Saturday, January 19

Review: Inside My Radio [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Rhythm and music games can always be fun, and on the Switch aside from the more traditional styles of play there have also been some great variations. Whether that’s in the form of mini games or genre-blending with things like a shmup variety keeps things interesting. Inside My Radio is very much in that spirit, mixing rhythm and platforming challenges together to make something unique.


For the most part the action is a bit on the straightforward side, just throwing the need to be on the beat into the mix to make it more challenging. For instance, you’ll be able to wall jump, dash, or butt stomp to complete platforming tasks but now you’ll need to throw in the need to be with the beat. Periodic mini games that require more complex beats or just throw in a bit of variety are fun and can provide extra flavor but the majority of the time you’ll be moving around, trying to avoid a variety of obstacles and traps, and always trying to be mindful of the rhythm of the music accompaniment. A limited number of spots have a pretty basic puzzle-solving component to them but most don't end up being any real challenge.


While people who are musically inclined may appreciate the thumping bass of the game’s many tracks there’s no denying that removing the rhythm element from the mix the level design tends to be quite simplistic. As the game wears on there’ll be more challenging sequences that will require both some skill in maneuvering and sense of timing but none of it is by any means revolutionary either. The music and timing aren’t without their quirks either I’d say. The game seems very picky about your timing and quite a number of times I found myself essentially anticipating and being slightly ahead of the beat to get it to register or it would sound like the game was struggling to mix the audio in some sequences. On the whole it works pretty well but I’d definitely say there were some rough patches along the way.


I’m a bit torn in the end on Inside My Radio. I appreciate the fact that it is trying to mix things up and be different but at the same time I worry that the rhythm mechanics are too often there to help you ignore weak level design. It’s certainly colorful and has some great tracks but at the same time the gameplay hook was only moderate for me and too often I was completing levels just to move on, not so much because I was having a great time. Coming in with a reasonably budget-friendly price with an overall length that feels like a fair trade this should be a good distraction for music lovers, just don’t expect anything groundbreaking by any means.


Score: 7

Pros:
  • In general an audio visual treat
  • Some clever mini game sequences break things up nicely

Cons:
  • The timing for some tracks and sequences feels just a little odd
  • Much of the level design is dull or at least uninspired