Get-A-Grip Chip and the Body Bugs is a sequel to Get-A-Grip Chip, which we’ve also just reviewed. I recommend reading through that review first as this is a sequel; a game that you receive for free upon buying Get-A-Grip Chip.
The two games play almost identically. You play as the robot Chip, but this time around you are being taken as an oral medicine. Instead of navigating through a broken down factory, you must work your way through a man’s digestive tract, collecting white blood cells.
In my review of the first game, I mentioned that Get-A-Grip Chip feels like it is geared towards a younger audience. With Get-A-Grip Chip and the Body Bugs I can safely say, with 100% confidence, that it is a game meant for children. None of the mechanics have been changed with the notable exception that the game has been made much, much easier.
One of my complaints with the original was its lack of difficulty. In Body Bugs, Chip can now suffer multiple hits before dying and crossing a checkpoint resets these back to full health. Not only that, but hidden areas that need to be sought out now have pulsating lights on them to ensure that missing is near impossible. To me, it defeats the purpose of even including the secret area if you’re going to show it off anyway.
Well, there actually is a reason for it. It’s an educational game. It was created by Redstart Interactive in collaboration with Games for Change. Each white blood cell you collect is actually a kind of flashcard and at the end of the level, each one of them must be matched up with a definition to progress to the next level. For example, one white blood cell might be the “saliva” card, which needs to be matched with the definition of saliva. Matching the wrong cards to the wrong definition gives Chip a shock and can kill him if enough mistakes are made.
But this feels a bit pointless as it just respawns you back in the same room with all the cards again. It’s an unnecessarily complicated way to do flash card trivia. Even worse is that levels can be completed without collecting every white blood cell. So if you get it for your kid as a studying game, you better hope they are completionists.
Like the first Get-A-Grip Chip, it’s also possible to beat The Body Bugs without completing every level. Again, it seems like a bit of a design flaw if the goal is to get people to learn.
Another outcome of the game’s educational nature is that this is also much shorter experience than the original. Whereas the first got a couple of hours of playtime out of me, I managed to get to the end of the Body Bugs in under forty-five minutes. This doesn’t count the levels I didn’t need to complete, nor did I collect all of the white blood cells in the ones I did play. But after a few hours of slowly platforming with Chip, you’ll be nearing your limit.
It doesn’t help that any pretense of difficulty is completely abandoned. The extra lives and simplification of the obstacles are all done to make the game more accessible. But in doing away with the challenge there really is no motivation to continue playing.
With all of this being said though, I am a grown man in my mid-20s, playing an educational game about the human body as a little robot named Chip. I said in my previous review that I was not the target demographic for Get-A-Grip Chip and that is even more true with Get-A-Grip Chip and the Body Bugs.
This is a game designed for young children, hoping to teach them about the human body. When I was young, I loved games like Legend of Zelda and Mario. Both of which I’d say are more difficult and more appealing to a wider range of audiences. Now, I did pick two of the most prolific game franchises in the world, which isn’t necessarily a fair comparison, but I think as a kid, I would’ve rather just studied from a textbook and then played a game that was more focused on gameplay than teaching me something.
Get-A-Grip Chip and the Body Bugs is nearly a carbon copy of the first game, just with a reskin and some difficulty tweaks. The one notable positive is that it is much easier to get the full Xbox Gamerscore. Mind you, that still involves playing through all the levels and collecting everything; something that should be easily attainable after about two hours of play time.
Unless you’re buying this for a young child, I’d recommend passing on it and finding something else.
Get-A-Grip Chip and the Body Bugs is available from the Xbox Store