Spectra is one of those games that gets in your head. At first glance it looks simple, just race a spaceship along a sort of futuristic Rainbow Road whilst collecting little yellow cubes and avoiding the big purple ones that reduce your score, wreck your multiplier and can knock you off the edge into oblivion. Sounds, er, simple doesn’t it, but of course it isn’t and it’s even worse if you want to go for a high score! Make sure you boost over the chevrons and you’ll get a speed increase and increase your score for every dot you collect, ensuring glory on the scoreboard, maybe an achievement unlocked and if you’re lucky you might even get to the end of the track and make it 100%.
These games really get to me because the instant restart when you fall off from the beginning does make you want to keep on playing. There’s also the fact that trying to stay the course for three minutes really gets the adrenaline going when you’re over 80% and know you only need to hang on a bit more and not muck up to make it to the very end. It’s heart-thumping stuff.
There are 10 tracks to play through and they’re all complimented by some retro ChipTunes thanks to Chipzel, a DJ and music producer who makes music using her Gameboys. I’d never heard of this scene before until I saw her strut her retro stuff at the launch party with the devices plugged into the PA speakers of a nightclub. Genuinely, on loud speakers the music really does sound good and makes you want to at least tap your foot a bit to the beat and at most get very sweaty leaping about like a loon! And if you think the tracks sound familiar, you may have heard some tunes of hers before on Super Hexagon, a game that’s sure to get your head in a spin.
Spectra is simplistic and best described as a cross between F-Zero, Mario Kart and Res but if you fancy something to distract you, where a high score is more important than any kind of story, it’s certainly worth a look. It gets a worthy 7 out of 10.