‘Inside My Radio’ Preview #2
Last year I experienced a preview build of Inside My Radio, a musical platformer that is being developed by Seaven Studios in collaboration with TurboDindon. Originally a successful prototype the hour of gameplay I experienced was promising, producing some excellent musical elements and bright visuals.
Though it wasn’t all positive, as Inside My Radio wants the player to utilise their jumps, dashes and slams in time with the beat of the music. The problem was it was hard to figure out whether or not you were in time with the beat, which meant challenging platforming sections were best tackled with button mashing in mind. It’s obvious Seaven Studios has taken this advice on board and my latest time with Inside My Radio was more enjoyable because of it.
The latest preview build of Inside My Radio features most of the previous content I had already encountered, though there was a new addition – a new help interface. This feature can be turned on and off at will, with a simple press of the right bumper. It produces two circles (one above and below the playable character) that help provide a more noticeable visual representation of when you’re in time with the music. This feature isn’t great because it provides an easy mode; it’s great because it allowed me to further understand the rules that Inside My Radio requires you to follow to succeed.
After an extended time using the help interface, I was able to switch it off freely and continue dashing, jumping and slamming in time with the music with ease. The new interface gives choice and helps indicate when beats are taking place. If you decide to learn the rules before removing it – you can; if you choose to leave it off completely – you can; or if you decide to leave it on throughout the adventure to enjoy the music – you certainly can. Providing choice and allowing the player to better understand what the game expects from you is certainly a great addition; while staying completely optional.
The newest section of Inside My Radio I was able to experience was known as Dub, which provides a electronic/bass sound with reggae influences. Though I felt Dub was the weakest selection of musical tracks throughout my time with Inside My Radio, the platforming sections themselves were certainly the most challenging and diverse. Dub introduces bounce pads, platforms and moveable objects that are all controlled by dials that I had to interact with to progress.
For example, there was one section with three groups of coloured platforms. When interacting with each of the three dials, one group would grow and the other was decrease in size. Working my way through each dial I had to figure out how to form a staircase out of the three groups in order to reach a high location on the other side of the screen. This is what made Dub feel unique, instead of simple platforming this section increased the challenge and expected you to not only be in time with the music more than any other stage, it also required thinking to overcome puzzle elements.
Dub was also the most visually diverse section in Inside My Radio, with flowing flowers growing and moving to the music in the background, cassette tapes scattered throughout the level and bounce pads that shot sound waves to help me get to out of reach locations. Though Dub may have provided my personal weakest selection of musical tracks, it provided a greater challenge and stronger visual diversity than any other section.
Inside My Radio has a strong appreciation of its source material – music. After re-experiencing previous sections of Inside My Radio, I was reminded how impressive and catchy these musical tracks were. I noticed I was consistently nodding my head along with the music, even so much as humming them during my daily life. If Inside My Radio can continue to produce such excellent audio, it could easily be a soundtrack that rivals some of the best in recent memory.
After spending more time with Inside My Radio I’m happy with the clear progress, smoother gameplay, excellent music and greater challenge. Having addressed one of my major issues with Inside My Radio from my previous experience, I’m looking forward to seeing what Seaven Studios and TurboDindon produce when the final product releases later this year for PC and consoles.