Gridrunner Revolution

By: Derek Yu

On: September 30th, 2009

Gridrunner Revolution

Llamasoft has just released Gridrunner Revolution, an update to Gridrunner (1982) and Gridrunner++ (2002). The game has all the hallmarks of a modern Jeff Minter production: psychedelic graphics and gobs of hidden rules and scoring mechanics. And sheep.

Each level has a terrible sun in it that periodically fires on your ship, but can be destroyed for an extra man and leaves behind a black hole that creates a gravity well for your bullets. Curving your bullets through gravity is an important mechanic, allowing you to raise your multiplier and hit enemies from different angles (you can rotate your ship with the right mouse button). The extra ships system is novel – each ship looks unique and has a slightly different way of firing. When you find the right ship and the right angle it looks impressive and nets you an even more impressive multiplier.

I also really like the “Sheepie Save” mechanic. Collecting sheep increases your ships’ power but can also be used to save a dying ship. Once hit, your ship falls toward the bottom of the screen, but if you guide it to a sheep, it will be saved. Keeping your ship bouncing until a sheep arrives is actually one of my favorite things to do in the game. I won’t spoil how it works, exactly, but it’s a nifty idea.

Gridrunner Revolution is definitely a lot easier to get into than Minter’s Space Giraffe, although I feel like the game doesn’t really start cooking until well into the Madras (Medium) difficulty or in Vindaloo (Hard). From my experience, that’s the point where the mechanics start to make sense, because you’ll really be relying on your understanding of them to survive. For that reason I’d personally prefer fewer levels with a faster difficulty ramp. It might also make each level feel a bit more unique (as it is, you’re playing level after level of psychedelic void – pretty, but they tend to blur into one another).

You can have the full game for $20, or with Space Giraffe at $25. The full game comes with the original Gridrunner as a bonus feature that you can unlock.

TIGdb: Entry for Gridrunner Revolution

  • Coocooman

    This looks great! Another great game with the added bonus of inducing seizures! :-) Seriously though, can’t wait to dive into it.

  • Eclipse

    Got it days ago, totally awesome game

  • ssp

    Looks amazing! Downloading now!

    Also, inb4 idiots who call this a Geometry Wars ripoff

  • Synnah

    Looks lovely! Sadly, I never managed to get into Space Giraffe properly, dispite being a long time fan of Jeff Minter; I should really give it another shot. Probably going to pick this up as well!

  • Synnah

    ‘Dispite’? Jesus.

  • Eclipse

    Gridrunner has a grid even on the commodore 64, so it’s all the way around, it was the first psychedelic shooter to feature a grid

  • !CE-9

    it’s not only excellent by its own right, it helped me to understand what had happened since Attack of the Mutant Camels C64 and why Space Giraffe is awesome.

  • Jeff Mintner

    baaaaaaa why don’t you like my game neighhhhhh you barmy gits whinnyyyyy

  • Jeff Mintner

    also *yiff*

  • Dinsdale

    I don’t know guys, this looks like a Geometry Wars ripoff to me.

  • ctankep

    quick call th’ mob! let’s get those Geometry Wars bastards for ripping off Tempest 2000 & Robotron as well. ho hum, know your history ..

  • claptrap

    Guys, I just played through the trial and I’m buying the full game as soon as i finish writing this. First, Fuck off all you Geometry Wars brats, this isn’t anything like that game. The mechanics are incredibly unique and different from any other psychedelic shooter I’ve played (and I’ve played most of them). The idea is pretty fresh and like any great game it’s simple to get into, but tough to master. There are a lot of elements at work and understanding all of them (and how to benefit from them) will take a little time to discover.

    Very enjoyable game! I have to say it, this is better than Space Giraffe and whether or not your liked that game I personally believe a lot of people will like this one even more, even the fans of Space Giraffe. Forget about all of that, just download the demo and try it out. Even if to kill a bit of time, this is a great time waster if nothing else.

  • maanto

    If anything Geo Wars just crapped it’s pants.

  • Knutner

    Fuckin’ ace game. Unbelievably brilliant.

    And just look at all the luscious screenshots:

  • ssp

    OK, played the demo! I’m having a lot of fun with this, definitely considering purchase. I’m really digging the combination of fairly simplistic controls and clever, deep game mechanics (for a shmup anway).

  • DudeSheep

    Shit game from a shitty developer.

  • joe

    Even nerdy nerdy nerds on the internet feel the need to fight for primacy.

  • The President

    I tryed it and it feels unfinished to me… I really enjoyed Space Giraffe, but not this, sorry Jeff.