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Radical Ent




1-2 Players

Game Type

Strategic tag

Mem. Card

Review Date

June 1997

Setting the Scene

Only the occasional PSX title has dared to breach the standard format of gameplay. Racing games are available in their abundance and beat-em-ups by the bundle. We have seen shoot-em-ups and sports sims galore, but how many companies are brave enough to promote games that are different.

We've had Aquanauts Holiday which sunk without trace and Bass Tournament Fishing that fell out of the boat. The latest reincarnation is futuristic tag games. We enjoyed the gameplay of the recently released Blast Chamber from Activision, although the game only came into it's true reckoning in the fabulous multi-player mode. Now Virgin have released their version of the popular playground pastime with Grid Run.


This is a difficult one to class in a genre. The game involves 'strategy' as you build 'platforms' from one zone to another. There is an element of 'shoot up' as your enemy can be blasted. It could be a 'racer' with speed being essential to complete your task first. So let's create a new genre and we will call it a game of chasey.


The game opens with a neat FMV intro which explains the story of Axxel's journey across space to investigate the disappearance of government vessels. He is captured by the empress Vorga and used to play her evil game.

All of the levels have an individual appearance to them which are each portrayed in a bright and colorful manner. The graphics constantly reminded me of Gremlin's ReLoaded with it's overall appearance and the three quarter angle, top down view. The playing area is littered with colorful pickups and bonuses while the enemies have a distinct individual look.

The opening level freezes the play to explain the rules of play as you proceed and the inclusion of an on-screen arrow gives a helpful indication of your opponents whereabouts.

Sounds and Effects

There is not much to report on as far as the sound effects go. There are a few crashes and bangs while the music is 1970's moog-synth-type-space dross.


The rules are simple and if you pick up this game you will get the hang of it in a couple of minutes. However explaining them can be a little long winded and may read like gobbledegook, but here goes.

The aim of the game is to collect an allocated number of flags before your opponent. This is achieved by simply touching them. From the word go you must race around a network of walkways in a frantic attempt to change the first neutral flag into your color, be it red or blue. Your opponent heads off in another direction with the same aim. If you fail to collect the first flag then you're IT, which means you cannot collect flags until you tag your opponent. You must quickly find the location of the other player before they collect their allocated number of flags and make them IT. Once this happens they are teleported away from you and you must begin collecting neutral flags or preferably the flags that have been colored by the other player. (Deep breath)

You can hinder your opponent in a number of ways. You may shoot them with bullets or drop mines behind you when they are giving chase, while a push of the teleport button is available for last minute emergencies. There is a speed up button for a quick getaway but this can be counteracted by a slow down spell that reduces the players movement to the speed of a moonwalk.

Power ups appear throughout the game for weapons and spells while the collection of each hourglass will offer you an extra 5 seconds in the bonus rounds. A bonus round is available after you have defeated your opponent over three rounds.

Flags are dispersed throughout the level, although some appear to be set away from the walkway and seem unreachable. A push of your 'build platform' button will see a new section of floor magically appear before you. This will allow you to build bridges that span the divide, but don't hang around as these new platforms are only temporary and will soon vanish into thin air.

Each of the games 15 levels are divided into 3 different courses with all of them set over various monster worlds. The earlier homelands are fairly straightforward but as you progress through the game the monsters become tough, as do the design of the walkways. Bridging gaps become larger and teleporting grids become an essential part of survival. Some worlds are strewn with conveyor belts that always seem to be heading in the wrong direction, while the ice worlds will have you slipping and sliding around making it more difficult to keep your feet than your flags.

So how does the game play? As a one player game, you will compete against 14 monster opponents and a final battle against the evil Vorga. The game begins at a very slow pace as the first couple of monsters are less challenging than a snail with a limp. When you reach world ten they will have you throwing down the control pad in sheer frustration as they chase as fast as a cheetah with a rocket up it's arse. The mid levels are probably the most enjoyable where you must think and react instantly which is rewarding, but this is soon reduced to a gameplay that I could only describe as frenetic.

It is only when Grid Run is attempted as a two player game that its true value hits you right between the eyes. This is superb as a multi-player contest. No computerised interference, just a straight forward, head to head frantic game of chasey. The reason why such a simple game can bring so much fun is.... well who knows, but it does. The rounds can last for about half an hour or be over in a couple of minutes (although I recall a contest that lasted about 45 minutes leaving myself and opponent screaming for time out).

The two player mode can be played as a single game from 28 available rounds or an option of Play Round where a random world is chosen.

Value for Money

As a single player game it will probably be played out in a week or so but the inclusion of a split-screen, two player contest will see Grid Run being loaded up whenever you have your mates around.





If you enjoy PSX party games such as Worms then I would advise you to pick up a copy of Grid Run. The game is simple to pick up and easy to understand. It also has the same two player catch that keeps players going back for more, which is present in most games that include a Deathmatch mode.











A great 2 player game that even your Dad can play. You wont still be playing this game for months, but rest assured, it will come out of the box when you have a few friends around.








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