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Rewind In The Key Of R-Type: Retro/Grade

“Rick Rocket has just saved the universe! Unfortunately, the massive destruction he left in his wake has caused a temporal anomaly that has reversed the flow of time.” This fantastic little shooter-rhythm hybrid game is smart and bonkers, but Rez it ain’t. You’re playing backwards in time through a battle that, in reverse, is a musical track. It’s a scrolling shooter, but the incoming lasers and outgoing projectile waves come with a beat: it’s even intended to work with guitar controllers. Yes. More after the jump.
This is one of the finalists for the IGF this year, and it was one of the few finalist titles that I didn’t get around to playing during the judging sessions. Now though there’s a demo up on Steam, as well as the IGF demo on the developer’s site. I have jumped in and now see why Retro/Grade is so heavily nominated: it’s totally leftfield, and distinctly playable.

This should give you an idea of what to expect: fighting a space battle in reverse, with the beat of the music set up the wrong way through time. Collect the laserfire, and dodge the bullets that didn’t hit you. What?

Yes, you can even “rewind” the game by fast forwarding your game back to the point you in the wrongways battle you were in. When ideas like this just spring up in the middle of the afternoon it makes me glad to be alive. Oh enough gibberish from me, I have spreadsheets to fill out. Go play it.

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Jim Rossignol

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