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.
An acid-fueled tribute to the chiptune scene, Spectra is high on musical euphoria and painfully low on gaming excitement.
If you aren't inclined to focus on high scores and achieving perfection like arcades used to promote, Spectra doesn't offer much for you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For something that tries so hard to test your reflexes, Spectra ultimately tests your patience more than anything else.
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.
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.
Solid with a twist on gameplay but lacking value in the length department
While its style and music is top-notch, Spectra just doesn't have the captivating gameplay to truly shine.
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.
To say that Spectra is addictive may be a bit of an understatement
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 a missed opportunity that doesn't offer nearly enough variation to keep players enticed for very long.
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.
Spectra is an arcade game with a lot of potential yet with its lack of diversity and overall content, it's a difficult game to widely recommend.