Radiant HD / Lite – No school like the old school.
Radiant HD / Lite
Action games can be a tricky proposition on the HTC Desire as getting the touch screen controls wrong can seriously hinder any enjoyment to be had. This has always been a downer for the numerous emulation apps that are on the Marketplace. Being able to play a perfect version of Super MarioKart on my phone is excellent, only being able to control my kart like a drunk, hamfisted badger is less so. As a result when it comes to playing games on a touch screen handset the simpler the controls, the better.
Hexage Ltd seem to have grasped this concept whilst creating the deliciously retro styled shooter ‘Radiant HD’, a vertical scrolling shooter that riffs off the arcade shooters of the golden age. The only controls you have to worry about are left and right with the odd occasion of tapping your ship to change weapons. Radiant HD is a game that initially looks very simple and it positively drowns itself in it’s retro stylings but that doesn’t stop Hexage from adding lovely little graphical touches to elevate the graphics above your initial expectations. Every in game character emits a warm fuzzy glow and the movements of the aliens are perfectly animated in a way that goes beyond the retro look to create a strange old skool/new skool kind of vibe.
The game itself is also slightly deeper than it first seems (only slightly, it’s not exactly re-writing the genre here) the simple shoot em up gameplay is bolstered by collectable power ups and a credits system that allows you to upgrade the weapons on your ship. These are essential when the waves of colourful aliens become more complex and the bigger boss aliens enter the fray. The main game comes in three flavours of difficulty, casual, survival and hardcore and there is also an online leaderboard for you to upload your best scores.
Radiant HD (and it’s limited free version ‘Radiant Lite’) won’t set the world alight with it’s originality but it is a slick game that has clearly been made with an infectious amount of care and attention and for a measly 50p (until November 16th) it’s not a bad deal at all.