Grid Runner


Review by Wesley Worthen



Graphics: 8

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 10

Overall: 9

Being the usually curious gamer, I immediately slapped in the game disc once purchased without even bothering to note a manual. And, to my delight, the game proved to stick to the classic-types where a 4 hour read of the book called "manual" is not required. Yes, ladies and gents, this game gives us pleasure without the bore and it is a GOOD game, too!

You are Axel, on a space cruiser, when you and your crewmate happen upon a distress call. Answering it, you go to the ship making the signal. Upon entering the ship, the doors behind you close and you are confronted with a gem morphing into a lady with an evil laugh. She proceeds to inform you, while transporting you without your will somewhere, that you are "..perfect" for the game of hers. While not a great intro, this does the job of giving you a basic storyline. No fluff, no mess, just simple. Thank you, Radical Entertainment.

The menu provides a slick and basic interface with options and so on. I did notice, when first playing, that there is a 2-player option (I never even realized this when buying it). This proved to be an absolute blast, which I will discuss later. The options give you a good selection of volume, etc. The real juice is in the game, and that is where the programmers made a stupendous showing.

Selecting a one-player game brings you to an info screen about your first opponent. This opponent really is what it says. Slow and cumbersome. But, this is an excellent beginning to the game. You start off on the maze or grid and are required to be the first player to replace a white flag with your color. As player 1, you are always blue and your opponent is red. Upon "capturing" a flag first, the other player is now "it." They can not capture any flags until tagging you and thus making you it. You must use the time that you are not it to grab powerups and capture flags. The first level requires you capture 3 flags, and subsequent levels increase this number gradually. Running around, avoiding your opponent, proves to be a fun and busy task. I say busy, because the programmers put plenty of power- ups and items in the levels to keep you going for more. Green balls give you speed, red gives magic and blue gives stamina. Magic is the ability to create blocks of walkway or even spikes to slow your opponent. These are sometimes required in later levels to get to certain flags and objects.

The game is a great and even wonderful example of fun-value on single player mode. However, the real gem is 2 player. This pits you and a buddy against each other in a race against time and footwork to come out the top-dog on each grid. I can not stress how fun this can be. The sheer joy of beating out your buddy or friend is absolute. I sat and played this with my room- mate one night and had to stop the next morning because I had to go to work. It really made us lose track of what time was, except in the game.

Pure, simple fun is what it is all about and this game delivers immensely. The elation at beating one of your friends in 2-player mode or the joy of winning round after round in 1-player make this game a must have in anyone's library of games. And thankfully enough, Virgin Interactive released it on the PC and Playstation, as well, so those of you with those machines should have this in your repertoire, too. Looking online, this game can be had for less than 10 dollars at retailers and eBay in good to new condition. I wholeheartedly urge you to make this already classic game the next addition to your collection.

Graphics - 8 - While not spectacular, they do quite well and I have yet to see any slowdown in the game. Sound - 9 - The music on this absolutely rocks the house and the sound effects are very appropriate. Plus, you can play the music in your regular CD player! Controls - 9 - Excellent with a regular controller and even better with the 3D controller. I don't normally recommend it, but it works well here. Gameplay - 10 - I really have no complaints here at all. Top notch, I say. Overall - 9 - If you do not have this game, get it! Addictive, fun, etc, etc.; this game is stupendous.


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Last updated: Sunday, February 08, 2004 12:42 PM