SkillGrid (Commodore Amiga)

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A very well produced endless shooter that introduces more of a strategy element to game play but at the cost of pure blasting fun.

User Review
4 (1 vote)

SkillGrid, developed by Retream, is an endless score-attack vertical shoot ’em up featuring frenetic, tactical gameplay and comprising of a variety of different sub-games, boss battles, and in-depth scoring mechanics.

You take control of a spaceship that flies over a vertically scrolling field of random hexagonal cells. The spaceship catches coloured cells with its tip. If a cell is caught, it causes specific effects and possibly awards points. Collecting blue cells result in positive effects, such as acceleration to your ships horizontal or vertical movement, a reduction in enemies on screen, an increase to your shield levels or a recharge of your weapons, while the yellow cells will result in adverse effects.

While collecting cells you will have to navigate your way through against UFOs, asteroids, missiles and bosses. The game play mode switches from time to time depending on whether a particular timer has expired or you have collected a cell that invokes a boss battle.

You spaceship can shoot beams but this is not infinite as its energy charge decreases by 1 unit every time a shot is fired.  Luckily, the charge increases steadily when the weapon is not being used.

If you are looking for a simple arcade quality shoot em up experience then Skill Grid will not be a game for you as its shooting action is somewhat dull. It’s only when you are drawn into a boss battle does the excitement factor ramp up, otherwise you really are not compelled to shoot anything down.

The reality is that SkillGrid is a cerebral collecting game with some deep tactical elements. There is a lot within SkillGrid and the switching of game modes keeps things interesting but the combination of the two styles of games doesn’t really pay off and comes off feeling as a compromise. 

Technically, the game looks good, moves at a smooth speed and the techo-rock backing music and high fidelity sound effects is sonic candy, which all comes together to provide a reasonable attempt to bring something new to the arcade shooter genre.

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