Jumping from the PSP to the PS3, Gripshift ramps into a new home, the garage of the Xbox Live Arcade. Now available for download this genre blending Gripshift brings combat, platforming, puzzles and car racing into a futuristic mixture of dune buggies and nitro flared loops. If you have the points and love to race, Gripshift will tide you over for a few hours.

Gripshift from Sidhe Interactive isn’t your average racer. This four wheeled racer blends a strange mix of gameplay together creating a unique arcade driving experience. Even though there are no futuristic vehicles, giant apes, or monkeys incased in balls, Gripshift feels slightly like Monkey Ball meets F-Zero while being bounced around with Mario Kart for a laps. Originally released on the Playstation Portable platform, Gripshift has received a fair amount of praise that caused it hit the downloadable market on both consoles. From the PSP to the 360, Gripshift is pretty much the same game with the edges smoothed out and a few lines of code to include one addictive ingredient called, achievements.

The goal in Gripshift’s main mode of play, the Challenge Mode is to complete a race under the time limit while collecting stars and if you have enough talent the hidden “GS” icons from the map. This basic formula sounds a little dull, and too easy, however Gripshift is neither dull or easy. Racing around the dangerous tracks in Gripshift provides a great deal of challenge along with a lot of exciting moments. Close landings, lucky turns and second-to-spare endings are all things you'll experience in Gripshift.

Increasing the difficulty, increases the speed of the game which makes that much harder to slide through the finish line on time, and when I say slide, I mean slide. Gripshift feels like your driving on ice at all times with half the normal amount of gravity. Jumping can cause you to soar high in the sky which is a coincidence because the tracks in Gripshift are floating in the middle of the atmosphere. It’s obvious this isn’t a normal racer, and its too elements that cause me to reference the monkey and the zero.

Gripshift is high-flying platform jumping in a racing game, stunt action if you will. Not only will your reflexes be put to the test, so will your brain as you try and figure out the best routes for completing each level. As you start your way up through the 120 levels, you will start to agree, it’s not as simple as you might believe. Gripshift goes it separate way from most racing games because the straightforward concept of racing doesn’t always apply. To complete the challenges in Gripshift you’ll have to be prepared to stop and turn around, jump off road, and even backtrack over parts of the track.

Even more difficult then collecting items and getting a good score is the challenge of the Xbox 360 achievements. Mixed with some easy achievements, and hard to get achievements, achievement junkies you're in for a challenge if you want to nab all 200 achievements. To run down a few achievements, there is "Bonustar" - All Stars & GS tokens collected in one run, "Big Air" - Fly 10 seconds and land on the track, land is the advocate here, "Indy 50" - Win 50 multiplayer races, "Galileo" - Collect all stars in 50 levels, and "GS King" find all GS tokens in the game. In total there are 12 achievements distributed between online and offline gaming that score up to 200 points.

During your races you can collect power-ups as you race against the clock. Unlock new drivers, vehicles and customization options. Nitrous is the most important power-up to use in Gripshift which will starts to differentiate the novice drivers from the experts. Besides the straight away burst you can use nitro to pump yourself around dangerous corners, or boost yourself in mid air to make a landing that seems impossible. Controlling your vehicle goes beyond the ground, as in-air moves will need to be perfected to become a master of the track.

Navigating through Gripshift can be a little confusing once you see all the options available. The design is meant to be set up so you can access all the options quickly, but it looks more like controlled chaos. At any time the freeform design of Gripshift lets you jump around to compete in a new level or re-try older tracks which are likely what will happen once you unlock a faster ride. In Gripshift you earn credits depending on your success which allows you to access new music, vehicles, and customizable skins. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, switch between the race mode and challenge mode to build up credits faster.

Leaderboards are also supported to test you skills against your friends, along side online deathmatch and racing modes. The last man standing deathmatches span 20 arenas while the races put you up against the Xbox Live community in 25 race tracks going 4 on 4. Online Gripshift turns into a cartooned version of Twisted Metal that can be a lot of fun. Picking up power-ups and weapons will turn the tide on your side as you can trash everything on the track. This isn’t Mario Karts' shells, in Gripshift the weapons are a little deadlier with names like the "Deathray", "Flaming Shield", and "GooGun"... while maybe not the GooGun.

Gripshift slides into the Xbox Live Arcade filling the void of a Kart styled racer, although Gripshift is much more than mushrooms and bananas. Adding a new twist to the standard race formula, gamers will be participating in a collecting items while frantically racing against the clock. Gripshift tests your mind power and your ability to hold on to the wheel as the Nitrous burns. Either online in a deathmatch, or attempting to perfect the 120 levels, Gripshift is a fun diversion that holds a lot of value if you’re up for the challenge.

Final Score: 7

Reviewed by Jimmy | 12.14.07


  • Challenge: Race through 120 single-player Challenge Mode level.
  • Race: Put the pedal to the metal for 25 rubber-burning Race Mode tracks.
  • Deathmatch: Fight for survival in 20 deadly Deathmatch arenas.
  • Multiplayer: Jump into Xbox LIVE online multiplayer and leaderboard.


Sidhe Interactive

Sidhe Interactive


US Release
December '07


X360, PSP, PS3

Player 1
Online Multiplayer
HDTV 1080i