Grid Force – Mask of the Goddess is a grid-based bullet hell game with fantastic art, solid mechanics, and an interesting premise for a plot. I’ll admit that I did not expect much from a glance at the game but it took me quite by surprise when I played it, in fact I’ll tell you why the game is good.
Floating in a broken void, our protagonist named Donna is asleep as a voice calls out to her. She soon awakes and has to fight for her life. One after another, she meets her supposed “allies” however she cannot remember any of them then gets tasked with a nearly impossible mission: To kill the gods.
That is how we are introduced to our main character, Donna, but I find the lore to be just as interesting. Apparently the old world was destroyed as a result of a war between Machinae which are the creators/gods of the new world. The new world is created and maintained in The Grid which pieces together shattered remnants of the old world. This includes places of differing culture such as polynesian, japanese, and many more so lots of flavor!
Anyway, the cast of characters are colorful and have their own personalities & cultures. Pan is the adorable goofball in the chair, Komiko is the hotheaded warrior girl who wear a kimono and wields a huge sword, and then there’s Bird who is a gentle motherly islander…with a bazooka. There are so many other characters that can be recruited depending on what story choices you make.
Speaking of story choices, I’m glad that the game clearly states when a decision you’ll make will be extremely impactful on the story and route you’ll be taking. There are decisions that make you decide on whether or not characters will die, maybe some will join your team, or it’ll eventually lead to new lore.
The gameplay is centered on a grid that will serve as the battlefield. This means that you can only move up, down, left, or right to an available space. The amount of space you’ll have to move will be dependent on each level. Enemies will also move in their own grid in real-time and shoot at you. Of course you’ll be able to shoot back at them by literally button mashing the space bar.
As you progress, you can choose to level up your characters to gain new abilities to use in battle. You can manage your squad of characters though you’ll be using Donna a lot. It should be noted that each character has their own distinct power and “role”. Komiko has low health but she does a lot of damage fast, Pan plays more of a support and can mimic enemy attacks, etc.
The art is spectacular, just no denying it. It has a comic book vibe to the cutscenes. The character designs are unique and fabulous. The environment for the levels is well drawn and represents the culture that it seeks to portray in a colorful light.
I do have some nitpicks with Grid Force which don’t mean the game is bad but I could see as diminishing the satisfaction of the player.
First of all, the bars that show the characters’ stamina, health, and focus are way too hard to see. They are extremely thin which makes it a bit annoying to keep track as a bunch of projectiles are headed towards your way.
Second, more voice acting could have been used to further immerse the player in the game. This is warranted by how the dialogue actually shows how different personalities mesh or clash with each other. Also because most of the time as you’re reading, there’s only the ambient sound and some music but mostly quiet.
Third, the hitboxes and input delays are annoying. It’s hard to tell when your character is able to deflect enemy projectile because the projectile could be a few inches away from your character but you can instantly deflect it. But there are times when I press the button quickly but my character doesn’t even do the animation to deflect and I take a boatload of damage. Might be a skill issue so take it with a grain of salt.
I highly recommend it to people that enjoy grid-based bullet hell games, story that revolves around making choices, grinding for leveling up. It’s fun and highly replayable!
You can purchase Grid Force – Mask of the Goddess on the Steam store page HERE!