Studio Radiolaris' first iPhone game was released to the App Store this weekend. Radio Flare [App Store, $4.99] is described by the developer as a "musical shooter" in which enemies are destroyed in sync with the beat:

In Radio Flare, your space ship is equipped with a sonification beam that desynchronizes space debris, as well as an entire alien invasion force. Propelled by radio flares, your ship speeds pulsing through deep space, taking you on a journey into sound. The game features an interactive electronica track from Berlin based electronic musician DJ Glow (Trust Records).

The game is structured as a traditional side-scrolling shooter in which you must destroy enemy ships and avoid enemies and their incoming fire. Each destroyed enemy leaves a "radio flare". These radio flares must be collected in order to progress to the next levels. The game includes only 5 stages with the final being a special boss-fighting stage.

The controls for the game are actually well implemented which involves the use of your left thumb to provide direct movement control of your spacecraft, while your other thumb provides targeting. The targeting of your enemies is similar to Space Deadbeef in which you can target multiple enemies with the swipe of a finger.

Your "sonification beam" will destroy the enemy and also provide a bit of musical accompaniment to the soundtrack (headphones recommended). As the major selling point of the game, however, the musical interaction was a bit of a disappointment in its scope. The music certainly adds significantly to the atmosphere and immersiveness of the game, but is perhaps a far cry from Rez and similar musical shooters that have preceded it.

As a scrolling shooter, however, the game was a surprisingly good experience. Side-scrolling shooters have been poorly represented on the App Store with Platypus being perhaps the most notable title. Using direct touch-control on your ship allows you to quickly maneuver around enemies and incoming fire, though your finger will sometimes obscure your view. While I quite enjoyed the mechanics of the game, the game is limited to 5 stages, with the first three being relatively easy. So gameplay value is limited despite the offering of achievements (example: make it through without losing a ship), high scores and fastest time records.

Combine both of these features (musical interaction and scrolling shooter), and you come away with a good but short game. Fans attracted to the "musical" aspect of this title may be disappointed, though scrolling shooter fans may find enough in it to take away for the $4.99 price. Meanwhile, it likely doesn't fall into any "must have" category for those with only a casual interest in the genres.

Developer video:

Game Details
Name: Radio Flare (v1.0) Price: $4.99 [Buy]
Developer: Studio Radiolaris Size: 12.2 MB
Device: Tested on iPhone 3G
Radio Flare is an immersive "musical shooter" that shines more as a shooter than a musical title. The game, however, is rather short with only 5 stages.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Lunchbox

    $5 for 5 stages? i think il pass on this one

  • Lunchbox

    $5 for 5 stages? i think il pass on this one

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  • arn

    so, this was a hard game to review. I actually liked the game, and thought as an overall package it was nice, and enjoyed the shooter aspect of it more than I have any other side-scrolling shooter on the iPhone. So, I can see some people really loving the game.

    But for overall value, it falls short, and there are a few people on the forums who were very much underwhelmed.

    arn

  • arn

    so, this was a hard game to review. I actually liked the game, and thought as an overall package it was nice, and enjoyed the shooter aspect of it more than I have any other side-scrolling shooter on the iPhone. So, I can see some people really loving the game.

    But for overall value, it falls short, and there are a few people on the forums who were very much underwhelmed.

    arn

  • tvzoid

    It's possible to play with your own mp3 from your library?

  • tvzoid

    It's possible to play with your own mp3 from your library?

  • Lunchbox

    fair enough then i didnt mean to offend you, il give it a chance

  • Lunchbox

    fair enough then i didnt mean to offend you, il give it a chance

  • joni

    i play it...not good...no fire or Missiles its a tap game missing Explosions
    the sound is ok but you hear it only for a second...

    I will explain... when you kill one thing you get a red ball When you take it
    the volume gos up for a second...There is no purpose

  • joni

    i play it...not good...no fire or Missiles its a tap game missing Explosions
    the sound is ok but you hear it only for a second...

    I will explain... when you kill one thing you get a red ball When you take it
    the volume gos up for a second...There is no purpose

  • Whitecloak

    I thought that was a very fair review, Arn.

  • Whitecloak

    I thought that was a very fair review, Arn.

  • Funambulist

    I'm a casual gamer and have no experience with musical shooters such as Rez but I must say that I like the game and am happy that I bought it. Thanks for the initial post that the game was on its way and the review Arn!

  • Funambulist

    I'm a casual gamer and have no experience with musical shooters such as Rez but I must say that I like the game and am happy that I bought it. Thanks for the initial post that the game was on its way and the review Arn!

  • Dave_b

    Seriously, could you stop pimping Rolando in the neutral space on the sides of the screen? A lot or people (well, me) use that to initiate the the scroll function in Firefox with the middle mouse button. Now when I try to do that it opens the iTunes Rolando page. Annoying. I mean, it makes sense up the top of the page where the Rolando graphic is, but down here where its just blue it's easy to forget then, BAAM, up comes iTunes. Took me quite a while to even figure out what was happening.

  • Dave_b

    Seriously, could you stop pimping Rolando in the neutral space on the sides of the screen? A lot or people (well, me) use that to initiate the the scroll function in Firefox with the middle mouse button. Now when I try to do that it opens the iTunes Rolando page. Annoying. I mean, it makes sense up the top of the page where the Rolando graphic is, but down here where its just blue it's easy to forget then, BAAM, up comes iTunes. Took me quite a while to even figure out what was happening.

  • http://www.connection.ca networkman

    Good review and spot on. It is rather short and a disappointment to me. I love SHUMPS. This one misses for me. $5 is too high for such a short shooter. No replay value. Sound is not what I expected. Special sound effects poor. Controls awkward. Left thumb must cover space ship (can't see anthing), next your right index finger does the swiping to select the enemies, and finally you must tap the space ship with your thumb to fire. AWKARD>AWKARD. I jumped too early and bought this one.

  • http://www.connection.ca networkman

    Good review and spot on. It is rather short and a disappointment to me. I love SHUMPS. This one misses for me. $5 is too high for such a short shooter. No replay value. Sound is not what I expected. Special sound effects poor. Controls awkward. Left thumb must cover space ship (can't see anthing), next your right index finger does the swiping to select the enemies, and finally you must tap the space ship with your thumb to fire. AWKARD>AWKARD. I jumped too early and bought this one.

  • jeff

    @Dave_b

    yeah, really annoying! i have the same problem.

  • jeff

    @Dave_b

    yeah, really annoying! i have the same problem.

  • arn

    @dave_b @jeff - yeah we'll avoid sidebar linkage in the future.

  • arn

    @dave_b @jeff - yeah we'll avoid sidebar linkage in the future.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson
  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson
  • http://www.radiolaris.com martin

    hello arn,

    thanks for reviewing our game. i think we made it quite difficult for you and everyone else with this one by aiming for casual gameplay with a niche title.

    i want to use this opportunity to post some remarks on the comments to your fair and appropriate review.

    concerning the sound: every sound effect is taken from the song behind the game. we did not bring in any additional sound effects in order to keep things plain and ... coherent. i am actually quite happy that we surprise.

    it might also be interesting to you that we are of course already working on updates. and making the game a bit longer is on top of the list. on the other hand, you can play the game through on a single subway ride. and again on the next day, scoring higher.

  • http://www.radiolaris.com martin

    hello arn,

    thanks for reviewing our game. i think we made it quite difficult for you and everyone else with this one by aiming for casual gameplay with a niche title.

    i want to use this opportunity to post some remarks on the comments to your fair and appropriate review.

    concerning the sound: every sound effect is taken from the song behind the game. we did not bring in any additional sound effects in order to keep things plain and ... coherent. i am actually quite happy that we surprise.

    it might also be interesting to you that we are of course already working on updates. and making the game a bit longer is on top of the list. on the other hand, you can play the game through on a single subway ride. and again on the next day, scoring higher.

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  • http://www.radiolaris.com martin

    Hey. We just released another update to Radio Flare. New features include a new game mode and online leaderboards powered by Feint.

  • http://www.radiolaris.com martin

    Hey. We just released another update to Radio Flare. New features include a new game mode and online leaderboards powered by Feint.

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