What would happen if you mixed together the cult classic movie TRON with Nintendo’s classic SNES game Star Fox? At first, this might seem like an odd mixture, with one being an epic space adventure and the other taking place inside a video game world. Yet from the moment you start playing GRIDD: Retroenhanced, you can’t help feeling like that mixture works extremely well. GRIDD: Retroenhanced is a very unique game that makes its way to Nintendo Switch with great results.
Originally released on PC in 2017, GRIDD: Retroenhanced is a really unique game. You play as a ship that can move freely along a long 3D path, taking down enemies along the way. Throughout your journey, many obstacles will come your way, ranging from other ships to large, hazardous environments. The object of the game is to survive.
GRIDD: Retroenhanced is a truly fun game for me. TRON is one of my favorite movies of all time, and this game wears the TRON references front and center. The game’s unique 1980s neon-style visuals make the game look like few other games out there. The music, written by Dream Fiend, blends perfectly with the visuals, adding a great 80s-style soundtrack to an 80s-style video game. Besides its sounds and visuals, the game is a lot of fun. It’s simple to pick up but hard to master at first, which makes you feel inclined to do one more run. This works perfectly on the Nintendo Switch. The Switch’s pick up and play design make GRIDD an awesome fit on the platform. I found myself picking the game up to play for a short bit of time, only to find myself picking the game up repeatedly throughout the day to keep playing.
Unique to the Nintendo Switch version of the game is the Switch exclusive mode “Glove of Power.” This is another reference to the 1980s, referencing Nintendo’s ill-fated Power Glove accessory for the NES. Unlike that glove though, “Glove of Power” mode uses two Joy-Con controllers for motion control in game. Make a fist while holding a single Joy-Con in your hand and hold it horizontally, then simply move your hand around and the ship on-screen will follow your exact movements. Using the shoulder buttons, which would now be at your pointer and ring finger, you can fire your ship’s laser. Using this mode will allow your ship to move at greater speed and precision, something that can’t quite be replicated on the controller. It will take a bit of time to get used to this control scheme, but it is totally worth it.
All that said, GRIDD: Retroenhanced suffers from a few problems. Despite the game having a simple premise, playing the game may be quite challenging at first. The game isn’t easy, so your first few runs will consist of nothing but you crashing and dying. I ran into this problem my first few times playing. I would misjudge how close I was to an object and run into it, normally resulting in my ship blowing up. I also didn’t quite understand how power-ups worked at first, meaning I would leave almost all the power-ups behind, which would later result in me meeting my untimely demise. The more I played the game, the more I got used to these things and the easier the game became. It just takes a bit of time to get used to it. Don’t let that deter you from GRIDD though, this is a really special game you should totally play. Just be prepared for an exercise in patience when you start.
Developer: Antab Studios
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 16th May 2017 (PC), 26th July 2017 (Xbox One), 7th June 2018 (Nintendo Switch)