In Grid Runner you play Axxel, a space investigator sent on a mission to an asteroid field to find out why ships have been mysteriously dissapearing. While investigating the asteroid field, Axxel and his partner Tara stumble upon what seemed to be a deserted ship. Once inside, Axxel finds out that the ship is not deserted, but is a trap set by the evil empress Vorga (Insert ominous music here). You are forced to play her deadly game in a multi-dimensional world with no way out.
Learning how to play Grid Runner on the Sega Saturn or Sony Playstation is a breeze because it has been installed with a tutorial. The tutorial takes you through the first level giving you hints and suggestions on how to beat your opponent. The object of the game is to capture the number of flags designated to each level. Sounds easy? To capture a flag you have to be “not it”. When you are “not it” and you capture all the flags designated for that level you have won the game. When you’re “it” (as you may have guessed) you are not allowed to collect flags, but instead must tag your opponent so you will not be “it” any more. It’s just like playing a game of tag with your friends, only with guns and explosives.
There are several differences between your ordinary game of tag and Grid Runner. On each level there are green, red and blue balls laying around which increase your performance. The green balls increase your speed, red your magic and blue your agility. the more you collect the more efficient you become. When you collect magic points you get the ability to one of six things: build a temporary bridge, drop an explosive behind you, slow your opponent, fire a weapon (which can be upgraded), give yourself a temporary boost of speed or teleporting out of danger. The only real trick is using the right magic for the situation you are in.
After playing the computer once or twice, I found it to be too easy. Even in the more difficult levels it is easy to find the pattern of the computer opponent. Once the pattern is found, it only takes a little patience to beat the computer. The best way to play Grid Runner is against a human opponent not the computer. Playing against a friend who is less predictable and a lot more aggressive than a computer is really very fun. Of course if one player is better than another it can become repetitious, however if you play a friend who’s skill is equal to your own then you can find yourself playing for hours on the same level, still having a great time!
There isn’t much to say about the graphics except that they’re not horrible. They are sufficient for playing the game, but are not something you would tell friends about. The sound effects suit their purpose. The music, on the other hand, is a fast paced collage that fits well (especially when your playing with two people) with the game.
When I first played Grid Runner, I thought “how amusing-tag your it”. Then I played with a friend and it was intense. Even when he beat the daylights out of me it was fun. Then I got a little better, and I beat the daylights out of him. Then the game was really fun. Even though the one player game wears thin, the two player game is fun enough to make Grid Runner an exceptable investment.