My first impressions of Seaven Studios’s Inside My Radio seemed pretty bleak in all honesty. The amount of low level platformers being released onto our consoles has sky rocketed over the last few years, and I normally wouldn’t touch any of them with a barge pole. Not only are they all exactly the same barring a change in setting, they all contain the same repetitive properties showing no signs of intelligence…
Inside My Radio proved me wrong. This new age platformer combines the left to right gameplay stereotype with a distinct display of rhythm and beat, making each button press count, adding an extra level of fun and pressure like no other. Each move you make needs to be in complete unison with the song playing at the time, leaving the player concentrating and listening with an intent you would never expect. Half way through level 2 I had cramp in my foot through so much tapping. How many other platforms can do that to you?
The game begins with a mini green LED (which I suppose you can call the protagonist) suddenly awoken inside the stomach of a large stereo that is losing power and needs his help. I sound crazy right now don’t I…
Anyway, the main objective is to create enough power through the rhythm of beat and sound to bring the stereo back to life and make the world whole again!
Throughout the story, you’ll dance your way into other characters that represent the different music styles beseeched within the levels, such as juicy jazz, sanctifying techno and hard core rock! You can collect different mini stereos in each level to ultimately create your own track suiting your own personalised style of music. Each jump, slide and swoosh becomes more gratifying with each press. Although I will warn you, if you have literally no sense of timing, this game will take you an age to complete, it may even make you pull half of your hair out like my tone deaf girlfriend did after level 3…
If you really are ‘that’ bad, but still want to enjoy what this title has to offer, there is a handicap. Seaven Studios have included a system rhythm checker, which appears as a large white circle above your head showing you the beat as a guide. It’s a nice way to start until you get the hang of things, but I doubt you’ll have it on long.
With your newly found revelation of dance, you will eventually face a variety of added challenges that involve ‘dance battles’, intense rhythm based platforming and what you may call ‘illegitimate’ boss battles. Death however, is something you do not need to fear. With every fall, drip and crush results in you being thrown straight back to where you were before you fell, with no adverse consequences at all. Turns out every form of music stays alive! Well, except grunge, grunge is definitely dead.
The visuals within this title really explode upon your retinas. The colours illuminate through each stage with superior brightness and shading, resulting in a smooth and satisfying experience. The graphics as a whole won’t win any awards mind you, but the intensity of what is provided will make your eyes bulge with amazement. Incredibly similar to an arcade game at the beach, which we all still play, don’t lie.
As far as level design goes there are quite a few creative and memorable moments, like a switching mechanic in one level that changes how you must navigate, and a section where you must avoid enemies who also shift their position to the beat of the track.
There are a few sections in this title though that just don’t work in my opinion. Tedious mazes, impossible jumps and incredibly frustrating boss battles that require severe willpower and patience. The main negatives however lie within its length and repetitiveness. The main campaign is incredibly short (around 2 hours or less) and there aren’t a lot of other game modes to keep your attention either.
The Time Attack mode adds legs to the game for dedicated gamers wanting to truly master the title, but I don’t think that’s the direction Seaven Studios were heading. Inside my radio is perfect for a chilled evening at home where you want to relax with a video game and music without thinking too much. A filler game if you will.
Inside my radio provided me with a fresh, yet brief insight of what a new age platformer can bring. An innovative invention and incredibly addictive, it kept a smile on my face and a rhythm inside my feet. The visuals and gameplay only add to the fun, but you won’t be playing it for very long. Spent the last 20 hours doing quests on Fallout 4 but you’re not quite ready for bed? Chuck this on, you won’t regret it.