Android Game Review: R-Type

YouTube link for mobile viewing

When news got out that R-Type had been officially released on Android, I got pretty excited. Yes, R-Type is technically a year older than me. I still played it at the laundromat down the street growing up, and old games in general still occupy a soft spot in my heart.

Simply put, this is an awesome, authentic port. There's eight levels, two modes of difficulty, and enough powerups to make you keep continuing in hopes you'll beat the darn game. It's also OpenFeint supported, which is the only newfangled, non-authentic addition to R-Type.

If there's one thing that sticks out, it's how brutal R-Type is. That's not a bad thing, but it's a nice reminder and how much games coddle people these days. Take one hit? Boom, your ship is gone. All of your lives run out? Sayonara, friend. You'll be starting back over at the beginning.

That's probably the most entertaining part of R-Type (aside from a well-placed charge shot). It's difficult just like you remember it, and if it's your first time playing, put on your big boy (or girl) pants and strap yourself in, cause the gameplay is as unforgiving as it gets. And that's awesome.

Some people argue that the touch screen doesn't control the ship very well, but I didn't experience any of those issues, especially on a tablet. On the contrary, the only issue I had was stretching my thumb too far away and having to reset its position, but on a phone screen, you'll be hard pressed to do that. The response is really quite good, and your right thumb is completely free to shoot whatever powerup you might be saving or charge up your cannon to blast through a big group of aliens.

For those who grew up playing this game (or even those who are looking for a bit of a retro experience), R-Type is a must. This port is so well done and so faithful to the original, it might just take you back to your days of standing on a stool, pumping quarters into the arcade machine because you got blown up... again. It's just that good.

R-Type is a bit on the pricey side at $4.13, but for the hours (and hours and hours) of gameplay you'll get trying to beat it on normal (and don't forget about Hard Mode!), it's totally worth it. For old folks and newcomers alike, R-Type should be in your game library.

We've got download links after the break.

Joshua Munoz
  • I loved this game when I was younger and it ports nicely to Android. They're right though, it's no social butterfly cakewalk. This game will kick your butt.
  • What is that song?
  • The name of the song is shown at the bottom right of the video at the very end of the clip. It's called Stand Alone by LukHash
  • I just noticed that... Thanks though! :D
  • Track 10 - Stand Alone
  • No keyboard support, so no gamegripper support on my G2. I really wanted to try to beat this insanely hard game. But like every other scrolling shooter, my thumb gets in the way and I die or crash. I tried it but had to return :(
  • I agree, it needs key support. There needs to be a way to configure the keys and also turn off any on-screen buttons.
    On my Asus Transformer, the arrow keys work -- so my gamepad d-pad works, but there's no way to fire the cannon or control the orb without using the screen. Grrrrr. And since I bought it on my tablet, there's no way for me to leave feedback, since that has not yet beem implemented in the tablet-market and it's one of those titles that wants me to buy it again if I download it on my phone, where I can rate apps.
  • Bought this the first I heard about it. Loved the game as a teenager and spent fortunes mastering it at my local arcade. Unfortunately this game is totally unplayable on my SGS2. Always crashes a few seconds into the first level, forcing me to reboot or battery pull. I'm hoping they sort it out, as it I'm keen to revisit my teenagehood.