By Michael "Magic Mike" Dumee on September 3, 2019
When I first saw the trailer for Rad I was immediately hyped, mainly because of the promise that you could mutate your character. I saw the most crazy stuff happening to the characters and thought it was awesome, over the top and I just wanted to play this one so much! So, I once again shouted 'DIBS!' in our DumeeGamer.com app group and a month later, I'm the lucky bastard who gets to review this game.
Before you enter the game you can choose which character you want to play. Your choice comes down to which one you think looks the coolest! And by the way, if you think the characters are dazzling because of their bright neon colors, wait till you see the levels! Fallow, the planet that needs saving in this game, is an ever-changing, radio-active world, so don't expect to see green grass and flowering trees. Fallow is in dire need of energy and that's where you comes in; you need to find said energy to power the planet.
After selecting a character you will enter the base camp. Here you can buy needful things and prepare yourself for the upcoming round. Rad is a 3D action rogue-like game, so you enter a level and when you die, it's game over and you will return to base camp, where you can prepare yourself for the next round of course. When you die, you'll get an overview of your results and available items you can get from now on, if you are lucky enough to find them during a next run, that is. When a character dies, that character is really dead, and you'll have to start from your base camp with a brand new one, with which you will quickly venture out again into this procedurally generated and dangerous world.
Now let's talk about those awesome mutations. There are two kinds of them; Endo and Exo. An Exo mutation is something that will change your appearance and give you a cool attack. My personal favorite is the Fire Arm. Your arm looks like it's on fire all the time and you can shoot balls of fire towards your enemies (so you're not only looking bad-ass, you actually let your enemies know you're bad-ass!). The second type of mutation is called Endo and provides you with a passive skill. For example, I found one that made me immune to electric shocks. Just make sure that the Endo mutation is equipped via the menu and you're good to go. So, from now on, I can enjoy a shock free life, according to the in-game description of this specific mutation.
During one of my rounds I Found the "Cobruh" mutation, which transformed my head and neck to a cobra. It's looks great and is also very useful during combat. I mean, come on; being able to use twin-stick shooter controls makes this mutation even better. Normally, I can walk around and my cobra head will shoot out the same direction that I'm walking, but if you like you can use this mutation to play in a more twin-stick shooter orientated mode. This means my character would be walking in one direction while shooting in another, making it possible to hit enemies on all sides.
The normal enemies in the levels do pose a challenge but are nowhere near impossible to defeat. The boss fights, however, will be more challenging. After defeating a boss during one of these fights, you can choose to return to basecamp with all the items you've collected so far. You can also choose to go straight into the next level, but keep in mind that, if you die, you'll lose all your items, so choose wisely. While playing Rad, the 80's kid in me was jumping for joy because, in this game, you can collect cassette tapes and floppy disks (I'll give the youngsters of this generation some time to google these items). This retro references and setting is really awesome, I even have a Pac Man arcade machine in my base camp!
I love Rogue-like games and Rad is one of the games in the genre that I really, really like. The fact that you can use awesome mutations and special abilities, plus all the collectables and cool setting make this a game for the books! Every day, you'll have a new chance to be number one on the leaderboard. This daily leaderboard is actually more fun than the traditional leaderboards. Now everyone has a new chance every day to become number one. All in all, I can only say that Rad brings you everything you expect of a Rogue-like game and more!