R-Type is an arcade app for Android in the strictest sense of the genre. A port of the classic 80s space shooter of the same name, this offering is hard as nails and a blast to play through. An app you’ll cherish for some time, if you don’t destroy your smartphone our of sheer frustration first.
Harking back to the days when gaming was exclusively conducted conducted in 2D and many of the best titles were nigh on impossible to complete, R-Type is an app which will run you through the emotional mill. One moment you’re flying high with power-ups galore having destroyed a particularly imposing fleet of alien forces, the next you’re particle dust and destined to roam the infinite expanse of space for all eternity. The constant deluge of enemy forces and stray laser shots can be overwhelming, as if there’s no escape, but keep chipping away at the app and you’ll eventually discover a strategy that works.
In all honesty, this is quite a refreshing experience for an Android app given how few offerings truly test your wits to the edge of despair. There’s something quaint about an app which costs you £2.56 to download and will then take half an hour to complete the first level. We’re talking about a quality that’s the complete opposite of Jelly Defense, time-consuming but also compelling.
The control system for R-Type is extremely well executed. Rather than bashing your touchscreen to death, your spaceship is set to auto-fire and pressing the ‘laser’ button charges up your shot. Continuing the theme of effortless controls, instead of employing a D-pad to move your ship across the space terrain, you simply slide your finger around the touchscreen. It’s hard to imagine the app working any better in this respect, except on the odd occasion where your finger strays off the border of your smartphone.
As we’ve hopefully underlined already, R-Type is not for casual gamers. If your Android app catalogue starts and ends at Doodle Jump, then we’d recommend something more sedate like Early Bird. If you really think you’re up to the challenge, then breath in, breath out and prepare to eviscerate your free time at the hands of an awesome arcade title.
The Bottom Line
Tear-jerkingly tough but an awesome arcade app nonetheless Additional Info
Version reviewed 1.0.4
Requires Android 2.1 or higher