Grid Runner

a game by Virgin
Genre: Action
Platforms: PC, Playstation, PSX
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 4 reviews, 6 reviews are shown
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 1 vote
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In space, no one can hear you scream, "Tag, you're it," but that hasn't kept Virgin Interactive from giving the popular playground game an interplanetary facelift with its soon-to-be-published Grid Runner.

This multiplayer maze-fest takes tag, mixes it with capture the flag and launches this preschool combo into an outer-space setting. Each of the game's 48 levels is housed in a maze-like grid that floats above one of 16 planets.

It's within these twisting grids that you guide Axxel, Grid Runner's hero, who has landed in the clutches of an ill-tempered robowitch named Vorga. In One-player Mode, Axxel's goal is to streak through each grid and snatch a predetermined number of flags. Unfortunately, Vorga's collection of 16 bad guys-each one a half-man, half-animal freak-makes your flagcollecting duties difficult.

One of these opponents and numerous evil drones populate each level. If a bad guy catches up with and tags Axxel, the hero becomes "it."

Now the roles are reversed. Suddenly, it's Axxel's job to track down the bad guy-whose relative direction is pointed out by an arrow-and tag him. With you nipping at his heels, the opponent will go after flags and try to capture enough to win the level.

To make this game of constant chases even more complicated, Axxel and his pursuers can use a limited amount of magic power to slow or temporarily blow up opponents, teleport and boost running speed. Axxel's most important power, however, is his ability to build bridge segments over gaps in the grid--and this ability drains no magic.

Magic power, which is measured by a meter on the screen's left side, can be replenished by collecting the energy balls that litter the grids. Axxel loses magic every time he stumbles into one of the guards that circle the flags or is caught in the shock wave of a roving, exploding drone.

The mind-bending mazes themselves also pack a pile of dirty tricks and obstacles. Some outlandish landmarks include arrow platforms, which shoot and bounce the player across the grid; teleport platforms; and cannon platforms, which launch Axxel to distant target platforms.

All of the mazes are only the likes of Super Bomberman 2 and Sony's recent NBA Shoot Out reside.

Grid Runner lets two players go at it in a Split-Screen Mode, and Link Cable owners can connect their PlayStations to set up a four-person tag tournament.

It's only when four human players are zipping after each other through the mazes that Grid Runner takes tag to the final frontier of fun.

Gamer's EDGE

The best defense against becoming "it" in Grid Runner is to keep pounding away at your opponent with a strong offense, and magic powers are the ablest means of thwarting the bad guys. Your simplest magic attacks are your blaster and land mine weapons. When your pursuer gets within range (i.e.. you can see him on the screen), batter him with blaster fire; it will knock the bad guy on his buttocks, slowing his pursuit. If the enemy's right on your tail, let loose with land mines and watch him/her run head-on into your explosive trap. Be conservative, though--each blaster shot and mine saps your magic powers. If you still can't shake the bad guy, try using one of your more magic-expending super powers, such as teleporting or the slow bomb, which drains your pursuer's speed.

  • MANUFACTURER - Virgin
  • THEME - ACTION
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2

Download Grid Runner

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PSX

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Overview

A combination of tag and capture the flag, Grid Runner throws you into the face of 57 rounds, 15 opponents and 2 player, head to head action. There are 15 unique universes, each with three rounds that you must capture more flags than your opponent or die. Grid Runner is a unique game that once you get the hang of, is actually quite entertaining.

The story of your involvement in the game goes a little something like this. Ships have started disappearing from the normally safe route between Earth and the Nether Planets. This has forced the government to quarantine the whole sector. You are Axxel, a well renowned space explorer so the government calls on your services to investigate the disappearing ships. Immediately you jump to warp speed to investigate. As you are looking around the galaxy. You come across a deserted ship sending out distress signals. Like any good space explorer, you decide to check it out. Axxel decides to board the vessel to see what is going on. When he boards the ship, he finds that the ship isn't as deserted as he believed. It was a trap. You have been captured and forced into a multi-dimensional world and have become an unwilling participant in a deadly game. The game is Grid Runner. Win and escape or lose and die.

Gameplay

Grid Runner is a difficult game to describe but is actually fairly easy to get the hang of. The object of the game is to capture the predetermined amount of flags before your opponent does. Sounds simple enough. There is only one catch. The catch is that you can only capture flags when you are "not it". If you are "it", you must seek out your opponent and tag it so you can begin gathering flags again. Once you have captured a flag, it turns to your color and you move on. If you find a flag that has been captured by your opponent, you can change it to your color and remove the flag from his total and add it to yours.

Now this wouldn't be a very exciting game if all you did was run around a boring level trying to find flags. Each of the worlds pits you against an opponent with different characteristics. For example, in world 8, you are at the world of Aquar II and you opponent is Bog, a fish type character. Bog is very good at building and is very quick. You are probably saying "building?". You never said anything about building. Some of the flags are built on suspended platforms that you must build temporary platforms to reach them. This is very time consuming at the opponents that are good at building have a definite advantage.

Also in the game, you collect spells and power-ups. You can use a slow spell. This will slow your opponent long enough for you to make an escape. You also have a speed spell. This gives you a quick burst of speed so you can outrun the slower opponent nipping at your heels. The next spell, and the best, is the teleport spell. This warps you to randomly to one of the gray tiles located on the playing field. This is your quickest getaway. The last spell id the mine spell. This is used if your opponent is catching up to you from behind. A carefully placed mine is sure to slow him down. Also available is the ability to build and to fire energy balls at the enemy to slow him.

Littered along the playing field, you will come across various power ups. You will find red power ups. These will increment your magic points by one for every one you pick up. The green power ups increase your speed by one increment. The weapons boost will increase your weapons power. This will effect your opponents with heavier damage and slowing them more.

The last item you will find is the hourglass. The more hourglasses you collect, the more time you will have in the bonus rounds at the end of each level. These bonus rounds are important because they effect your players overall speed, magic, and athletic ability. As you progress further into the game, each of these attributes are vital and will be kicking yourself for not collecting the hourglasses and improving your ability. In the later rounds, you will not survive without significant improvements in all of these areas.

The gameplay is very addictive. Like I said above, it is difficult to describe the game but it is very fun and addicting. I kept getting to the third match at each level and dying. This just makes you think you are close and keep trying. In order to save, you must complete all three matches in each level. This means that if you win the first two matches, it doesn't matter if you lose the third. This was frustrating but kept the game challenging.

The only complaint I have about the game is that it was fairly easy. In a total of 3 hours, I was already on level 11out of 15. Things got more difficult from this point on but I breezed up to the 8th or 9th world. The upside to this is that you can play in a 2 player mode so it doesn't really matter what world you are on. You just want to beat your buddy.

Graphics

The opening cinematic of Grid Runner are impressive as is the trend in most games. The 3D polygon characters really look like real people, or at least they look like computer generated real people. During the game, the graphics are crisp and well done. It is quite easy to distinguish between your enemies and everything on the screen is obvious to its purpose. They designers did a good job with making the graphics fit the game. The main focus in Grid Runner is on gameplay not eye candy. I think trying to make this game 3D would have only made the gameplay suffer.

Bottom Line

Grid Runner is an addictive, unique game. I found it to be rather fresh. It is difficult to come up with a game that is new and this one did a good job. I wish it were a little more difficult in the earlier rounds but it does get tougher in the later stages. The combination of magic, speed and brain power make this title fun and the 2 player mode will keep you playing but the one player mode will only last you a few days. Grid Runner deserves a good grade for originality but falls a bit short in replay value.

Overview

Did you ever see that great old classic Tron? If so, you too may notice a resemblance with Virgin Interactive's release Grid Runner. This game falls very much into the arcade category as quick reflexes and lightning fast strategies are essential for survival.

As the game starts, a spiffy video sequence sets the stage. You and a companion are snug in your spaceship when you suddenly are called to investigate a distress signal. After boarding a seemingly abandoned ship, you fall prey to a devious trap while your companion gets left behind. A madwoman sucks you through time and another dimension, and some other nasty stuff just to use you as a player in her fabricated game. Sound familiar? Well, don't get too excited; there are no Light Cycles to be found.

Gameplay

The game is divided up into a number of worlds, each with its own unique adversary. There are three levels per world to conquer before you can move on to the next world. In each world you are pitted against a unique enemy whose goal is the same as yours: collect a designated number of flags to win the round. The only way you can collect flags is if you are "not it." It's just like tag. The round starts and whoever captures the first flag can continue while the other player is considered "it." To reverse the situation, the player who is "it" must physically tag the other player; then that player may begin collecting flags. The game can get fairly intense, especially when you are going for your last flag and the other player comes out of nowhere to tag you, only to go on to collect his last flag and win the round.

The game is made more interesting by the physical surroundings and special abilities of each player. Grid Runner is played on Indiana Jones-style rope bridges spanning high above the earth. The playing field is like a maze, making it fun to creatively avoid an angry opponent as he/she lunges to tag you. Other variables such as ice or fire make each new world a different challenge as you make your way to the final world, where there is a final showdown, of course.

The player has other helpful goodies at his/her disposal. You can shoot the other player to slow him down (you can't kill anyone, a BIG letdown for me), and you can use magic to build temporary bridges between pathways. You can collect power-ups such as speed, magic, and agility to help you outplay your opponent. Between worlds there is a bonus round where the player is able to permanently boost attributes by collecting power-ups in an allotted amount of time. You are able to increase this time by collecting the hourglass power-ups during the previous world's three rounds.

This all sounds pretty good, but I do have grievances with Grid Runner, one of which is the lack of flexibility in saving the game. While trying to win the single-player game, I found it only allows you to save between worlds. This makes the harder worlds almost impossible to complete, because it forces you to win three rounds in a row before you can save. One time I scraped by round number two (by the skin of my toenails) and got slaughtered in the third round, thus having to start over with round one. This alone was endlessly frustrating. I know, there is a difficulty setting, but I can't bring myself to play on "Please Daddy Don't Hurt Me" mode.

Multiplayer gaming is also supported (two players over modem or network) and this is where the real replay value is. The enemy AI is good, and it keeps getting harder (borderline impossible) as the game progresses. However, after playing the game for a few hours, you notice the computer opponent acting like a silicon droid—after all that's what he is. Grid Runner can be greatly enhanced by simply picking up your phone, activating your modem and ... you get the picture.

Graphics

The graphics for Grid Runner were a little disappointing. They are not as sharp and crisp as most games are these days, and definitely not in high resolution. In fact, the graphics reminded me of that old arcade classic Donkey Kong. Even with this type of arcade game, the graphics should have at least been textured better to smooth out some of the rough edges. This may not be as big a deal to some of you, but graphics are one of my hot spots and Grid Runner falls horribly short of my expectations. Is this 1983 ... er ... uhh ... 1997 or what!??

Audio

The sounds in Grid Runner are standard fare for arcade style games -- a lot of blasting sounds, etc. All in all, Grid Runner's sounds are reminiscent of the arcade, probably by design. If you like really great sound in a game, you will probably be disappointed here as there is little depth or creativity.

Documentation

Grid Runner's manual is the inside cover of the jewel case the CD comes in. It is very thorough and I had no trouble installing or understanding how to play the game. Of course, I only like to use the manual when it's absolutely necessary.

System Requirements

Windows: Pentium 60, 8 MB RAM, 2X CD-ROM drive, 1 MB video card

Reviewed on: I ran the game with no problem on a Pentium 100 with 32 MB RAM

Bottom Line

Grid Runner is fun for about the first hour; then it becomes old as the game is too repetitive and uninteresting to hold a player's attention for very long. I did not find any glitches in the game, so it is well put together -- a big plus these days -- and it does have some arcade pizzazz. Grid Runner's saving grace is its multiplayer capabilities (a must) which dramatically add to the replay value. Thus I give Grid Runner a score of 72 for a playable, yet uninteresting addition to the vast arcade game world. If you are an arcade "gamer extraordinaire," then Grid Runner will nicely round out your collection; otherwise you may want to hold off on this one.

Overview

A combination of tag and capture the flag, Grid Runner throws you into the face of 57 rounds, 15 opponents and 2 player, head to head action. There are 15 unique universes, each with three rounds that you must capture more flags than your opponent or die. Grid Runner is a unique game that once you get the hang of, is actually quite entertaining.

The story of your involvement in the game goes a little something like this. Ships have started disappearing from the normally safe route between Earth and the Nether Planets. This has forced the government to quarantine the whole sector. You are Axxel, a well renowned space explorer so the government calls on your services to investigate the disappearing ships. Immediately you jump to warp speed to investigate. As you are looking around the galaxy. You come across a deserted ship sending out distress signals. Like any good space explorer, you decide to check it out. Axxel decides to board the vessel to see what is going on. When he boards the ship, he finds that the ship isn't as deserted as he believed. It was a trap. You have been captured and forced into a multi-dimensional world and have become an unwilling participant in a deadly game. The game is Grid Runner. Win and escape or lose and die.

Gameplay

Grid Runner is a difficult game to describe but is actually fairly easy to get the hang of. The object of the game is to capture the predetermined amount of flags before your opponent does. Sounds simple enough. There is only one catch. The catch is that you can only capture flags when you are "not it". If you are "it", you must seek out your opponent and tag it so you can begin gathering flags again. Once you have captured a flag, it turns to your color and you move on. If you find a flag that has been captured by your opponent, you can change it to your color and remove the flag from his total and add it to yours.

Now this wouldn't be a very exciting game if all you did was run around a boring level trying to find flags. Each of the worlds pits you against an opponent with different characteristics. For example, in world 8, you are at the world of Aquar II and you opponent is Bog, a fish type character. Bog is very good at building and is very quick. You are probably saying "building?". You never said anything about building. Some of the flags are built on suspended platforms that you must build temporary platforms to reach them. This is very time consuming at the opponents that are good at building have a definite advantage.

Also in the game, you collect spells and power-ups. You can use a slow spell. This will slow your opponent long enough for you to make an escape. You also have a speed spell. This gives you a quick burst of speed so you can outrun the slower opponent nipping at your heels. The next spell, and the best, is the teleport spell. This warps you to randomly to one of the gray tiles located on the playing field. This is your quickest getaway. The last spell id the mine spell. This is used if your opponent is catching up to you from behind. A carefully placed mine is sure to slow him down. Also available is the ability to build and to fire energy balls at the enemy to slow him.

Littered along the playing field, you will come across various power ups. You will find red power ups. These will increment your magic points by one for every one you pick up. The green power ups increase your speed by one increment. The weapons boost will increase your weapons power. This will effect your opponents with heavier damage and slowing them more.

The last item you will find is the hourglass. The more hourglasses you collect, the more time you will have in the bonus rounds at the end of each level. These bonus rounds are important because they effect your players overall speed, magic, and athletic ability. As you progress further into the game, each of these attributes are vital and will be kicking yourself for not collecting the hourglasses and improving your ability. In the later rounds, you will not survive without significant improvements in all of these areas.

The gameplay is very addictive. Like I said above, it is difficult to describe the game but it is very fun and addicting. I kept getting to the third match at each level and dying. This just makes you think you are close and keep trying. In order to save, you must complete all three matches in each level. This means that if you win the first two matches, it doesn't matter if you lose the third. This was frustrating but kept the game challenging.

The only complaint I have about the game is that it was fairly easy. In a total of 3 hours, I was already on level 11out of 15. Things got more difficult from this point on but I breezed up to the 8th or 9th world. The upside to this is that you can play in a 2 player mode so it doesn't really matter what world you are on. You just want to beat your buddy.

Graphics

The opening cinematic of Grid Runner are impressive as is the trend in most games. The 3D polygon characters really look like real people, or at least they look like computer generated real people. During the game, the graphics are crisp and well done. It is quite easy to distinguish between your enemies and everything on the screen is obvious to its purpose. They designers did a good job with making the graphics fit the game. The main focus in Grid Runner is on gameplay not eye candy. I think trying to make this game 3D would have only made the gameplay suffer.

Bottom Line

Grid Runner is an addictive, unique game. I found it to be rather fresh. It is difficult to come up with a game that is new and this one did a good job. I wish it were a little more difficult in the earlier rounds but it does get tougher in the later stages. The combination of magic, speed and brain power make this title fun and the 2 player mode will keep you playing but the one player mode will only last you a few days. Grid Runner deserves a good grade for originality but falls a bit short in replay value.

Grid Runner pumps new levels of adrenaline and intensity into the simple game of capture the flag.

Sixteen stages with multiple sub-areas and bonus levels are enhanced by menacing alien monsters and ever-increasing levels of difficulty. You weave your way through different mazes as you try to touch the specified number of flags and change them to your color before your opponent does the same. The tantalizing twist occurs when you tag your opponent and make him "it." This prevents him from touching any flags until he tracks you down and, through whatever means necessary, tags you back. The chase is on, and every game is a unique battle of strategy at a feverish pace.

ProTips:

  • Use slow downs to catch up to your opponent.
  • Save your teleports until you are about to be tagged, then disappear from sight You will be easy prey It you run out.
  • Build bridges across empty paces, but cross them fast because they evaporate after a short time.
  • After tagging your opponent, drop mines behind you to slow him down.
  • Don't waste time looking for power-ups. Capture the first flag immediately or you'll play catch-up the rest of the game.

Graphics

A cool rendered opening is followed by crisp sprites and detailed arenas. The variety of sizes and shapes in the mazes is a plus, although the small two-player split-screen game is hard on your eyes.

Sound

The sound captures all the blasts and explosions of the gameplay, mixing in a techno beat to give the game an otherworldly feel.

Control

You're armed with lasers, mines, teleporters, speed bursts, and slow downs--all easy to access with smooth controls. You can even build bridges to grab flags in hard-to-reach places.

Fun Factor

Be prepared for some explosive excitement, especially with two-player head-to-head heart-attack action. Grid Runner will provide hours of thrilling, trash-talkin' good times.

Sometimes the best idea for a game is an old idea for a game. Case in point: Gridrunner. Even though it looks fancy, has a pumping techno soundtrack and possesses more features than you could shake a very big stick at, it's still, at its core, simply a futuristic update of Capture The Flag, and that's good.

In what we can only assume is the far future, gladiators battle on suspended platforms, racing against each other in an attempt to collect flags stationed around a playing field. Simple enough, but players can only collect flags when they aren't "It", and like a game of tag, you have to find the other player, touch him, and run like hell if you don't want the stigma of being "It."

Not only are you trying to avoid the slings and arrows of your hulking opponent, you must also avoid various obstacles and bad guys. By collecting power-ups, you can lay mines to foil your enemies, teleport away from them, gain speed, and build temporary bridges across chasms. Strategy is definitely a concern here, so keep on your toes.

Gridrunner has an tournament option for the ultra-competitive gamers out there, as well as a head-to-head mode.

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