Solar Rush: Retro Grid Run is an Android game that's all about paying homage to the retro gaming greats that many of us might have forgotten about. By combining the gameplay of PAC-MAN and other retro greats together, Solar Rush delivers a fun and engaging game that's full of retro charm. The general premise is that you need to collect solar cells to keep your ship running, while also dodging attacks from the fire birds on any side of the game area. There's a booster you can use to speed up as well, but precision and timing is what's needed in order to collect all the solar cells to move on to the next level. There are 30 different levels on offer, and the whole game is designed to be a retro throwback that older players will feel nostalgic about.
To get started with Solar Rush: Retro Grid Run, you just need to download the game from the Play Store and then you're ready to play.
There are some hints on how to play on the main menu, but you'll be given a few more when you start playing as well.
When playing, all you need to do is to dodge attacks from outside the game area and collect cells to complete the level.
That sounds nice and easy enough, but the game quickly presents itself as a serious challenge. This is not your typical pick up and become a master game, instead it takes a little time to get used to the controls and it takes even more time still to figure out what those pesky fire birds are up to.
The added sound effects when you collect a number of cells one after another is nice, as is the ability to quickly replay once you've reached Game Over. You'll also be given a quick look at your score. Something I have yet to create much of thanks to the game's challenging nature.
There's a leaderboard built into Solar Rush, which will remind keen gamers of an arcade game leaderboard which is nice.
It's pretty clear right from the moment you start playing that Solar Rush is a game designed to be a retro gamer's dream, and it achieves that goal fairly well. The combination of PAC-MAN, Asteroids, Space Invaders and more all into one game is a nice cocktail of nostalgia. The game itself does take a little getting used to, but that's more to do with remembering where the directional buttons are than anything else. I found it quite challenging, but I was happy for the challenge while others might find it a tad too difficult. It is still easy to pick up and play whenever and wherever and there's no reason why younger players wouldn't like this, but older players that remember the golden days of gaming will find much more to love.
- Speed (4/5) – Solar Rush is a game that runs fairly quickly, and its pacing fits its retro charm quite nicely as well.
- Theme (4/5) – The pixelated text, the cool sound effects and the score High Score counter onscreen all add up to deliver a fun and good-looking retro look.
- Features (4/5) – By combining a number of different retro gameplay styles together, Solar Rush: Retro Grid Run in Space is good fun and a stern challenge, too.
- Overall (4/5) – While the focus on being a retro throwback might turn some people off, this is a fun game that even younger players could find a lot to love about. It's also a nice change of pace of the instantly gratifying, easy games available in droves.
- Easy to play whether or not you're enduring the commute to work or relaxing at home.
- Retro theme and sound effects are a nice change and will remind older gamers of their youth.
- Solar Rush is a genuine challenge, without it being too difficult, but it's far from a walk in the park.
- Leaderboard is a nice way of giving players encouragement to keep doing better, and again it's a nice throwback to the past.
- Controls can take a little while to get used to.
- Retro theme could turn off some players, but then this might not be for them anyway.
While Solar Rush: Retro Grid Run in space definitely draws a line in the sand as being a retro throwback, that's no reason to ignore the game. In fact, if you're looking for a change of pace from the endless runner games and candy-themed puzzlers we end up playing all the time, this is a nice challenge. There's no hand-holding here, and that's one of the game's strengths. Easy games get boring far too quickly, but Solar Rush's 30 levels will prove to be difficult while providing you a look at how games used to be.