Out and out the best arcade shooter for iOS. It’s not going to win any beauty competitions, but it sure deserves to win some ‘best games’ ones.
by on October 11, 2012
Aiieeeeeeee! That’s roughly the sound you’ll make ten levels into Gridrunner, having mastered the controls, fractionally increasing your chances of survival as your tiny craft zooms about, avoiding approximately eleven billion things attempting to blast it to smithereens. The shoot ’em up equivalent of juggling on a roller-coaster, Gridrunner strips back the genre, squashes you into a confined space, and then sneakily lobs regular surprises at your face, giving you a sensory assault and adrenaline rush. With added malevolent lasers.
Living up to its name, Gridrunner takes place on a grid. Initially, snake-like foes lumber back and forth, like glued-together extraterrestrial invaders from space. But shoot one and the snake splits, with the shot component becoming a time bomb that later ejects a missile in your general direction.
All the while, gun emplacements relentlessly patrol the edges of the grid, periodically firing lasers. Early on, this is all perfectly manageable. The controls are quirky, but great (once you realise they’re essentially a floating analogue stick). Power-ups can be stacked, and enable you to obliterate foes in seconds. You can even juggle raining time-bomb missiles like an outer-space show-off, for extra points.rnrnBut at some point, everything goes mental.
Enemies come thick and fast, turning Gridrunner into a bullet-hell shooter in a shoe-box. It becomes a game of pure instinct and the buzz you get from escaping death by a whisker, time and time again. Topping this off is a so-called casual mode that enables you to start from a previous breakpoint with your best score intact, advanced super-skiddy controls for blasting braggarts, iCade support, and remakes of Gridrunner’s ancient C64 and VIC-20 grandparents, lurking as Easter Eggs (hint: rotate your device).
In short: Squee! Gridrunner is superb!
Download this app: Grid Runner for iPhone
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Review courtesy of Tap!
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