PLOT Gentlemen — and ladies — start your engines.
RATED E 10+ for Everyone age 10 and older
DETAILS $39.99; Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
BOTTOM LINE A sweet ride if you're nostalgic for '90s racing games.
The world of GRIP: Combat Racing is full of boxy-shaped racers with big tires capable of handling all types of terrain. From standard competitive races to arena battles, participants can expect to drive over steel tracks seemingly suspended in the clouds and wet, sandy shores that surround gargantuan mountains.
Each vehicle has its pros and cons, with the full assortment being made available as you progress through the game. You can apply decals, swap up wheels and tires, and fine tune the colors of most parts. You will also be able to pick up powerups from the tracks for use against the competition, a big help in giving stragglers a chance to even the odds against the field of drivers.
GRIP is so fast, it can feel like you are on a bullet train that is out of control until you become familiar with its driving physics and how the rides react to the environment. Knowing when to take advantage of what the tracks give you can mean the difference between winning and losing. You will have to take to the walls, ceilings, and the air to shave seconds off your laps.
The track designs, while creative, aren't always easy to navigate. Missing jumps is costly and there is no way to know the sweet spots for a given vehicle and track without lots of failing. While some powerups are great, it can be tricky figuring out how to use them in the most efficient way.
GRIP is most likely to appeal to older PC gamers nostalgic for futuristic racing game of the '90s like Wipeout, but it does enough to be more than a pretty paint job on top of old ideas.