Inside My Radio – Wii U

Inside My Radio is a 2D rhythm platformer that literally takes place inside of a radio. A boom box to be precise. Spiders have invaded the radio and you’re sent in to help out. A long the journey you’ll rescue and then control two more characters, although they play exactly the same; jumping, dashing and slamming the ground as you make your way through simple platforming and easy puzzles.

The gimmick of the game is that you can only perform actions in time with the beat of the song playing through the game. Moving side to side is free, but to jump, dash and ground pound, you need to press the buttons alongside the beat. If you don’t time it correctly then nothing will happen aside from your characters pulling a funny face. Sometimes it can be difficult to get into the beat as you’re often too busy worrying about hazards and enemies to really feel it. It leads to frustration in some places when you’re panicking and trying to survive, but you can’t escape because you don’t press the button in with the time of the song.

There is a beat indicator that you can switch on with the R button. I’d recommend this as it really helps out, especially for those who aren’t exactly musically inclined. It’s the best way to judge the timing if things are getting hectic and you’re out of the ‘music zone’.

I should probably talk about the music more at this point since it truly is the focus and star of the game. As you progress through the levels the music continually evolves along with it. Even in a single stage layers are continually added to give more depth the sound and it even alters the beat, slowing it down or speeding it up, which in turn changes the speed at which you can perform actions. It’s an interesting concept that I feel could have been used even more that it was.

While initially the music is firmly in modern electronic dance, the genre switches up at points, especially when controlling the other characters. You’ll be moving to disco and even some sweet reggae in no time at all. The eclectic sound track that is forever evolving during stages is the highlight of the game. The environments even begin to match the genre very well and I have to say that controlling the two side characters were my favourite sections of the game due to the music and aesthetics.

It’s not a particularly difficult game, there are plenty of checkpoints if you mess something up, although there are a couple of difficulty spikes reminiscent of Typoman almost beat for beat. There’s a scrolling section where you have to out run something bad chasing you and also the final form of the last boss, both of which you’ll probably need to try multiple times. But overall, the platforming and puzzles aren’t something that will challenge you.

Another neat thing is that they’ve tried to incorporate other gaming elements into it in small sections, for example, there’s a brief Guitar Hero tribute and a fun QTE event. To be honest, they could have been used even more often and it still would have been fun.

Inside My Radio is a brief experience. My play through the game lasted an hour and 50 minutes, that’s including multiple attempts at the last boss’ final form. Knock ten minutes off that time if you get it on your first try. While there’re plenty of neat ideas I don’t think they’re showed off enough due to the short play time. There’s not much room for replayability as far as I can tell which also may put some folks off.

Inside My Radio is an enjoyable, if occasionally frustrating, game that I’m happy to have played. I recommend it to people really into music, as it’s definitely the source of most of the enjoyment. The puzzles and platforming are really very simple, but hearing the music evolve over the course of a level is great. It’s a shame that it’s so brief as I would have liked to have carried on playing it and they really could have used some of their ideas more than they did.

Good points

– Music evolving over the course of a stage

– Nice environments

Bad points

– Puzzles and platforming don’t really offer any challenge

– Performing to the beat of the song can be frustrating when things are hectic

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