In short, the Flip Grip is essentially a fancy piece of moulded plastic. Made specifically for the Nintendo Switch, it allows the user to stick their Joy-Cons into it. Well, that’s just like any other third-party controller holder right? Wrong! What sets the Flip Grip apart is the ability to house the tablet section of the Nintendo Switch in a vertical position. This is fantastic if the user has any games that can take advantage of this specific orientation.
Getting to grips with the Flip Grip
It is the result of a collaboration between the Retronauts founder Jeremy Parish, engineer & designer Mike Choi, and Fangamer. These entities came together and threw the idea up onto Kickstarter in 2018, and was successfully funded on July 10th 2018. And yes, I was one of the original backers. I thought it was a really interesting and innovative piece of kit. Especially because it has such a simple design.
It also comes delivered in a very minimal amount of packaging. I always try to commend companies that package their products in an environmentally friendly way. A simplified outline of the Flip Grip is printed directly onto the cardboard packaging, as well as the very cute logo situated in the middle.
A sleek design
Once unwrapped, the Flip Grip can be seen in all its glory. In addition to the plastic accessory, a thick piece of card is included. This doubles up as a little instruction manual and a makeshift kickstand. The instructions are very simple. Slide each Joy-Con into their respective slots, with screen slotting in between them. Around the back, there is a small pull tab that is used to release the Switch when not in use. The Joy-Cons can be released in the usual way.
Once fully assembled, the Switch sits in the Tate Mode orientation. This is suitable for many vertical shoot-em-ups and other similar games. Digital pinball tables are also good examples of games that use Tate Mode. This is the main use for the Flip Grip. Quite the niche product for sure. During my time reviewing it, I played quite a bit of the free tables in Pinball FX3. I was able to see the majority of each table at once, which made playing them all the more fun.
Positives and negatives
There are a few drawbacks when using the Flip Grip. As the Joy-Cons aren’t attached to the main Switch body, they have a tendency to run out of power. The power button and volume controls are also obscured also. Nothing that ruins the experience of using it, but annoying nonetheless. It can also take a bit of time to get used to holding it, as the weight of the device is distributed slightly differently than usual.
It is compact enough that it doesn’t take up much room when transporting it, and doesn’t add much additional weight. There are multiple sections of soft velvet material to help protect the main screen when sitting in the grip.
I don’t usually go on Kickstarter all that much and I don’t finance many products when I’m there. The Flip Grip is a great little device though, and it’s one that I don’t regret helping to finance. It fills a niche type of function and looks pretty sweet to boot. At just $15, it doesn’t break the bank either. If you want to buy this item, please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link!
If you do want to watch the video version of this article, I’ve linked it below!