Radio Flare in Review – Musical Shooter for your iPhone

radioflare1What do you immediately think of when you mix space, music, and intense targeting action? Rez right?!? Radio Flare attempts to create a spin-off of these ideas, with explosions matching the trippy rhythm, all along disintegrating enemies while scrolling along in space.

For those of you who don’t have a good sense of how the gameplay works, this is a 2-D shooter. You control the ship by dragging it along the screen with your left thumb, then target up to 4 enemies at a time with your right thumb. By selecting enemies and space debris, they explode on the beat along with the soundtrack, a funky techno beat. You then have to collect the red pieces that are left by the now destroyed objects, the so called “radio flares”. They are basically what fuels your ship, so when you don’t gather enough, you die. A meter at the top tracks the amount of flares left in the system.

The controls actually work seamlessly, with no lag at all, providing for an extremely smooth experience. My only gripe would be that your thumbs sometimes clutter up the screen, making it hard to see what’s going on.

radioflare2It’s not just cut and dry action though, as enemies have up to 200 different formations, and they will take arcing paths around the screen, even shooting at you! One hit and you’re dead. Not only do you have to focus on destroying your enemies, it’s necessary to dodge everything else on the screen, as since only 4 enemies can be targeted, a lot of them will get past you, and it sure gets interesting trying to figure out which ones to destroy or not.

Featuring 6 stages, and a “Flow” mode along with the regular Arcade mode, you can either try to reach the highest score and shortest time possible in Arcade mode by playing though the 6 stages, or select individual stages to play in Flow mode, which is just for short casual playing session. Along with the score and time factors, other goals to aim for are the achievements which are implemented in the game, which give incentives for trying out different things. There’s the basic, beat stage x ones, but also some other ones, like desynchronizing all debris in stage one. While gaining achievements doesn’t really have an effect on the gameplay, it’s still interesting to see how you do, and it sure adds replay value.

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Of course, the main feature that this game is based on is the way music is integrated. I personally wasn’t a fan of the music, which was too empty and grating for me, but others are sure to enjoy it. It was pretty disappointing to discover that the music wasn’t all that dynamic, since there’s not that much special to it that really stood out to me. Sure, it makes the experience more fulfilling, but not like Rez did, which completely immersed you into the situation.

Now, another thing I didn’t particularly enjoy were the graphics. They’re pretty bland, just basic pastel coloring, and the art style is nothing new. The backgrounds don’t really change at all either. And furthermore, this game is rather short, with the beginning stages really easy, and the latter stages becoming extremely difficult. This can make it for a slightly frustrating experience.

radioflare4I would say that even though the concept and basics of this game are well done, Radio Flare falls short. With the music not being dynamic enough and the short life of the game out weighing the positive aspects, I’d say that especially at $3.99, this game gets a pass for me. Sure, fans of this genre should pick this up, as it’s not bad by any means, but otherwise, it probably won’t be up to your standards.

Radio Flare barely gets tapped by TouchMyApps. I’m a little hesitant, but I know that some people will just fall in love with this game.

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App Summary
Title:Radio Flare (v 1.1)Developer:studio radiolaris
Price:$3.99App Size:13.0MB
  • Music integration works well
  • Very smooth gameplay
  • Achievement system adds life
  • Pretty short
  • Later stages are very difficult
  • Additional features would be nice
  • Can get old after a while

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  • de-Rex

    The name of the game is Rez ;)

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