it’s not available on the Switch, where it would truly shine.

Final Verdict: 9.0

Get-A-Grip Chip is available now on PC.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of Get-A-Grip Chip was provided by the publisher.