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Grinder

For: iPhone
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Two-headed monster

Product: Grinder | Developer: Ten Ten Games | Publisher: Dalian Bale Trade Co., Ltd | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0
 
Grinder iPhone, thumbnail 1
Split-screen gaming has kind of gone the way of the dinosaur because of fast internet connections, among other reasons.

However, single-player split-screen gaming has always been an oddity. The strange retro platformer Grinder is no different, and it's one that will gladly test your reflexes – and the vision of both your eyes.

Gemini

Set in a monochrome universe, Grinder demands of you one simple thing: don’t let the cogs crush you to a pulp. There are, however, two big challenges to overcome if you are to avoid getting pulverised.

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Firstly, there are two heroes to control - one black and one white - each occupying a side of the screen. Each stick figure is manipulated by its own virtual thumbstick.

Secondly, the pair are going in two different directions. The guy on the left is continuously hopping, à la Doodle Jump, trying to leap to the next ledge. The guy on the right side, meanwhile, is heading downwards and must walk off the ledge to get to the level below.

Each of the perpetual movers is being threatened by rotating gears - the jumping guy from beneath and the falling guy from above.

On occasions, small deadly cogs fly their way, but the most pressing threats are posed by the big mass of cogs creeping up or down towards the stickmen.

To the limit

An arcade-worthy test of patience, Grinder is appropriately frustrating: my first game lasted literally three seconds. It took just as long to learn how to play, mind, and short, intense bursts of play seem to be what Grinder is meant to offer.

The music is almost orchestral in its size, though the looping soundtrack and two-second breaks between songs definitely mar the game’s otherwise polished presentation.

Grinder is a tough, easy-to-pick-up old-skool platformer. Both original and simple, it’s definitely worth a look.
 
Grinder
Reviewer photo
Damon Brown | 27 July 2011
The dual-screen platformer Grinder will give both your thumbs (and patience) a serious workout
 
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