Voidrunner is second sequel to Gridrunner, the famous Llamasoft grid-based shooter that author Jeff Minter was evolving throughout the 1980s. The C64 version was first published by Mastertronic in 1987, following on from the C16/Plus 4 original.
Voidrunner is a single-screen shooter but is different to Gridrunner (and Matrix, the sequel) because you have four ships in each level and their configuration changes. Sometimes you have four ships in a cluster at the bottom, shooting upwards; sometimes the reverse happens; sometimes the four ships cluster into a diamond shape and shoot in all four directions.
Each level also has a ‘zapper’ – a horizontal line that moves up and down and pulses occasionally. If you’re touching the zapper when it pulses you’ll lose life.
Voidrunner also has a variety of pixel effects on each level and these seem to be there just to give a psychedelic visual effect.
Voidrunner is a good game and a decent shoot ’em up on the C64. It was – as far as I’m aware – Jeff Minter‘s final commercial release for the system.