Tuesday, January 17, 2017

First Impressions: Grab the Bottle

Grab the Bottle
Developer: Kamina Dimension Ltd

DISCLAIMER: This game is still in Early Access. All thoughts and opinions herein are related to the game during its development state. Features/content are subject to change and this is not a final representation of the game.

Take a Rube Goldberg device, the game Snake, Mister Fantastic's day off and throw it all in a blender. What do you get? You get Grab the Bottle. 


Grab the bottle, aside from being the worst AA catchphrase, is also a puzzle game. The games mechanics are rather simple, use your infinitely stretchy hand to navigate terrain, puzzles, and grab an assortment of bottles. While obviously far easier said then done your hand is also incredibly sensitive. Hitting the wall or objects in the area are a big no-no, do it twice and you have to start from go with all your progress in the level reset.

While the beginnings levels of this twisted puzzler are rather simple, the ante is progressively raised. Side object collectibles will impede your path to a good drink. Want that bottle of milk? Collect various pacifiers while keeping in mind you cannot cross your own path or pull your arm back manually. Where the real daunting challenge of this game lies is in predicting yourself and having a plan from beginning to end. Personally I found this very difficult to wrap my head around in later levels.

One level has you guiding your hand for a tasty bottle of soda through a roller-coaster. Aside from the fact the background is moving, you have to grab items that roll back your hand and then thread the needle again through all the wheels and doors of the coaster. I raged a bit, as tapping anything slightly with your hands sends it flying back and gets you into more trouble rather easily. You are only allowed two mistakes, so expect to repeat levels quite a bit.

Thankfully, the game does feature full controller support and  the controls are simple and intuitive, I didn't feel like I was cheated at any point. The hit box on the hand is a hit and miss sometimes but I will chalk that up to Early Access. The tutorials are rather relaxed in Grab The Bottle as well, which can become frustrating in later levels. Bombs and destructible environments are introduced but it never really tells you how these work but lets you figure it out yourself.

Experimentation is required to figure what you need to do and in what order; which leads to a bit of repetitive death. The game itself is a great mind tickler and I found it quite challenging. What more do you want in a puzzle game?

Well, if you do happen to want more, the developer is planning on more levels beyond the current twenty two. Example of level ideas include: dropping ingredients into a blender in the correct order or actually working a Rube Goldberg device.. The developer has also mentioned a two to four player local multiplayer with various game modes. Steam Cards & Achievements are on their way as well.

The games vintage comic book aesthetic is odd, but Grab the Bottle is odd itself. The level design does take very well to this aesthetic and flows very smoothly. Just expect plenty of dots and scenery that looks like it came from the 1950's. One thing I have to mention is the terrifying faces of these characters. They look like they got hit a shovel, twice.

Weird faces aside, Grab The Bottle is a clever little puzzle game. There is more content coming so a full review will have to wait. Despite that, I feel comfortable with recommending the game if you love puzzle games. It has some really challenging levels to challenge the mind and the game is in a solid state. There is one minor bug I ran into that causes your hand to become invincible, but this only occurred once.  Coming in at $9.99 with more content to come go ahead and see if you can wrap your mind, or more correctly hand, around this one.

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