Operating System: Android
Played On: HTC Evo 4G
I’m not going to lie to you, because you don’t deserve that. The Android platform has been really slow out of the gates as far as gaming is concerned. There is a vast level of difference between what you can find on the iPhone systems and what is available for Android users, with iPhone gaming options being far better.
However, with emerging developers like Hexage, who have a solid catalog of outstanding Android games available (Radiant being one of them), that gap is finally starting to close and Android users are finally able to get some decent gaming fixes on their phones.
Radiant HD is part homage to oldschool scrolling shooters and part satire of retro gaming, blended together with a beautiful presentation and some excellent gameplay. Players are put inside of the cockpit of a pixelated spaceship in a pixelated universe full of pixelated aliens. As the universe’s last hope for survival against an evil alien force, it is your job to single-handedly defeat the menacing forces that threaten to destroy peace as we know it.
Along the way there is some pretty funny dialog, spoofing on retro gaming cliche’s, that’ll have you chortling to yourself every so often. However, there are a few misspellings and grammatical errors in the dialogue that shouldn’t have been missed, but it’s nothing that’ll bug you too bad. Hell, for all I know it’s in there on purpose, criticizing poorly done translations during a game’s localization.
Gameplay is, as you’d probably expect from a scrolling arcade shooter, pretty simple. Touching one side of the screen moves you in the respective direction, aliens drop in and move in patterns, boss fights are occasionaland you collect powerups from downed enemies.
Shooting occurs automatically to make things more simple for the touchscreen controls, and your rate of fire is improved by buying weapon upgrades with credits you find in the game. These are also used to buy new weapons and items along your quest to rid the universe of alien scum. It’s very addictive, simple, and a whole lot of fun.
As I’ve mentioned, the visual style is also super-retro, with everything constructed of pixels and blocks. Objects have a nice neon glow to them, and everything looks very stylized. Sort of in the vein of the Bit.Trip series on Nintendo’s Wii system. The menu could use a bit of work, as it is very basic, but other than that Radiant is a very visually-pleasing package. Audio is you standard bloops and bleeps, 8-bit effect and space-aged techno music. Nothing stellar, but it serves its purpose just fine, all things considered.
Radiant is an excellent example of how good gaming can be on the Android platform. Simple and intuitive yet fully addictive and well-produced. The visuals are gorgeous, the gameplay is solid, and you aren’t going to want to put it down. While Radiant HD is certainly not without its flaws, they are minuscule and easily ignored in light of everything Radiant does wonderfully.
This game is definitely worth the price of admission, and I wholeheartedly recommend it as a purchase for Android gamers looking for something solid to play with. There is also a free version if you want to test it for yourself.
Score: 8.75/10 (Great)