★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

iPhone: Anyone else pick up Radio Flare?

12-20-2008, 10:16 PM
#1
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
Anyone else pick up Radio Flare?

I picked this up earlier today, hoping to fill a Rez void (musical shooters to me are money in the bank!). Haven't heard anyone besides Arn mention they had this, so I figured I'd do a public service and let you all know my opinions on the game.

The game features 5 stages, I was able to get to stage 4 on my first play through, the game isn't hard, however score/time attack rankings could be incentive to re-play. I've played the game several times at this point.

The description in the app store says "beautifully rendered graphics"
While serviceable, the visuals are not what I would consider top-tier, the background is uninspired and never changes, the background color changes, but the same abstract swirls remain the same. Enemies come in a few variety of flavors, most passively wait to be destroyed, but a few have a surprise in store for you to keep you on your toes.

I mentioned in the beginning that the game was not hard, and this is true. In fact the only reason I died at all, was input error and not because of game difficulty. You control the ship movement with one finger, yet you need another to scroll over enemies (auto-locks onto 4 enemies max at a time) to shoot.
I tried using two fingers (like the dev describes on his app) and it just isn't comfortable or practical. The thumb is too slow and imprecise, and using any other two fingers just doesn't work.
So I ended up using my forefinger to move AND target enemies. I don't know if the designer meant for someone to play this way, but it mostly works. The problem here is that sometimes I will sweep my finger to target enemies, and instead, I end up MOVING my ship right into the enemies and dying. It's irritating.

The musicality of the shooter is tied to killing of enemies and collecting Radio Flares. Basically, the beat slows down and then kicks back in time to the enemies being destroyed, and then increases tempo based on how many flares (tiny tiny red dots that enemies leave when dead) you collect. You REALLY have to wear headphones when you play this, the immersion is simply not there when you just play it off the iphone speakers. You end up "getting" it with the headphones on. Oh, and the single soundtrack? It's actually rather generic sounding. I wouldn't have known that a renown musician composed this.

Radio Flare is mostly stable.
The game crashed and restarted a couple of times.
I do however keep getting some error message (clock error it says) from the game telling me to restart, however, I am able to usually ignore it and keep playing. Also some text missing from the pause menu (double tap top left corner to...?)
The power up system seems a little wonky.
I made it to the end without dying and was never awarded an extra life.
However, once I had died already, the game gave me an extra life in the 2nd stage... so you get rewarded for poor playing? Or is 3 lives the game limit?

All things considered am I happy with my $5 purchase?
Not completely. For a couple of dollars cheaper I would have recommended it. As it stands, there isn't a single person I know (everyone at work always comes to me for the next good game to download) I would tell to buy.
There just isn't enough GAME to really sink your teeth into.
Radio Flare. Beaten a couple of times, will re-play once an update kicks in.
The game has potential, but it's not a game that leaves any sort of impression.

Last edited by Whitecloak; 12-20-2008 at 10:22 PM.
12-20-2008, 10:28 PM
#2
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecloak View Post
...
The musicality of the shooter is tied to killing of enemies and collecting Radio Flares. Basically, the beat slows down and then kicks back in time to the enemies being destroyed, and then increases tempo based on how many flares (tiny tiny red dots that enemies leave when dead) you collect. You REALLY have to wear headphones when you play this, the immersion is simply not there when you just play it off the iphone speakers. You end up "getting" it with the headphones on. Oh, and the single soundtrack? It's actually rather generic sounding. I wouldn't have known that a renown musician composed this.
...
I got the game.

I agree with your review.

The most shocking part is the musicality IMO. The game is all about that but I'm not even sure if we can call that a music, can we? And there's no variation of what you can change in the song (some levels so far and all the same "tic-tic" changing when enemies are down).

I'll play the game with my headphones hoping the iPhone speaker made a trick on me.

Even tho a musical game that has such limitation and lack of creativity is... well... shocking.

12-20-2008, 10:31 PM
#3
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,438
I actually grew to like it a fair amount.

I used left thumb control, right thumb or forefinger targeting. I think for a 2d scroller shooter, this is the best way I've seen to do it. I just can't get into the accelerometer ship control that other games have had.

I had a harder time playing it than you did, so perhaps that's why I enjoyed it more. I kept dying on stage 4. Though perhaps some of that was due to an artifact of the input method. I definitely have died not knowing why. I'm guessing that a piece of debris hit me that I couldn't see due to my left thumb. The farthest I've gotten in Stage 5-4.

I thought the enemy types were inventive, and challenging.

I think the length is a bit short and feel like it could have been a really great game if there was more depth. The music/effects are good enough and immersive, but I found the gameplay as a shooter more compelling than the rez-like aspect of it. Still, all together, I found myself playing it with more interest then the other side-scrolling shooters available, so best 2d scroller? probably. But competition is kinda light. I'll have to go back and play the others to remember.

arn
12-20-2008, 10:49 PM
#4
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,393
this doesn't sound like radio flare filled the void I was hoping it too, so I may have to hold off on buying this...
12-20-2008, 10:59 PM
#5
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
I haven't played all the other 2-D shooters (admittedly not too many of them), but Radio Flare can be beaten in less than 30 minutes!

That's a pittance of gameplay for 5 bucks. Also, no online leaderboards (at least, I didn't have an option to upload my scores) gives very little incentive to go back and perfect your game.

Stage 4 was the only stage that gave me trouble... and what's up with all space rocks? Talk about killing the flow of the game, it completely halts in stage 4 while you target the same boulder 6 times to finally get it small enough to emit 'flares'

I don't want to be seen as bashing the game or having a personal vendetta against it, on the contrary, I've played it numerous times now and as Arn says, it DOES grow on you.

I simply cannot tell someone else to spend five dollars on it. It's a niche genre (2-D shooter) for a niche crowd (musical shooter) whose fans of the genre expecting something remotely similar to Rez or even Cubex are going to be let down.
12-20-2008, 11:03 PM
#6
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,393
All this talk of musical shooters is making me wanna go play Amplitude! Easily one of my top 5 games for my old PS2. Anyone who hasn't played it owes it to themselves to try it out.
12-20-2008, 11:07 PM
#7
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
LOL! Wow, I forgot about Amplitude!
That game was bananas.
Talk about mesmerizing... with seizure-inducing visuals and awesome music.

I wonder if that game could be done on the iphone...
12-20-2008, 11:11 PM
#8
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecloak View Post
LOL! Wow, I forgot about Amplitude!
That game was bananas.
Talk about mesmerizing... with seizure-inducing visuals and awesome music.

I wonder if that game could be done on the iphone...
It was incredible.

Anyway, it would be cool of it was set up like taptap where you have 3 buttons, buy you tilt the device to change tracks. It could be done, but it would lose the charm of amplitude. It could become "annoyingly difficult" to change tracks fast, instead of being "enjoyably challenging.
12-20-2008, 11:36 PM
#9
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
Whatever happened to this?

Hinted that an iphone port was forthcoming.


http://www.playauditorium.com
12-21-2008, 02:34 AM
#10
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: California;
Posts: 239
so in a way, is this kinda like space deadbeef?