Developer: Fares Kayali
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Radio Flare is a fast-paced iPhone game from studio radiolaris that is reminiscent of Defender. You guide your spaceship to target and destroy enemy spaceships, with an added bonus: the ships explode rhythmically, adding personalized percussion to the groovy soundtrack.
Radio Flare’s soundtrack is based on an excellent electronica track by DJ Flow. With the added rhythm of your targeting and shooting, you are, in a sense, creating a personalized soundtrack when you play Radio Flare. The music matches the ambiance of the game, and your own additions are so well-integrated that they do not distract you from the Radio Flare’s ultimate purpose: to destroy enemy ships and collect flares.
You can choose your starting level from the six stages or you can play arcade-style where you have to win to advance to the next level. You move your spaceship with your left thumb, and select targets with your right thumb. When ships are destroyed, you collect little red flares that supposedly power your spaceship and allow you to move to the next level.
Since I am hopelessly uncoordinated when it comes to video games, I passed my iPhone over to three of my friends so they could have a go at Radio Flare. They each spent the first three minutes frustrated as they tried to figure out how to play and their spaceships were repeatedly destroyed, but then they proclaimed their addiction, both to the game and the music.
All three asked the same questions as they played Radio Flare: What exactly am I collecting flares for? Do I get extra points? Will I get to use them for something else later? There did not seem to be an obvious connection between the flares and the path of the game. Occasionally, an electronic voice says, “Flare up,” but none of us have figured out what this means yet. There are also messages that flash in the lower left corner of the screen that we did not understand, such as “unk" and “allambra.”
Though Radio Flare took a few minutes to warm up to, I now have to pry my iPhone out of the hands of my friends who cannot stop playing. One of my friends said her only complaint is that it is hard to use an iPhone when your palms and fingers get sweaty from excitement. I especially recommend Radio Flare for Defender enthusiasts who yearn for the good ol’ days of playing video games at the arcade in the mall.
Watch Radio Flare in action: