Radio Flare Hands-On Impressions

Studio radiolaris got in touch to let us know that Radio Flare, the Rez-like musical shooter, has received a substantial update. The new version offers two more levels, several new enemy types, powerups, and more graphical polish for both the in-game presentation and the interface.

In our earlier experience with the game, we felt that Radio Flare had the potential to be very cool, but also that it was pretty light on content. Hopefully this update adds enough meat to justify the $4.99 pricetag. We’ve switched in the new YouTube video at the bottom of the article for your viewing pleasure.

Way back when we launched STP three months ago, we wrote a feature about which games we’d love to see reborn on the iPhone; Rez, the musical PlayStation shooter, was #8 on our list. Somewhat surprisingly, we haven’t seen anything from Tetsuya Mizuguchi on the App Store yet… but the newly released Radio Flare may tide you over until he gets his act in gear.

Radio Flare is basically Rez reincarnated as a side-scrolling 2D shooter. It’s got the same square reticle, the same multi-targeting mechanic, and a techno soundtrack that’s similarly punctuated with awesome breakbeats when you make stuff explode.

The gameplay turns out to a natural fit for the touch screen. You sweep the screen with your right thumb to target baddies, while steering with your left. While the game itself seems pretty utilitarian–we didn’t notice any power-ups, for instance, so we were always limited to four-shot combos–the controls and music are both spot-on. With some more development grease, we could see this turning into something special.

Radio Flare is currently selling for $4.99. Miz, if you’re reading this, you’d better give this game a try… these guys are breathing down your neck!

Feature list from the App Store page:

  • A 2d shooter with beautifully rendered graphics.
  • Licensed interactive electronica soundtrack and high-fidelity sound effects.
  • Precise multi-touch interactivity for exact navigation and aiming.
  • Flow mode for short casual playing sessions. Arcade mode for ruthless high score hunting.
  • More than 100 enemy formations and 20 unlockable achievements.
  • Score attack and time attack rankings.