GripShift is best described as a puzzle game that just happens to be played with dune buggies. It features tracks that are suspended high in the air and that are filled with features such as ramps, loops, and multiple paths. You're basic goal is to make it from one end of the track to the other while collecting as many of the stars that float above the track as possible. Each track also features an elusive GripShift logo that will take a combination of driving and puzzle-solving skills to locate and collect. With about 40 different tracks in the game and the multiple goals on each (collect all of the stars, collect the GripShift logo, and complete the track in the fastest possible time), you've got a lot of potential gameplay here. "Potential" is the operative word here because it's likely that you'll grow tired of the game long before you complete all of the goals on all of the tracks.
You'll probably find GripShift to be entertaining at first. The novelty of the aerial tracks and the challenge of reaching some of their more remote and hidden areas makes things fun at the start, and the ability to have full control over your car in mid-air after a jump is a bit interesting. However after you make your way through a few tracks a strong sense of déjà vu will begin to set in. It's not just that you'll feel like your doing the same sort of thing over and over again, it's that you will actually be doing the same sort of thing over and over again. The repetitive nature of the gameplay is not the only thing working against your long-term enjoyment of the game. The car physics is very touchy and unforgiving and as the tracks begin to add more curves and gaps you'll find yourself flying over the edge far more times than you can count.
The developers may have been aware that the game's puzzle element wasn't enough on its own to keep gamers hooked for long because they also added a multiplayer Mario Kart style feature. The tracks in this mode are designed to be circuits and your goal is to each the finish line first. Adding to the competitive nature of this mode are the various power-ups that are placed on the track at various intervals. These include the sort of things that you almost always see in kart racing games such as oil slicks, homing missiles, and shields. When playing against the computer you'll quickly grow bored with the mode as it's pretty generic stuff and doesn't really add anything to a game mode you've probably played a few thousand times already at this point. Multiplayer against other gamers over Xbox Live is a little more interesting, but nothing to get too excited about.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 67%. GripShift includes a decent amount of gameplay for an Xbox Live Arcade title, but it just isn't compelling enough to motivate you to play through the entire game.