R.TYPE Review

By , on July 24, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 8 months ago

  • Publisher: DotEmu
  • Genre: Casual
  • Released: 18 Jul, 2013
  • Size: 28.5 MB
  • Price: $1.99
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • It's a portable version of R-Type.
  • The unlimited lives system makes the control issues easier to swallow.


  • The d-pad does not offer the manoeuvrability required.
  • Touch-and-drag controls obscure the screen.


R-Type is a faithful port in many ways, but one which reminds us that some arcade expereinces need to be completely rethought on their way to the App Store.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

R-Type, the side-scrolling classic shoot em up from 1987, was ported over to the App Store a couple years ago. However, it was removed earlier this year due to licensing issues. While the legalities were being ironed out, the developers thought it would be a good idea to make a few adjustments. Now that it's returned to the App Store, it's time to see what's changed.

If you're new to the blaster, here are the basics. You take control of a spaceship, which you must guide through a series of side-scrolling levels, shooting anything that moves. Survive long enough and you'll encounter a giant boss, whom you must defeat to move to the next level.

The original game (and all its subsequent sequels) were known for their difficulty, and this port has not changed in that regard. If anything, it's become much tougher.

There are two control schemes available: you can either touch and drag with your finger, or an on-screen d-pad. Shooting is automatic, although you do need to hold a button to charge your beam canon. Both systems have their issues. The d-pad limits manoeuvrability, while the touch-and-drag method obscures a portion of the screen. And, in a game where every enemy and projectile can destroy you instantly, you can't afford to have a blind spot.

Easy mode is supposed to make things a little less challenging by providing unlimited lives. But, the game's brutal checkpoint system still makes things difficult. This game was designed to be tough on traditional controls schemes. On a touch screen, things are tougher still.

The rest of the game remains intact. Old-skool sound effects and excellent music accompany the classic visuals, all of which are as appealing today as they were 25 years ago. Unforunately, the new control schemes leave you trying to blast through a layer of frustration to get at the nostalgia-flavoured goodness beneath.


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