In the midst of week after week of blockbuster video games being released, there are occasionally excellent games that fall through the cracks due to their much smaller scope and scale. I had the delight of playing one of those games, and I’m really happy to be covering it in this review of Get-A-Grip Chip.
Get-A-Grip Chip is a platforming puzzle game with a novel mechanic coming from developer/publisher Redstart Interactive. In it, players take control of the titular, adorable robot named Chip. When a mishap occurs in the factory he was designed for, the battery bots Chip helped create end up helplessly in danger. Not willing to leave his little buddies in the lurch, Chip takes their fate into his own hands, and swings through levels using his single grippy claw to grab onto anchors and fling himself from one platform to the next.
Maybe I’m a sucker for cute robots with a sense of duty (I did cry during Wall-E), but I was sold on Get-A-Grip Chip before I even took control of the little guy. The intro cinematic is just so simple and endearing. Thankfully, the gameplay also holds up to my initial impressions.
Controlling Chip is simple: he moves left and right with the left analog stick, you aim his claw with the right stick, and launch it with the right trigger. There’s no jump button, because Chip doesn’t have knees. Or legs, for that matter. Platforming is handled entirely by the grappling mechanic, which ultimately ends up feeling pretty smooth and intuitive. I found myself flying through the early stages pretty quickly until I realized how many battery bots are hidden off the main path.
That’s the other side of Get-A-Grip Chip’s gameplay. You might forget because grappling and hopping off of anchors is so fun, but you’re supposed to be gathering up all of the scattered battery bots in each level. As you find them, they’ll follow behind Chip single file until you cross a checkpoint, where they are then sent to safety. In order to find them, you’ll need to explore every corner and suspicious platform of every stage, which leads to a bit of inventive puzzle-solving.
And that’s really it for the gameplay. It’s wonderfully simple and intuitive, and even when the game throws challenges at you like electrified, collapsing, or moving anchor points, it only serves to mix things up and keep the game interesting. An exhilarating chase sequence at the end that entails using all of the skills you mastered throughout the game caps things off with a bang.
I clocked in just over three hours to get through the game’s thirty levels across its five different worlds, and it was a delight all the way through without overstaying its welcome. If it hasn’t been clear up to this point, I really, really enjoyed Get-A-Grip Chip. And I think as a smaller game to play in between the fifty to one hundred hour-long blockbuster games that hit the market so often, most people will too.
Oh, just a little side note: if you look really closely, you can see Chip stick his little tongue out in concentration when he’s grappled to a point.
Long Live Chip.