Surprisingly enough, music/rhythm games aren’t just limited to Rock Band 4 and Guitar Hero Live this holiday season. Nope, a team called Seaven Studios has brought over its PC cult hit Inside My Radio to the Xbox One, hoping to appeal to a new range of platforming fans with its unique set-up and interesting soundtrack vibe. But is it enough to pull us away from the bigger dogs in the genre? Well, in a way, yes, although it’s not for a grand length of time.
The game features an interesting blend of platforming and music/rhythm. General movement lets you go about however you please. However, in order to execute any specific moves in the game, ranging from dashing to a flip slam maneuver that lets you crush through floors, you have to do them to the rhythm of a particular song that’s playing in the background. This sounds quite difficult at first, but as you get into the groove of each of the game’s tunes, it becomes second nature, and you’re soon on your way to deeper challenges in the game, including push-button attacks and solving particular puzzles.
Inside My Radio puts you in control of three different characters – each with their own style of music that fits their personality almost to a tee – as you venture through various locations within a radio (thus the name of the game, silly) in order to figure out what’s ailing it. Along the way, you’ll master their moves to deal with robotic spiders that stand in the way, along with bigger threats that work against you.
Control-wise, the game is pretty good, as you’ll learn the gameplay mechanics within just a few minutes of play. However, the level design can be confusing at times, as it can be a bit easy to get lost with no direction to move forward (you know, until you stumble around and find it again). Also, the game seems rather unbalanced, starting out way too easy and eventually leading to a boss fight that borderlines on requiring every ounce of your skills to defeat. It can be a real up-and-down experience, but still not bad overall.
As for the presentation, it’s definitely groovy. While the level design can be off, the animations and décor have a calling of their own, with great characters to play with and lots of interesting situations to come across, from lights that can do harm to you to moving conveyor belts that resemble cyber worms. The music is great too, with its fair share of grooves that stay with you, even after the game is over.
And that brings us to the big thing that holds it back from being a true classic – it’s too short! We blasted through Inside My Radio within about three to four hours, and that was pretty much all the game offered, outside of a Time Trial mode where you beat levels as quickly as possible. This is a game just itching for some sort of level creator, or, at the very least, building a character from your own soundtrack. What could’ve been…
As it stands, Inside My Radio may seem a little high priced for its current content, but it’s still a fun experience while it lasts. If you’ve been waiting for a good platformer to come along and, ahem, rock your world, this is an investment worth your time. After all, albums only last so long while you groove along with them, right?