I’ve never been much for real-world racing games. They all just feel so mundane compared to the alternatives that videogames present, like thundering along at a thousand miles per hour in F-Zero, thumping over an impossible rollercoaster track in Wipeout or bouncing wildly off the walls in underrated PSX future-racer Rollcage. Grip has been in early access for ages now, and is functionally identical to Rollcage, but with a shiny modern coat of paint. It’s already solid fun, and the final cut is now due this autumn to be published by new outfit Wired Productions.
Grip’s big gimmick (same as Rollcage before it) is its chunky, blocky cars. With huge wheels on all four corners and a symmetrical body, they can flip and tumble without losing a beat, meaning that many tracks are designed with areas that are technically upside-down, but given the symmetrical nature of the vehicle, you only have to worry about holding down the accelerator. Like the Wipeout series, the winding tracks are littered with weaponry and powerups, so you can just muscle through the competition with the right gear.
Grip supports full split-screen play, on top of the usual crop of online multiplayer modes that you’d expect. The current early access version of the game contains about half of the final game’s content, including 10 out of 17 tracks, plus most of the awkwardly named but quite new amusing Carkour mode. This turns the game from a race against time to a solo platforming challenge across a series of specially made maps. If you’ve any nostalgia for Rollcage back in the day, I’d recommend Grip as-is, but the full version isn’t too far off now.