Released last October, Get-A-Grip Chip is a game that kind of flew under the radar. As a matter of fact, I had never even heard of the game until I recently learned of the Nintendo Switch release. As a fan of 2D platformers I was intrigued. Even more interesting though was the fact that the game utilized a grappling hook mechanic for the platforming. This combined with a cute robot protagonist and I knew that I wanted to check it out. Get-A-Grip Chip is a cute and charming platformer with a unique gameplay mechanic which makes it a true hidden indie gem.
In Get-A-Grip Chip you play as the aforementioned Chip. Chip is a happy robot that works in a robot assembly factory. Everything changes when one of the other assembly robots goes haywire and starts destroying everything. Chip needs to rescue Battery Bots while dealing with the haywire robot. Can you save the day and bring peace back to the factory?
At first glance Get-A-Grip Chip is likely going to look a lot like your typical 2D platformer. In a way it is as the game is divided into levels with the objective of reaching the end while avoiding pits and other obstacles. If you hit an obstacle or fall down a pit, you will return to your last checkpoint. Along the way there will be hidden Battery Bots that you can collect. Some of these require difficult jumps, and others require you to discover fake walls.
Where the game differentiates itself is the fact that Chip doesn’t have legs. Thus he can’t jump. Instead he has a magnet on top of his head which attaches to various grapple points. You can adjust the angle of the magnet and press a button to pull you towards the grapple points. Once attached you can reposition the magnet in order to line up how you want to be launched off the grapple point. This is how you ultimately move in the game. You latch onto a grappling hook and then launch yourself off of it onto another grappling hook. This allows you to launch yourself over gaps and around other obstacles that are in your way.
Heading into Get-A-Grip Chip I was intrigued by the grappling hook mechanic, but I was also a little leery. I like when platformers try something new, but I didn’t know how well a grappling hook mechanic would work with a platformer. Using a grappling hook to platform does take some time to get used to. For the first couple of levels you likely will move pretty slowly as you get used to the controls. After that though the game plays like a breeze as you zip through the air with your grappling hook. This is where Get-A-Grip Chip truly shows how great it is. I was intrigued by Get-A-Grip Chip and yet I was still pleasantly surprised by the game.
The grappling hook mechanic initially interested me as it seemed like an interesting new mechanic. After I started playing the game though, the best thing about the mechanic is just that it works so well. Once you get used to the mechanic you will fly through the air between grapple points. I think the game is kind of forgiving, but it is much easier to swing between grapple points than I initially expected. The gameplay is just so satisfying as I genuinely got addicted to it. I never thought a grapple hook based platformer would be so enjoyable.
I think the main reason why the mechanics work so well is due to the level design. The early levels are pretty basic as you mostly just swing between points to get across gaps. As you progress through the game though, additional obstacles get added which complicates things. You will eventually have to weave above and below objects as you fly through the air. What I think is brilliant about the level design is that sections might look intimidating, but they are considerably more straightforward than they first appear. If you maintain momentum you shouldn’t really have any troubles with these sections even though you are weaving through pretty tight areas. This makes you feel proud of your accomplishments even if the levels aren’t as difficult as they may first appear.
As for Get-A-Grip Chip’s difficulty I would say that it kind of depends. At its most basic level I wouldn’t say that the game is that difficult. The game’s difficulty does ramp up some in the final world, but I didn’t find it to be all that difficult to reach the end of most of the levels. I attribute a lot of this to the level design as the levels look more difficult than they are in action. I would say that most of the game’s difficulty comes from collecting the Battery Bots as I would attribute a large majority of my deaths to trying to acquire them. Some of the Battery Bots are hidden which require you to find fake walls. Others require you to take a more difficult path or react quickly while you are otherwise flying through the air. Acquiring all of the Battery Bots in a level is considerably more difficult than just beating a level.
So let’s talk about the game’s length. Get-A-Grip Chip has a decent length. The game has 30 levels spread among five worlds. If you were to just try to reach the end of each level without trying to get the Battery Bots, I would say that it likely will take you around five minutes to beat most of the levels. If you want to acquire all of the Battery Bots though, the time spent in a level could be quite a bit longer. At this point I have beat the game and acquired around 90% of the Battery Bots and I have played the game for 4-5 hours. As for replay value you can try to acquire all of the bots, and the game has high scores for the fastest players to complete a level. The game’s length is not bad. I just wish it was longer because I was really enjoying the game.
While it doesn’t play a large role in the overall game, I wanted to quickly talk about the game’s story and atmosphere. The story is pretty basic and doesn’t play a big role in the game. I found it to be pretty cute though. This is supplemented by the game’s art style which I thought was pretty good. The game uses a cute art style that I thought worked well for the game. The game’s soundtrack is also quite good. While the atmosphere isn’t a specific reason to pick up Get-A-Grip Chip, I think it does a good job supporting the gameplay.
Heading into Get-A-Grip Chip I was intrigued by the premise. After playing the game I was genuinely surprised. The game is not perfect, but I honestly found it to be a surprising little gem. Basically the game takes your typical platformer and changes out your typical jumping with a grapple hook mechanic. The mechanic takes a little while to get used to, but it then becomes really satisfying and kind of addicting. There is just something really satisfying about swinging through the air and narrowly avoiding obstacles. This can be partially attributed to the level design which is really good. The difficulty is a little mixed and I wish the game was a little longer, but otherwise I really enjoyed Get-A-Grip Chip.
If you don’t really care for 2D platformers, Get-A-Grip Chip probably won’t be for you. Those looking for a unique twist on your typical platformer though will likely enjoy Get-A-Grip Chip and should seriously consider picking it up. The game is genuinely a hidden little gem that I am glad that I found.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Redstart Interactive for the review copy of Get-A-Grip Chip used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.