R-Type Review

Yet another classic arcade game has made its way to the App Store. R-Type is a sci-fi shooter that debuted in arcades back in 1987. Age has been kind this shooter, because R-Type is extremely challenging and features unique gameplay elements.

R-Type requires some real finesse. Your tiny ship must lay waste to a galaxy of nasty aliens attacking you from all directions. This iPhone release comes with three different control schemes: Touch, touch & tilt, and coin-op.

The touch control scheme is the by far the most effective way to play. The touch & tilt controls aren’t precise enough, and end up getting your tiny spaceship devoured by baddies. Coin-op mode creates an overlay that resembles an old-school arcade cabinet and allows for a virtual d-pad, but it also shrinks the viewable space. If you want to survive in this harsh universe, we recommend you stick with the touch controls.

Who’s the boss?

R-Type is not an easy game, and it won’t hold your hand. Often you’ll be surrounded by projectiles and large monsters, all of which will kill you in one hit. Some of the later levels can be frustratingly difficult, but R-Type is still enjoyable, even if it makes you want to tear your hair out sometimes.

This version of R-Type has three difficulty levels: Unlimited (unlimited lives, for newbs), Normal (old-school, limited lives), and Insane (good luck, pal). Whichever you choose, you’ll be outnumbered, but not outgunned. Shooting certain enemies will give you access to a number of powerups called Force Modules. The most significant Force Module is the football shaped “Bit” pod that will follow your ship’s movements.

You can mount the pod to the front or back of your ship for extra firepower. The pod will also destroy enemies that come in contact with it, which allows you to use it as rear defense or a battering ram. The pod can be detached again by using the onscreen controls, and will propel itself away and destroy anything in it’s path.

Chances are you’ll die a lot, but once you take down that end-boss you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something great, which is the best part about R-Type. In an age of unlimited lives and continues, R Type returns to remind you that you are inferior and weak. Even with its insane difficulty, R Type is a blast and a Must Have for shooter fans.

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