By Ricky Gallo
Side-scrolling shooter fans rejoice! A new game of your genre has made its way to the App Store – Radio Flare. Does it rank among the (in my opinion) enjoyable titles Space Deadbeef and Platypus? Or does it fall into that category of overpriced poorly crafted games that some of us know all to well? Read on.
The first thing that I noticed was the graphics in the main menu. They are a very interesting blend of retro and futuristic, for each was composed of polygonal designs. However, the cartoony look of the game itself proves to be very typical of iPhone/iPod touch games. I personally believe that this design has been overdone, and Studio Radiolaris, the developers of Radio Flare, should think elsewhere. They could have easily worked more with their original title screen graphics, but they decided to change for the gameplay.
Speaking of the gameplay, in my opinion, it is rather short and, definitely not addictive. Constant wave after wave of enemies, and there are no power-ups to break up the monotonous style. Boring! Platypus is loaded with weapon enhancements, and Space Deadbeef has two weapons to choose from (not to mention its free). Did I mention that there are no projectiles or explosions in this? For too long, I wondered exactly what was going on. As time went by, the gameplay became more tolerable. I began to get a feel for the controls (which are rather innovative, as you drag your finger in order to select your targets). The tedious task of collecting these floating particles to champion a stage began to bore me after a while. Where’s the variety? This is a $5 game, competing with some real gems. Although I do not expect every game to be as great as, say Snail Mail (a $2 game), would it be too much to ask for some higher quality. Sure, $5 dollars is a steal for a videogame of any standard, but there is some fierce competition in iTunes. Sorry if this is beginning to sound like a rant.
Anyway, one feature that I think is surprisingly strong in this game is the sound. It proclaims itself to be a musical shooter, and, I must say it outdoes itself there. The music is much better than many other App Store games, and fits the genre perfectly. The explosions of enemy ships are perfectly on beat with the rhythm, another clever feature. It seems as if there could be some real potential in this game, but after designing the sound, the developers seem to quit. It is weird to say this, but it is the pulsating soundtrack, not the gameplay, that actually draws me back to the game.
Look, I know I said a lot of bad things about this game. Maybe my expectations were too high. When I first heard about it, I began to anticipate a shooter in sync with Platypus. However, it has a very different style than Platypus (to say the least). I feel Radio Flare is very tedious, and too just short. Once you get passed the slow nature, it seems as if you crave even more of the fun controls. But as soon as this happens, the game is over. Achievements only help so much, and do not provide that much more replayability. For $5, I do not feel that Radio Flare is one of the better buys in the App Store. But for those of you who love sidescrolling shooters, yet want to try something new, and are craving good in-game music (not from your iPod), take the plunge. Just use your $5 on Platypus first.
Presentation and Graphics:
Although, not an eyesore, the developer could have done much more with the visuals, as some devs on the App Store have already shown us.
The music is great, but I feel as if music shouldn’t be a standout quality of a videogame. Also, the explosions of the ships began to wear on me over time. Also, sound really isn’t that important on an iPod touch/iPhone because you can always listen to your iPod music. Anyway, I will be generous and give the rating entirely based on the good music.
Boring! A rubix cube is more exciting than this. The gameplay is incredibly repetitive. Not worth your treasured $5.
Trust me, unless this is the only game on your iPhone, you will not be coming back for more. I tired out of it after about 5 minutes, but forced myself to go on because I had to write a review. Let’s see if you can beat me.
Like I said earlier, don’t get this game unless it’s really your thing. There’s not much to be missed if you don’t… just put that $5 towards something else. Buy Now