Top Critic Average
Control gripes aside, I'm quite impressed with Spectra. The high-quality audio, the simple, yet surprising depth of gameplay, and the clean visuals all come together to provide a title that should provide plenty of enjoyment to those who opt to purchase it. My only concern lies in what sort of ways they can improve the game even further.
Spectra is a fantastic little track-racer with a killer beat and instantly accessible gameplay. Each song is long enough to provide a good challenge as the track gets more cluttered the longer you play, and the percentage bar showing how much song is left means you're never left wondering if it's ever going to end.
Spectra is a decent experience that's a bit too simple for its own good. For the $7.5/€7.5 asking price, coupled with the 20% launch discount, the game is a pretty good investment, but don't expect to fill that much of your time with this arcade racing experience. If more features had been added or at least an option to use your own songs, the title would have been more attractive.
Even with good looking graphics and catchy retro-inspired tunes, Spectra is disappointingly shallow. There are only ten stages to contend with, each looking exactly like the last. Worse yet, the simplistic gameplay and overused obstacles make this indie outing feel repetitive. And with no way to import your own songs or create custom levels, Spectra is a game destined to be quickly forgotten.
Altogether, Spectra creates a short yet enjoyable experience that mostly makes up for its visual sameness with the great supporting soundtrack, which is also available for purchase. For a lowly $7.
With visceral, retro-inspired visuals and a fantastic chip-tunes soundtrack, Spectra is a twitch game aimed at those who miss the 80s. It's solid, too, but is ultimately marred by repetition, frustration and a notable lack of substance.
As a commemoration of style and simplicity, Spectra speaks in the dearth of speedy arcade racers. Regrettably, Spectra's ambition, like its appeal, doesn't stretch beyond austere representation.
Had the team at Gateway implemented better controls, more diversity in level design and other features, Spectra could've easily been on its way to becoming a cult classic for this generation. As it stands, it's not bad for a $5 purchase, but more could've been done with it. It's likely best left to those who want to truly test their "twitch" skills, as everyone else is bound to be frustrated by its limitations – and play a better retro-oriented game instead.
Spectra reminds me a great deal of Audiosurf, which is meant to be high praise as I have spent a lot of hours with both games in that franchise. However, while the soundtrack provided in Spectra is an excellent one, the inability to import more music of your own choosing and the lack of visual variety in the levels makes this title quite inferior.
Spectra is good clean fun, providing just the right amount of challenge without ever feeling unfair. Its chiptune soundtrack is excellent and the undiluted arcade experience it provides will keep you hooked for a time, until a sense of repetition will have you throwing in the towel. Still, for a very reasonable asking price, Spectra is a solid little arcade title that's well worth a look.
It's not a successful music/rhythm game and it's not a successful racing game. It's merely an adequate hybrid with a kickass soundtrack. At least the latter is worth a download.
I don't usually rely so literally upon Destructoid's scoring guide when assigning a number for a review, but it feels so apt in the case of Spectra. It's like a boring meal that did nothing more than chew up a little time. It does lack any real flavor. It didn't leave me any different than it found me. It's tolerable, but not anything special. Well, the music is special, but it turns out that Spectra can't stand on the merits of its music alone.