Play a classic Shoot 'Em Up... in reverse!
User reviews: Very Positive (160 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 20, 2013
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Recommended By Curators

"Showed at PAX East 2012."

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
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
The one game I would love to buy the soundtrack from, but it gives it to you for free :(
Posted: October 21
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4.0 hrs on record
This game is HARD. Going into the “tutorial” level I fully understood that Retrograde is not actually a shootem’ up game, in fact it is literally the inverse. The key mechanic here is that you are going backwards through time and instead of shooting enemies, you must suck back up all the shots you fired in a precise rhythm while re-dodging the shots taken at you from behind. Trying to explain how this game plays is rather complicated but imagine playing guitar hero where the notes come from in front and behind you.

Needless to say, the game is brutal difficulty wise. After making it through just the tutorial I could feel a headache coming on from all the colors and directions my attention was being focused. I think the idea of the game is extremely unique and very engaging but I found the play experience to be dreadful. Everything was just very overwhelming and became frustratingly un-enjoyable before the tutorial level was even finished.
Posted: September 25
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2.0 hrs on record
An interesting rhythm game where you go backwards and have to undo various actions. While the main story is short, there is a really long challenges mode where you have to play the levels with fixed difficulty and certain conditions.
Posted: October 18
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12.2 hrs on record
Man, I love this game. Silly premise, fun graphics, and some of the most brilliant rhythm gaming since Guitar Hero came out.
Posted: October 17
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2.9 hrs on record
A wonderful blend of shmup and rhythm game. The rhythm element is definitely the stronger but the unique reverse shmup set-up gives this genre a new lease of life. You 'unplay' a level at a time - using rhythm cues to unshoot enemy vessels and unmiss enemy fire.

With a large number of different difficulty levels one might fear a speed up mechanic but so far I have not encountered this - each diffficulty level having been tailor made. This attention to detail really is superb. A combination of these increasing difficulties and the challenge mode (which varies from messing with a track's speed to having the entire level mirrored) really add replayability to the game. Creating that one-more-turn addictiveness has been pulled of well like as in many worthwhile shorter games.

A great example of easy to pick up hard to master.

I sadly haven't yet played on this with a guitar controller but with such a positive experience with this game so far it may not be too long before I get a wireless dongle to use one of those many plastic instruments I have hanging around!

TB's WTF video is well worth a watch if you want some more info and some gameplay.
Posted: October 20
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1.0 hrs on record
Retro/Grade is a fantastic rythm game that breaks the typical expectations of the genre. It's flashy, fun, and the music is great. The campaign consists of 10 or so levels, but with multiple difficulties to master, it can get really challenging!
Posted: September 27
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0.2 hrs on record
Only in german.
Posted: October 5
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24 of 26 people (92%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Retro/Grade is an original sidescrolling shooter as you complete your mission; in reverse.

While Retro/Grade may at first appear to be a generic sidescrolling shooter, the reverse aspect of the game leads it to be a very different kind of game indeed.

I completed the Beginner campaign, and while playing, actually found it to feel a lot more like a Rock Band/Guitar Hero game than a sidescrolling shooter. The reason for this is that you need to "take the place" of your ship before it shoots, which, in a lateral kind of way, feels like hitting notes on a Guitar Hero guitar. Which was great fun!

A fun, original concept, and a very enjoyable experience!

Nilesy
Posted: June 17
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17 of 24 people (71%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
If on sale, DO NOT MISS THIS.
Immensely beautiful sprite-based indie music game with appealing shmup twist.
a k a The Polynomial, but sidescrolling instead of FPS.
Ranks with Beat Hazard and Amplitude.

Posted: May 28
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
don't play if you have eplipepsi
Posted: July 17
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Retro/Grade is yet another clever, genre bending indie gem - that luckily for us, but unfortunately for the developer, will be much to good for mainstream gaming site reviewers to truly recommend. But this is a game that will surprise you, at regular intervals, when it comes to the format, the writing, as well as the slowly appearing underlying concept. And it will perform this feat in such a graceful way it is not necessary to skip past or ignore any rough edges. A quality game that doesn't share much in common with either mindless shooters or stressful rhytm games.

Really, why do you not own this game already?
Posted: June 9
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.0 hrs on record
I heard about this game during Summer Sale 2014 and I am so happy that I did. It has a great, original concept and the soundtrack is wonderful.

EDIT: The game seemed very difficult at first due to its unorthodox gameplay, but I grasped the controls quickly and the first three difficulty levels (there are six in total) were a breeze. I now have to beat the last two, and now I wish I had a guitar controller :)

The challenge mode is also very satisfying. Their difficulites vary greatly as well. There are only 10 tracks in the whole game, but the challenge mode does manage to spice up the game. The challenges are not necessarily "more difficult" than their corresponding campaign levels - sometimes they are easier, sometimes they make you wonder "...is that even possible??".

Also, if you have FPS problems you can just try listening to the music and keep the beats without concentrating too much on the screen instead of meddling with your settings.

Oh, and completing all of the Steam Achievements is very, very difficult (practically impossible for me, but I don't know about you, dear possibly-obsessive-shooter-loving-review-reading-person. There's still hope for you.)
Posted: June 22
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
An ingenius concept with mesmerising visuals and music. A real chill out game on the easier settings, but has plenty of difficulties to crank it up to a real challenge.
Posted: June 21
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
A very good rhythm game for PC, of which there are very few.
Posted: June 29
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.1 hrs on record
If you enjoy rhythm games like Guitar Hero, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan or Beat Hazard, you should definately try this overlooked little gem. The game's formula is simple: you fly back in time in your tiny rocket, dodging enemy bullets and un-firing yours. However, it is extremely polished. Original electronic sound, flasy neon graphics and intense gameplay meld tougether into an almost synesthetic experience of audiovisual rhythmic meditation. The only thing this game lacks is content: it has just 10 levels (plus a bunch of challenges) and doesn't support custom ones. Which is a shame, since this gameplay would be great for any of your favorite chiptune tracks. Retro/Grade would greatly benefit from a workshop if it ever happens. Still, these are 10 levels of pure joy.
Posted: June 25
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
69p during sale , 30 mins of gameplay and im already happy with it , nice visuals and chilling gameplay 10/10 ,
Posted: June 28
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
The story and aesthetics of a side-scrolling shooter crossed with the gameplay and soundtrack of the best rhythm games, Retro/Grade is an excellent trip.
Posted: June 29
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
This game is pretty fun if you like the genre. I almost gave up halfway through the campaign and never tried it again, but I found the challenges game mode to be a lot more fun. The challenges are set up like a super mario game board where beating a level lets you open paths to new levels. There is also music and artwork that can be unlocked through the challenge game board. I'd suggest treating the campaign as a tutorial to learn the game mechanics and then play challenges as the real game.
Posted: June 25
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
29.3 hrs on record
Amazing game!
The graphics are great, the audio is great, gameplay is great, plot is great...
Posted: June 6
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
A pretty nice sidescrolling shooting rhythm game, where you travel in reverse, recollect your shots and avoid enemies projectile coming from back. You also got Retro powerup to reverse your action. Although it relies on muscle memory, it's still quite fun to play. There are only 10 stages with 6 different difficulty for your own pace. And the challenge mode add replay value.

However, the music kinda not good enough for me. Flashy graphic make it hard to master the game on harder difficulty. Still, I would recommend this game for those rhythm game fans for its uniqueness.

Posted: July 13
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