R-Type on your Android Mobile: letting you relive one of the most famous space shooters of all time.

R-Type on your Android Mobile: letting you relive one of the most famous space shooters of all time.   

You’ve probably seen this game on the top selling lists on the Android Market and found that there’s no demo of the game for people to try it out first.  Well that’s because this game is a really old classic and it first hit CRT screens back in 1987.  Our team remembers having this blockbuster on our Amigas and Atari STs!  Now, DotEmu have ported this classic arcade game to our modern day smart phones.  Check out what we’ve found out about the game below:

Gameplay: It’s a sci-fi space shooter going from left to right.  You start off with a rather powerless ship which is pathetic and has a single stream gun.  Then you power it up with “Force Modules” and “Bits” which bolster your ship with awesome destructive power.  The force modules are like mini ship add-ons which can be sent forwards ahead of your ship.  (Back on the Atari ST, you could control this module with the mouse, but unfortunately, this extra control hasn’t be been extended to this version).  I’d like to say that the upgrades turn the tides in your favour… but unfortunately, the extra power is necessary for you to stand a chance of completing the game!

… and that brings us on nicely to the reason why this game is famous.  It’s really difficult to complete the game.  In many respects it’s similar to something like Raiden, but the variety in enemy and the lack of dodging space makes this a much harder game to win.  In fact, it’s on one of IGN’s top 10 toughest games to beat list.

What do we think?  It’s definitely similar to the original game – the pixelated sprites look very similar to back in the 80s and they have slightly spruced up versions of the same midi music and sound effects.  We definitely like this because it’s nostalgic, but I can imagine some people being put off by this adherence to the original formula.  If you really compare the assets to modern games then I’d probably say something is missing, but the gameplay and competition value is where this game excels.

What’s changed in this port then?  The controls are different: you have the choice between touchscreen relative movement or an onscreen d-pad which is similar to a joystick.  The touchscreen relative movement is really good because it has the advantage of allowing you to move around the screen faster.  The drawback is that you can’t see what’s under your thumb.  Apart from this and the menus, it does seem like everything else is the same… it’s still the same scary alien monster bosses!

Verdict: 5/5 Awesome blast from the past which should be tried by everyone so that they can experience a bit of classic gaming history!  (Even if you have to buy the game and play it for only 15 minutes!)  Do check out some of our gametips below!

R-Type Promotional Video on Youtube

R-type Tips from Android Games Review:

Control tips:

  • You need a decent multi-touch screen Android phone. (Otherwise you can’t charge your blaster gun)
  • The D-pad is virtually unusable because diagonal movement doesn’t really work, so don’t expect to use anything except the touch relative movement.  The movement speed of the D-pad is also constant so its disadvantaged like the original.


  • You have to learn your way through the levels.  You’re unlikely to be able to complete the game on reaction alone
  • Although the game starts you off at certain checkpoints – this isn’t necessarily beneficial to you.  This problem is especially noticeable near bosses.  Sometimes you need particular powered up guns in order to shoot the weak points correctly.
  • The touchscreen relative movement means that you may need to either: a) get used to releasing your left thumb and jumping to a location where you can continue to swipe on the screen, or b) get used to alternating your left and right thumbs so you can control the ship and dodge the enemies under your thumbs correctly.
  • Don’t just hang back all the time.  You need to dash ahead sometimes in order to tease out some of the waiting enemies.  (Otherwise you’ll get cornered and killed)
  • Don’t underestimate the strength of a half charged blast – it can still destroy some enemies in one shot.
  • Sometimes the seemingly most dangerous places are actually the safest – keep this in mind when fighting the bosses.
  • The general rule of thumb is the more you destroy, the easier you will find it to survive.  If you do need to choose who to kill then go for the targets which would be able to attack you from behind.
  • Don’t forget that the force module can be attached to the back of the ship as well as the front!

R-Type QR Code
(Click on the image or scan the barcode with your Android Mobile to goto the Android Market)

Developers / Porters:  Dot Emu

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