Grabbit is a simple game, aimed at children, that has a surprisingly robust offering in terms of content. I say surprising because I have reviewed a lot of games recently that are from smaller, one man indie studios and have been disappointed with the amount of content offered in some of these games. Don’t get me wrong, I am not expecting a one man studio to produce online multiplayer or hundreds of levels, but sometimes the lack of modes is infuriating, especially when it can be so easy to simply rework your main mode and add a time limit or different scoring system to give many more hours of content to the purchaser for very little work.
Here, the developer of Grabbit has done just that. There is a standard ‘time extension’ type main mode, but a one minute dash style mode has been added, adding to the replay value massively while requiring comparatively little work.
The developer has even gone one further here and added split screen local play, which works brilliantly.
The game sees you take control of a stationary frog who sits at the bottom middle of the screen. Various bugs and flies will appear on screen, and you must lap them up with the frog’s tongue with a control method that is best described as Angry Birds in reverse, as you push the tongue out from the frog. The tongue can reach anywhere in a 180 degree radius, which is lucky as hundreds of bugs will soon be zooming around everywhere. There is a time limit which can be extended by filling up a bar at the bottom of the screen, which is related to how much you score.
Getting single bugs isn’t enough, with multiple combo bonuses available, as well as bonuses for getting yellow bugs that fly in formation. These all go towards the online high scores, provided by Game Center, which also provides the achievements for the game. Traditionalists need not fret, as there are also local high score tables.
There are various power-ups to collect, such as pickups that give you an extra frog, make your tongue bigger, or increase the size of the bugs, but there are also things that provide obstacles to you, such as lightning, a bug shrinker, and even bugs that drop weights on your head, with a quick tap of the frog needed to wake him up.
The Frenzy mode takes one of those power-ups, the double frog, and gives you a minute to score your best against an onslaught of bugs and enemies. It is good fun, and sure to keep you coming back after you tire of the main mode. The two player mode is excellent, with the screen split in two, and the ability to send trouble the way of your opponent, such as the ability to make him tongue tied for a moment.
This mode is great but would be made even better with the addition of profiles. Just two or three user profiles would be a great addition for families, as you could track everyone’s scores in the single player modes and also how everyone has been doing against each other in the head to head mode. Hopefully this may come in the future.
The graphics are OK; pretty functional but I would have liked some more incidental animation on the frog. The music is pretty forgettable, but nothing too bad here.
Overall, I really liked Grabbit. The simple graphics and sounds are nothing to shout about, but the game plays well and has plenty of modes to sink your teeth into.