Play a classic Shoot 'Em Up... in reverse!
User reviews: Very Positive (282 reviews) - 86% of the 282 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 20, 2013

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Reviews

“Developer 24 Caret Games has created a frame tale for a rhythm game, and it's clever and creative. Despite all the insanity around the concept – and aside from all the weird "challenge mode" variants, unlockable ships, cute level descriptions, and all the other quirk – Retro/Grade is a well-designed music game with a completely original soundtrack.”
4/5 – Joystiq

“The game has the feel of something that was much-loved and fussed over. There is no aspect of the game that isn’t fun to look it or read, and that level of dedication goes a long way to helping the game stand out in a crowded marketplace.”
Penny Arcade

“Until now, Amplitude has been without a doubt my favorite music game, ever. Retro/Grade scratches that very same itch, but its unique marriage of high-concept premise and classic rhythm gameplay make it an all-around more satisfying experience”
10/10 – Thunderbolt Games

About This Game

Play a classic Shoot 'Em Up... in reverse! Navigate deadly enemy waves and un-fire attacks in Retro/Grade, a mind-bending rhythm game by 24 Caret Games. Pick up a gamepad or a guitar controller and help Rick Rocket restore the continuity of space-time, before a temporal anomaly rips the universe a new time-hole!

Key Features


  • Play with a gamepad, keyboard, or a guitar controller, and control the flow of time with the Retro/Rocket to undo your mistakes.
  • 10 dazzling worlds with unique enemies, epic boss fights, and amazing effects.
  • A campaign with 6 difficulties, 130 different challenges, over 50 minutes of original music, and dozens of unlockable ships and rewards.

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows XP SP2, Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8
    • Processor:2.0+ GHz or better (dual core recommended)
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA 8000 series
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:300 MB HD space
    • Sound:Windows compatible
Helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2015
Retro/Grade is a rhythm game designed to appear like a Shoot 'em Up played in reverse. You will be retrieving bullets and missiles that you have fired, missing these will cause the time-line to become damaged and missing enough of them will result in a game over. It is a neat idea and you will definitely want to check out the tutorial before playing. However, it is terrible at introducing you to game's mechanics as they will throw them all at you at a rapid pace before you get your bearings. It is a pretty difficult game to get the hang of but if you stick with it, it will eventually click. The biggest obstacle to overcome will be the environments themselves, they are filled with clutter and moving objects, making you feel unsure if they are going to crash into you and can also be distracting. Starting the game you will see an option to play Campaign, Challenges, Practice or Tutorial. Contrary to most other games, you will want to start with Challenge mode. Campaign is pretty much the same thing but unlocks nothing.

In Campaign you will play through all 10 songs on whichever of the multiple difficulty levels that you choose. The problem is that the songs while pretty catchy, do start to sound similar and with 130 challenges all playing the same 10 songs you will likely burn out before you unlock any characters or artwork. Challenge mode starts on novice and scales the difficulty the further in you go and occasionally adds small tweaks to the gameplay to spice things up. Compared to merely selecting a difficulty and having to start from the first song every time you want to turn up the difficulty, the difference in the fun factor is huge. In novice mode there are only two different lanes to worry about and the higher the difficulty, the more lanes are added, up to five of them. In these lanes there will also be enemy bullets and running in to them will also mess up the time-line, which is essentially your health bar. You can revert time a bit to rewind to where you messed up and have another shot to do it right as long as you have “fuel” in your spaceship. Fuel is solely used to travel back in time, not an actual necessity to keep your ship flying. It is refilled by hitting a note (retrieving a bullet) that has a whirling energy effect that can contain fuel, a score multiplier or an “Overboard” power-up. Overboard is another way to increase your scores when hitting notes but at the cost of being blinded by colors for a while.

There are three forms of “notes” to collect, bullets which require a single button press and precise timing, rockets where you mash the button until they are all gone and laser beams that require you to hold the button until it is all retrieved. It's all done with either the spacebar or the A button on the 360 pad. It will result in you just pressing one button over and over again which can get a tad repetitive though pressing it unnecessarily will severely damage your score. Your score goes down depending on how well you do and the main objective is to reach a score of zero on the leader-boards strangely enough. You also start the campaign on the credits screen and make your way back to the the start of the game. It all sounds very weird and creative but in reality it works the same as the levels in any other game since they get progressively harder as you make your way through instead of starting at its hardest. It is explained why in a tongue in cheek way but when it comes down to it, this whole 'in reverse' thing is really just a gimmick. A cool idea but still ends up playing very similarly to most rhythm games. The shump aspects are introduced via boss projectiles that you must avoid in certain levels and they do take their sweet time to let you go back to the rhythm parts.

Challenge mode has a cool over-world that has many branching paths and black holes that allow to skip large sections of missions. Reaching an icon of a lock on the over-world through making a path from the levels you cleared will unlock new goodies and the fact that they are so visible makes you want to reach them even more. Unfortunately the challenges themselves get old fast due to how stretched out the 10 song soundtrack is. To counteract this they could have made small unique challenges in certain areas of each song but instead they decided to make you play through the whole song. These songs are not short and will take you the better part of 5 minutes each, making it so that getting that alluring unlockable, you will have to invest a lot of time in songs you have already played to death to clear a path to it. You will be doing that for 130 missions assuming you don't fail any and have to restart it. If you played the campaign before this then that issue is worsened even more. Truth be told it would have been better if they mixed both the campaign and challenge mode to create a smaller, quality experience instead of a bunch of filler. Retro/Grade is a fun game for a while but stretched itself unbelievably thin, causing it to rapidly feel more like a chore than anything else.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2015
Interesting concept, but the execution is poor.

The music is very repetitive and most of the tracks all sound very similar; this makes the game very boring if you are not into the slow techno music.

The game is very difficult to play because you need to concentrate on bullets coming from the front and the back. Pair this with the visuals where everything is moving and colours are flying everywhere, and it is very hard to distinguish between the environment and the game.

The game is compatible with Guitar Hero/Rock Band controllers, but if you already own them, then it is likely you already own a much better game than this. I would not recommend.
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7 of 13 people (54%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2015
Way overplayed genre. Moving backwards doesn't make it any less stale.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2015
I really do not want to put a negative review on this game :(, but the developers dont leave me any choice.
My computer covers all the requirment and even more, but when i try to play it on the mediumcore and above difficulty it starts to laag and slow down and sometimes crash i guess there are so many particals that the game is making my video card go crazy or something i am not an expert, but this shows that the developers have not made the pc version very compatible. It is unplayable and i cover all the requirments. An indie platform game that puts as much pressure on your graphic card as games like fall out 4 farcry 4 and COD this is amazing.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2015
Strange mix of audiosurf and guitar hero.
Boring.
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