Earlier this we posted about Grip, the debut game from the Melbourne-based studio OneBar Games that looks like a combination of influences including Firewatch and Life is Strange. The game is available now and you can download it for free on itch.io.
Grip’s story focuses on a non-binary teenager named Avery, who has discovered they have telekinetic powers and is learning to control and harness them through their emotions.
Amos Wilksch, the Project Manager at OneBar Games, explains that Grip’s story focuses on emotional health and self-acceptance. “They’re subjects I feel are more prevalent in our society than ever, but are also subjects I’ve struggled with personally,” he says. It’s for these reasons that Wilksch wrote Avery as a non-binary character. “When writing the game’s story I just wanted to see more representation of non-binary and gender diverse characters in the industry.”
The team at OneBar Games are essentially fresh out of university – where development on Grip begun as a student project. The team were excited about what they were making so they decided to flesh it out once they graduated. So why release the game for free? Why not chuck it up for sale for a few dollars? Coffee is an expensive habit these days after all. But as Wilksch explains, the team are keen to start something new now the shackles of academia have been shed, so they decided to release it for free and use it as a portfolio piece.
“If we were ever to charge money for the game we definitely would have given ourselves a lot more time to polish it,” says Wilksch. “Itch is an incredibly accessible platform for both small developers and players. Since we were releasing the game for free it made the most sense to go with Itch.”
Given that Grip is a free download and OneBar Games’ intentions are to simply use it for their portfolio it would be unfair to do a traditional review. So all I’ll say is that if you’re a fan of the aforementioned games then Grip is worth the free download. It’s fairly basic and quite short, but Grip does an admirable job of showing off the talents of OneBar Games.