Moby ID: 14092
Commodore 64 Specs
Conversion (official) Included in See Also


This is an arcade game in the style of Centipede. You control a ship, at the bottom of a grid. Moving toward you in a zig-zag is a chain of pods. The objective is to shoot them before they get the ship. As the pods are shot, the dead pod remains on the screen, as a blocker to your bullets. The live pods on either side form two new chains, both moving toward you.

Further complicating the game are two guns outside the grid, shooting at your ship from beneath and from your left side. You are able to move into the grid, toward the pod-chain, to avoid the guns. The combination puts pressure on you, from front, back and the side.

There are twenty waves to be completed in the game.


  • Grid Runner - Alternate spelling

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Credits (Commodore 64 version)

Created by
Box Cover Illustrator



Average score: 72% (based on 9 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 22 ratings with 1 reviews)

Centipede with a twist

The Good
There were quite a handful of bedroom programmers back in the early ‘80s, and Jeff Minter was one of them. One of the first games he made was Abductor. The game may have been awesome, but it was only available for the VIC-20. Gridrunner, one of his latest games, was just as good that not only was it released for every popular 8-bit computer at the time, but it was also released for the Amiga and Atari ST 16-bit computers.

Gridrunner is the type of game that should have been released in the arcades first, since it uses an original concept that hasn’t been done before. The game mechanics are similar to Centipede, except that you are fighting the enemy against a grid which you can move up on, as well as left and right while on the bottom edge of the grid. The enemy in this case is the series of pods that appear on the grid and move their way down toward you. When shot at, these pods eventually leave their yellow remains behind, and you must destroy these remains before they mutate and eventually turn into projectiles. You also need to worry about the X-Y Zappers who move along the bottom and right boundaries respectively. The Zappers will shoot electric beams randomly, and coming into contact with a beam will result in death.

Both the graphics and animations look good, and everything stands out on the grid. What's amazing about the VIC-20 version of Gridrunner is that Minter has crammed such a big game into 4K of the unexpanded Vic, and this is quite a technical game. It is fast and furious, so fast that you need to be alert at what's happening on the screen if you want to stay alive. The graphics and animations are great, as are the sound effects.

As always with games like these, Gridrunner can be used as a “score attack” game, where you play one game and record your score, and then when you play the next one, you try beating your previous score. One of my games had me on wave six with over 40,000 points. Having said that, there is always the “hell, just one more go” addictiveness.

The Bad
I don’t think there is anything bad about this game.

The Bottom Line
Gridrunner is another fast and frenetic game from Jeff Minter, and it is very, very good. The game is similar to Centipede with a few twists, with the most notable one being the X-Y Zappers that destroy everything in their path. The graphics and sound are great, as are the sound effects that accompany them. A definite title to add to your VIC-20 library.

VIC-20 · by Katakis | カタキス (43086) · 2019


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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 14092
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Jacqke.

Antstream added by firefang9212. TRS-80 CoCo added by hoeksmas. VIC-20, ZX Spectrum, Dragon 32/64, Atari 8-bit added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: formercontrib.

Game added July 19, 2004. Last modified June 19, 2024.