Play a classic Shoot 'Em Up... in reverse!
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (297 reviews) - 86% of the 297 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
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (297 reviews)
Recently Posted
Gorbash
1.3 hrs
Posted: August 17
Retro/Grade is an interesting little side-scrolling platformer with a cool twist. If you've every played Audiosurf, Guitar Hero and the like, you'll feel right at home. Soundtrack is also cool if you're into synthpop.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
NRieh
1.4 hrs
Posted: August 2
The music is way too repetitive and monotonous. I've played through up to lv 10 and it was like following the same looong and boring tune randomly generated from a handful of samples. Nice concept and fun gameplay mechanics, but deserves better tunes.

4\10, Can probably recommend it on sale. That's If you love rhythm games AND do not care much about the soundtrack itself.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DarkNetFan
1.9 hrs
Posted: June 4
Pretty cool rhythm game where you dodge stuff while collecting stuff to a beat.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
FlooberFleeper
5.8 hrs
Posted: June 2
This game is the best combination ever. The music is great, the unlockables are neat, and the game is just fun. It demands an update/sequel.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mivexil
1.1 hrs
Posted: May 24
*not actually a shoot-em-up.

But quite a cleverly designed thythm game nonetheless.
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Rumfoy
9.8 hrs
Posted: May 22
Pros:
+ Great style and gameplay.
+ Awesome soundtrack.
+ Challenge mode and unlockables.

Cons:
- Very distracting levels.
- Slightly repetetive.
- Harder difficulties are more intuitive.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
weirdo gamer 99
0.2 hrs
Posted: April 27
I think this is a very solid title it has everything a good game needs fun gameplay awesome soundtrack great visuals it is overall very much worth trying i was expecting just another shmup and got a nice surprise when i started it up its like guitar hero mixed with r type in a way is the best way i can say it rythum and timing mixed with shooting and avoiding very unique and extremely fun
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The™ Baron
1.0 hrs
Posted: March 27
Retro/Grade is a fun rhythm game that suffers from its own art style making the on-screen action hard to read at times.
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N:case
24.2 hrs
Posted: March 18
This is a "Thumbs in the middle" review:
This is quite an underrated game imo. I've been a fan ever since the 2008 IGF demo and still keep coming back to the game every now and then. There are certainly better rhythm games, some of which are free, but there's plenty worse and few are as unique or as visually stunning as this one is.

The basic principle of the game is that not only are you playing a rhythm game, but you are also playing a shoot em up (in reverse!) which means you have to dodge enemy bullets coming from behind you at the same time as trying to hit the beats in front of you. This forces you to play different as you can't always line up in advance to hit the next beat; you may have to swerve around an incoming bullet. Sometimes there are sections of the song entirely based around avoiding enemy bullets giving you a slight break from all the chaos whilst still keeping you on your toes. It's a simple addition which adds a lot of depth and challenge to the game.

For me the difficulty felt just fine. It starts easy enough and steadily progresses harder. You are afforded plenty of mistakes and you can even rewind so it's very forgiving. There's two modes: Story mode and challenge mode. Story mode is just a straight progression through the game's 10 levels whilst challenge mode offers over 100 challenges with various stipulations such as playing at a faster speed or playing the track mirrored. The problem is that progress in one does not affect the other; story progress does not unlock challenges. If you complete the story, you'll have to start from the very beginning with very easy challenges for a long while before you can unlock challenging ones on par with the last mission.

And while it looks beautiful, the visuals are sometimes a bit too much especially with songs that use all 5 lanes. Even with beat lines enabled it is sometimes hard to tell what's going on. However I find using the mono cheat which changes all the beats to one color and enemy bullets another significantly improves visibility and I would highly recommend it if you have issues. And the music is well composed but it's not very exciting and there are only 10 tracks.

But it's still a lot of fun. It's very mechanically solid and well polished. It supports pretty much any controller including a Guitar Hero or Rock Band guitar. An awful lot of work was put into this game and for the most part it shows. For what it is and considering all the free rythm games out there, $10 may seem a bit steep for what you get, especially if you're not into the music. I'd love to see a sequel but sadly due to how poorly this sold I doubt we'll be seeing any.
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Allen
1.8 hrs
Posted: February 13
Great idea and well implemented. Had a lot of fun with this, definitely worth checking out!
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Retro/Grade is an interesting little side-scrolling platformer with a cool twist. If you've every played Audiosurf, Guitar Hero and the like, you'll feel right at home. Soundtrack is also cool if you're into synthpop.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
36 of 38 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 17, 2014
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
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27 of 32 people (84%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2013
A rhythm game disguised as a side-scrolling shooter, or a side-scrolling shooter that plays like a rhythm game, Retro/Grade brings a refreshing twist to the Guitar Hero note catching gameplay that has long since worn thin for most people. As the cheeky Rick Rocket you begin the game at the end as you fire the last bullet into a formidable robot and save the galaxy from certain doom, only to plunge into a time vortex mere seconds later. Now you have to move backwards in time undoing your past deeds in order to keep the time continuum in tack (and more importantly Rick's reputation).

Lucky for you it seems Rick and the enemies he fought have a musical mind about them and have timed every shot and movement to the notes of songs, which is where you come in. For anyone who's played a Guitar Hero, Rock Band, or Dance Dance Revolution game this is going to feel right at home. Color coded bullets and obstacles come at you from the side of the screen, and you need to hit them in time with the beat and melody of the song to clear them. Where Retro/Grade differentiates itself is that while you are clearing your own notes (read: bullets) you also need to be dodging the enemies attacks as well, which range from lasers to giant robot legs to maze like bullet patterns and more. It's hard to truly understand just how it works until you've played it yourself, but it's the sort of idea that is so inherently brilliant that it makes you wonder how no one came up with it before.

Retro/Grade's soundtrack is atypical of the games it emulates,. A collection of electro tracks with a serious groove to them, full of catchy riffs and fantastic breakdowns, it's impossible not to bob your head to the beat along with Rick. And what music game is complete without flashy epilepsy inducing visuals? The presentation on the whole is top notch, and the little details like the way enemies reconstruct themselves as you fly backwards and bullets suck themselves back into the barrels they came from add a lot of character.

I do have one major problem, and that is there is both too much and too little here. There are only ten tracks to play, which while I wouldn't say any are bad, even the best songs become tiresome after you have heard it twenty times over a few hours. I also felt that the actual tracks dragged on longer than I would have liked, which is made worse by the repeating backgrounds going on behind you.

Going through story mode will likely take you under an hour to complete, but what is irritating is that you can't raise your difficulty without starting over from the first stage. There are challenge levels which unlock after you have completed the campaign, but here the repetition of the soundtrack becomes hard to ignore as there are dozens of challenges to complete all utilizing the same pool of songs. Had the existing tracks been cut short and a few more added I would have likely completed a lot more of them, but after a while I began to resent the game for making me replay what felt like the same stage again and again.

Because of the short tracklist it is a bit hard to recommend Retro/Grade at full price, but at a discount it is definitely something worth checking out. The basic ideas are very clever and I found it a lot of fun despite lacking much staying power. Although my preferred way to play was with an old guitar controller, you can certainly manage with either a controller or keyboard (albeit on lower difficulty settings), and each provides an interesting dynamic. If you were among the many who lamented the decreased innovation and change in the Guitar Hero games but never quite got sick of basic gameplay you will likely find Retro/Grade to be a very pleasant surprise.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
74.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 11, 2014
A 2.5D side-scrolling reverse rhythm game set in the familiar scene of the space shoot-em-up games of old, Retro/Grade revolves around the fights of Rick Rocket against his many adversaries. After the glorious victory on the self-destructing Exnorian flagship right at the start of the game, you will be presented with the message that you won, so congratulations! Then space/time goes haywire.

Retro/Grade is a short, but fun rhythm game that will keep you entertained and challenged for hours on end with decent music playing to the beat of your un-destruction. This is a must-have for anyone into rhythm games, though too few realise this.
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
101.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 12, 2014
a music/space shoter that you play in reverse, staring at level 10 and going back to level 1. people may this game samiliar to games like, guitar hero, but here you have to control a ship up and down and unfire your shot's, not only that, but you must avoid the enemies shots, which are comeing from behind you. its realy fun and a good challenge, and with 6 difficulties, each with 10 levels, and 130 challenge levels, unlockable ships, artwork, music for the in-game music player and cheats, it shuld keep you busy for some time, you can even play with both keyboard, controler, and a guitar. However, a proplem which many may have is that its too colourful, so you may miss a shot you chuld not see, but after playing it for a while, you get use to it, atleast i did, i hope you well give it this game a try, if you are not sure if you want to buy it, just wait for a sale. I may have missed somethings about the game, but then you get some thing to discover yourself.
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34 of 50 people (68%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 17, 2014
don't play if you have eplipepsi
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26 of 36 people (72%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
Recommended
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
The one game I would love to buy the soundtrack from, but it gives it to you for free :(
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2013
It seems this excellent game has had some trouble finding its audience - if you were a fan of rhythm/music games (Guitar/DJ Hero, Rock Band, etc.) through their rise and seeming disappearance, and have a lonely plastic guitar in the closet waiting for some rekindled love, this should be a no-brainer pickup.

The developer was careful not to overemphasize guitar support, to avoid giving an impression that a guitar is required (which it's not), but it's a natural fit, and anyone who did some shredding with Slash in GH3 will feel right at home. A regular controller works very well up to about medium difficulty, but I had some trouble with the higher difficulties in having to sequentially switch multiple lines very quickly, where the guitar's instantaneous any-line switching made things a lot easier and enjoyable. Keyboard control is another option, and might actually be a better option than a regular controller, now that I think about it..

Really great music, dazzling graphics, intricate details, even more impressive that it came from a 2-person dev team. One of them has a really interesting GDC talk about the obsessive development process and the effects it had on his personal life, linked from the "Did this game really sell so poorly?" thread in the game's Steam forum, a recommended watch regardless of interest in this particular game.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
I played retro/grade for a few days a few months ago but now since I haven't played it in that while I'm unable to play it anymore, which is why i'm writing this review. It's a good really fun rhythm game, with an amazing soundtrack. I don't think there was a song I disliked. The object of the game is to undue your projectiles, so that you can save time or something, It's really fun, not too difficult. There are 6 difficulty settings ranging from beginner to X-treme. The campaign on normal took me 2 hours, but the other 10 hours came from the challenge mode, which were boring at first because they were easy. But then the difficulty gets so high, 5 levels away from the goal you have to perfectly do X-treme tracks, which requires a lot of repetitive practice, and if you are playing the game daily you will get that. At first if you start up the game and look at the extreme level of tracks you'll be amazed at the difficulty level, but through challenge mode you'll be impressed at your ability to eventually be able to do what you thought was impossible, so very rewarding I say. For 10$ it's a great game just for the music alone, but the gameplay is also great. If you do not like rhythm games though it's not for you. I recommend this game easily.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
Guitar Hero in space, reverse shooting 'em up! Pretty cool, great visuals and nice soundtrack! Hit the sweet spot!
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