Grab the Bottle
Developed By: Sometimes You
Published By: Sometimes You
Release Date: 6.20.18
Sometimes I have no idea how to introduce a game for review. Grab the Bottle for Nintendo Switch is a great example of that. It’s a game about a baby then a man with an extendable arm who grabs a bottle. How do you introduce that with a relatable anecdote? Anyway it’s a puzzle game and it’s all right.
The protagonist needs a bottle of liquid. Sometimes it’s a baby bottle, sometimes it’s a bottle of soda. Either way, they have to use their incredible stretching arm to grab it. Starting each level causes the arm to start moving forward. You use the directional buttons to change its course around obstacles. Hitting an obstacle up to three times causes the hand to turn red and the protagonist pulls it back quickly. You have to start again when that happens.
Eventually levels have other objectives before grabbing the bottle. For example, in the baby levels there will be pacifiers that the player must collect before doing the thing in the title. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but that’s part of the appeal of the game I suppose. Why grab pacifiers before the bottle? Why does grabbing the bottle before grabbing all the pacifiers count as hitting an obstacle? Why was this baby left alone in public places so many times? No answers are forthcoming. I dig the mystery, I guess.
There are different sorts of obstacles around which the player must navigate. Most are immovable objects that get in the way. There are some objects, like balls, that can be rolled out of the way by navigating the hand into them. There are other objects, like smaller balls, that can be picked up and dropped on other items, breaking both items and clearing a path for the ever-proceeding hand. And then that’s pretty much it; it’s up to players to navigate the correct order to move or destroy obstacles and navigate tight spaces to grab the bottle. It’s not really complicated, and that’s probably the game’s biggest flaw. It doesn’t have many tricks in its bag, so it gets old relatively quickly despite a relatively original concept and a weird, cool American gothic cartoony art style.
I really like the art style in Grab the Bottle, like I said before. The stage design has a cool, cartoony aesthetic. The character drawings in the level select screen and the loading screens reminds me a little bit of the work of Jhonen Vasquez of Invader Zim and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac fame. I happen to be a fan of that art style, in case I haven’t called the art cool enough times for you to figure that out already. So, yeah, good-looking game. The music is also pretty engaging. The loading screen music is upbeat and kind of rockin’ which makes the loading times go faster. Not that the loading times are bad, a few seconds at most, but it’s a good song. The music during the levels is jazzy and smooth and I like it a lot too.
Grab the Bottle has no touch or motion controls, so it plays about the same either docked or undocked. The graphics don’t look particularly sharper on a TV than on the Switch’s screen, so it doesn’t really matter which way you want to play. I played it mostly undocked except for when I was testing it to make sure it worked on the TV, and I didn’t notice any difference in the experience. So play it however you want.
TL;DR: Cool visuals and solid game design, but it gets old fast.