Spectra – Review
Follow Genre: Indie, Race
Developer: Gateway Interactive
Publisher: Mastertronic
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, SteamOS
Tested on: PC

Spectra – Review

Site Score
Good: Lots of replayability, cool music
Bad: Repetitive graphics, the 'swaying' of the ship
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(0 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

For those of us who don’t have time to sink thousands of hours in an RPG or train every evening to become the best shooter expert on Earth, there are enough small indie games to fulfill your gaming needs. Spectra is one of those games and although the basic set-up is incredibly simple and not complex at all, the satisfaction you gain when playing this little reflex game is quite entertaining in short bursts.

Spectra logo


Spectra is another one of those games where story doesn’t matter at all. Gamers will play a title like this just to fill up some spare minutes of free time or just to enjoy themselves without having to skip through screens and screens of information on a background story. You just fly around with your little ship and enjoy the spectacle.


Thanks to a modern and flashy art style, Spectra really tries to bring about a certain vibe. Combine this with some awesome music in the background and you have the perfect game snack at the ready. The game is made to be as accessible as possible so chances are slim to non-existent that the graphics will turn you off, however, that’s still a matter of taste. Unfortunately though, while the music is quite varied, the graphics are not. Each level looks exactly the same except for a different kind of course to race on. It would’ve been nice to see a bit more diversity on this part.



As said before, in Spectra, the sole thing you’ll be doing is maneuvering your ship while you let the game just take you away. Each track has its very own electronic song and although all songs fit the general theme of the game perfectly, it’s rather clear that some songs are just a lot better than others. Both level 6 & 8 offer a pretty loud and bombastic song while the levels before that used some more tranquil yet powerful beats. Although this is again a matter of taste, the more steady songs without the incredibly loud intros were often more enjoyable to play the game with. As you might have to retry a certain level multiple times, having to hear that same screechy intro over and over again can become quite bothersome. Apart from that issue, the music is alright and sometimes, you just drown in the mixture of colorful effects and a soothing tune.


Gameplay wise, Spectra doesn’t need much of an explanation. In a few words, Spectra is an indie racing game (racing in the sense of beating high-scores as there’s no multiplayer) in which your reflexes are continuously tested. The basic goal in the game is to complete each track by moving your tiny ship away from obstacles in your path. That sounds easy enough at first but as you swirl through the first few seconds of a track, the game keeps you on edge by throwing in more and more obstacles to evade or overcome. The most frequent ones are pink shaped blocks that block your path. Crashing in one of them won’t serve you with a game over screen right of the bat but it’ll make your ship wobble out of place (with a chance of going of course in which case, it’s game over for real). What’s cool is that if you hit a pink block, the song in the background suddenly plays a bad note and the music gets interrupted. This kind of interaction between gameplay and soundtrack is really something special to see at work.


As you progress in levels, other elements are thrown in the mix. The course itself will give you a harder time by throwing in bends and different levels of height. Besides that, boost pads will give the ship the ability to speed up for a short amount of time but beware as doing so will come with a greater risk of going off course or crashing.

The only real downside on the gameplay part is the fact that your ship tends to sway to the side you directed him to go. What I mean by that is that when you push the left button to get your ship safely across a pink block, the ship will still go the left side although you’re not pushing the button anymore. This results more than once in an accidental game over screen. For such a fast and challenging game, it’s rather annoying to constantly having to correct that ‘sway’ which can be the cause of frequent crashes.

The biggest perk Spectra has to offer lies in its replayability. All levels are randomly generated so getting bored with doing the same course over and over again won’t be much of a problem here. If you really like this genre, Spectra will keep you occupied for quite some hours.



Spectra is a decent little game with a lot of good stuff going on. The music in the game fits the overall theme perfectly and the ‘false note effect’ really adds to the immersion. The graphics on the other hand, although they are certainly pleasant to look at, fall a bit short on diversity. Gameplay wise, Spectra plays very smoothly but the swaying problem might get some people really frustrated. Still, with randomly generated obstacles every time you start up a course, there’s really no reason not to try out this game if you like fast paced and reflex testing games.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

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