Endless upgrades, star ratings, in-app purchases and bags of customisation features. It's amazing how cluttered the average mobile game is with all sorts of bumpf. Gridrunner has absolutely none of this, and the closest it gets to a tutorial is an attract mode. It's not old-school. It's OLD-SCHOOL, with no time for fuss.
Gridrunner was originally programmed for the Vic-20, and this iOS version includes newly spiffed-up versions of both that and the Commodore 64 version. Despite the old-school visuals these are a great bonus, accessed by turning your iDevice to landscape view. But the main event in Gridrunner iOS is 'pure' mode, where Llamasoft - Jeff Minter - transplants the old Gridrunner elements into the portrait view of classic arcade shooters.
Like all of Minter's games, Gridrunner requires a brief period of acclimatisation - working out the bloops and blops, figuring out what to shoot, what to grab, what to look out for. It's a smooth learning curve thanks to the gorgeously deft control scheme, which has the ship autofiring while you control its movements with a single digit.