Gridrunner Rev Released. Also, Demo.

By Kieron Gillen on September 25th, 2009 at 12:08 pm.

Biff them with lasers. It's the only way to be sure.

And one of our Unknown Pleasures for 2009 emerges, resplendent with shiny-flickery stuff into the light. Llamasoft’s Gridrunner Revolution is now available to buy for $20 directly from them, or $25 dollars with the divisive-yet-awesome Space Giraffe. For those who wish to do the ever-popular try-before-you-buy, there’s a demo available here for your pleasure. I plan to write some opinions up after I’ve played some more, but you’ll find an introduction to this shooter’s key concepts in the video below…

Introducing Sheepintology from Jeff Minter on Vimeo.

Shoot them with laser guns!

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23 Comments »

  1. M Jones says:

    Aceness! The game plays extremely well and is a hell of a lot of fun. Well worth splashing out the small amount of cash that it costs (or at least trying the demo for free). :-)

  2. Dominic White says:

    At $20 by itself, it’s a bit steep, but $25 for the two? Yeah, I think I’m down for that. Minter seems to have settled into a groove now, where he’s *the* guy who makes familiar-looking but actually quite inventive and original shooters that apparently enrage some people to a comical degree.

  3. Dominic White says:

    Seriously. Buckle up, beacuse we WILL have Angry Internet Men in this thread. It’s impossible to avoid them on this subject.

  4. Gurrah says:

    Curve your bullets like a MoFo? I’ve got to try it.

  5. Alex Hopkinson says:

    Awesome, looking forward to checking this out when I get home.

  6. noTHINGface says:

    Well roll on 5pm GMT when I can get back home with a couple of beers (and the missus will still be out) to enjoy some more of Mr Minters offerings. Yes I’m a fan, yes I loved Space Giraffe, yes I will most likely love this.

  7. JonFitt says:

    Ow, my vision, it’s been ruined! :)

    It takes a while to see through the craziness, but I see potential for some cool shooter action in that demo.

    I was a big fan of Llamatron and the Camel games back in the day, the crazy sounds and enemies were fun as a child, but quite random. I see that modern technology has allowed Jeff to keep his old school design but now link the graphics and sound effects into a cool trance-like fusion. It’s probably what he was heading towards all along.

  8. Arathain says:

    You know, fellows, I do believe this might be a Jeff Minter game! Certain subtle indicators give it away. Like that dull ache in my eyeballs, that, somehow, I am glad is there.

  9. jph wacheski says:

    Previously the videos showd it to be faily awesome, I was unsure about the game play. however the demo proves to be indeed quite very awesome! I had a problem with the video settings menu not letting me switch to fullscreen in 1280×1024,. however Alt-Enter did the trick,. . the Neon effects are truly amazing!

  10. solipsistnation says:

    Ya, this is a pretty, pretty game.

    And VIC-20 mode is very cute (and looks totally incongruous on my giant monitor).

    $25 for this + SG is a super deal.

    I started off thinking it was a very simple game, but then, heh, it got harder. And then harder.

    But still very pretty.

  11. Lambchops says:

    Demo was OK – looked pretty and was quite cathartic to play on easy mode.

    I could see the harder modes getting somewhat frantic to know what was going on.

    However it didn’t do enough to encourage me to buy it for the asking price and I didn’t enjoy the demo of Space Giraffe. Should be an interesting diversion when the price drops though.

  12. Dominic White says:

    Spent a couple of hours on and off playing this, and I’m really pleasantly surprised. The gameplay seems to have quite a bit of depth to it, and there’s a lot of game to be played. 200 levels of increasing bastardlyness, two retro remakes, thrusty mode and an arcade survival mode. It may be hugely retro, but it’s huge, and the levels are scripted and planned rather than randomly thrown together.

    It seems to have a much more reasonable learning curve than Space Giraffe, too.

  13. Cedge says:

    Minter is one of the last true geniuses of shooting games, who is still making them, and is one of the more fascinating gamemakers I can think of. Bless him, and god, I hope he keeps doing this forever.

  14. MarkN says:

    Lazy comment incoming, but heartfelt nevertheless:

    Wot Cedge said.

    That is all.

  15. JB says:

    Looking forward to trying the demo shortly.

    Also "Curve your bullets like a MoFo" needs to be the main tagline and/or made into a tshirt.

  16. dbdkmezz says:

    @Lambchops: The demo doesn't really do Space Giraffe justice. Where it gets awesome is when it starts introducing enemies which interfere with your vision, and the enemies which rotate the gameworld. By that time you've played so much of the game that you start feeling around more with your ears than your eyes, but you don't really understand how, it's like you've aquired a sixth sense or something! It's quite an experience, makes your head hurt after a while, but well worth the price of entry. I don't even really like this kind of shooter, but I LOVE Space Giraffe. It's probably my favourite game of last year. The $25 bundle for the two is really something special.

    While I'm here I should probably link Jonathon Blow's (Braid developer) review of SG, as he puts it much better than I do:
    http://braid-game.com/news/?p=100

    Hell, I might as well link the Action Button Dot Net review while I'm here too (not as good as Blow's review, but worth reading if you're still on the fence):
    http://www.actionbutton.net/?p=593

  17. JinglesO'Flaherty says:

    It’s really poor. It’ll be more popular than Space Giraffe, though, because it’s so epically easy, to make up for the fact that you don’t have the remotest idea what’s going on. I’ve played through to level 190 of 200 and I never had any real idea of what I was doing, but the game threw so many extra lives around it was almost impossible to fail.

    I fully expect really bad journalists – mostly the ones who slagged off Space Giraffe – to give it great reviews, and for it to do comparatively well as a result. So it’ll probably outsell a game that’s 50 times better and costs a fraction of the price. That’s the fucked-up modern gamer for you.

  18. Kieron Gillen says:

    As a matter of interest, how does making it harder to fail necessarily make it easier to succeed? As in, do well? The point of Space Giraffe wasn't just to survive. The point was to amp up the scores epically.

    KG

  19. JinglesO'Flaherty says:

    So far as I can see there are no online leaderboards (doh!), so it’s more or less a moot point since there’s no way of knowing what a “good” score is. But as I’m sure you know, most gamers/reviewers these days regard beating the last level as success, and so will probably feel more warmly disposed towards this game than they did to SG’s open hostility.

    I’m on the 200th level now – the first one I’ve been stuck on for more than one attempt – and the game’s a huge step backwards from Gridrunner++ in every way except the pretty lights.

  20. RobF says:

    The removal of normal failstates is pretty much its blessing and its curse and it will depend a lot on what you want from the game. Where Space Giraffe rigidly stuck to its ruleset and delighted in fucking you up (and for me makes it the stronger of the pair, Nuxx mode not included), GR:Rev is perhaps a little too forgiving.

    One of the biggest crits I'd have of it is that it lets you play outside of the rules Jeff's defined with little to no penalty. It only punishes you when you play it within the rules and that's both different and a little odd. I don't think one is more valid than the other per se but for what I generally want from a shooter it sorta falls outside the usual remit.

    Making it easy to get to the end I don't think is a bad thing, especially when the game is pretty much about enjoying the light show and besting yourself, making it easy to play in an unsatisfactory manner where you -have- to play it "properly" to create the challenge falls onto that shaky territory of "it's going to go either way here, folks".

    It's one of those things where I think perhaps innovating in smaller steps across a series of games rather than throwing in everything and the kitchen sink might have helped focus it more. I still like it but that's also with the caveat that I've been playing it for the best part of 4 months now in different forms and have been very much aware of what each thing does as its been added to the mix and the reasons behind them being there. Except the Klaxon, I still don't know what that is :s

  21. Dominic White says:

    Space Giraffe wasn’t too difficult if you tried to play it ‘wrong’, too. If you approached it like Tempest and just shot enemies as they appeared, rather than deliberately letting them get to the top for huge multipliers, it wasn’t too brutally tough until the later levels.

    GridRev (as I shall now be abbreviating it) gets a lot harder if you focus on getting your score multiplier as high as possible, curving as many orbiting shots as you can, and letting flowers grow until they’re as full as possible.

    I agree that a lack of an online scoreboard is a problem though. It really needs it – at the very least a friends scoreboard where you can compare to your immediate circle of pals, and perhaps do what some clever games do, and have your next best buddy up the scoreboard’s score always on-screen, giving you that goal to shoot for.

  22. LionsPhil says:

    Jeff Minter is an agreeable nutter. His interview with b3ta from a few years back is good reading. Contains the phrase “foetid dingoes’ kidneys”. Also, he answers a question using the ternary operator.

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