Red Rusher review

This stylish South Korean iOS game will attract a number of comparisons to Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, though its riff on rhythm action is more like another iNiS game, Demon’s Score, given a Sin City makeover. It’s a revenge tragedy in comic book form, as a cybernetically enhanced mobster returns to exact bloody retribution for the deaths of his wife and daughter. He accomplishes this by sprinting down corridors and cutting up henchmen in time to a driving, percussive soundtrack that makes up in energy for what it lacks in melody.

Its systems are instantly familiar. Touch points appear, and you tap them to block incoming attacks or swipe in the direction indicated to slice the enemies running towards you. It soon gets much trickier: some markers ask for an extended press, with additional parries and attacks demanding your attention elsewhere on the screen before the release. Maintaining a combo requires a feat of digital gymnastry that may be beyond most thumbs. It feels a little more elegant played with index fingers and your iOS device of choice resting on a flat surface.

Despite the escalating difficulty, you’ll reach the end of its 12 stages fairly quickly, and though developer Seong Wook Kim has promised free updates, the inherent repetition means most will have had their fill by the time it’s over. Still, an amusing localisation (“he is cleaning his knife with a complex facial expression”) and some enthusiastically squelchy sound effects add charm to a decent challenge, and there’s enough vigour and character here to make it a worthwhile, if fleeting, diversion.

Red Rusher is available on the App Store for 69p / 99c.

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