Although the lyrics 'I love you in a place where there's no space or time' centers on someone's love for another, 'A Song For You' is the tune that connects me right back to Futuridium EP. It may be an affectionate ode to the 8-bit shooter Uridium, but its total grasp exceeds the slavish confines of most homages. As a starship pilot lost in an unforgiving universe, your main goal is to not die in that great black void. If this sounds all too depressing, don't give in. There are way too many colors, and emotions, headed your way.

With your ship constantly low on fuel, you must blast through dreadnoughts and power cubes to keep your head above water. Although the cubes help refill your fuel meter, navigating your ship through the complex terrain is a pain in the neck. This is not a simple touch and tap space shooter, as quick reflexes are needed whenever you find yourself stuck in a jam or worse yet, running out of gas. A button on the lower right hand side of your device will turn your craft 180 degrees, a command which is needed when you miss a few of your cube targets on the first run.

Frustration will inevitably set in with Futuridium EP, especially if it takes a spell to learn the intricacies of adeptly flying through this world, but even if you never fully master this title, downloading the game won't be a complete wash.

If you're a music junkie, especially if it's electronica, techno, and dubstep, this game contains an impressive and occasionally evocative 45 minute soundtrack. The sounds are not just a direct complement to the actual game play, but rather they shine as an entirely separate entity. The developers wisely understood this fact, and once you click the Space Jukebox feature you can pick whichever track puts you in the right mood. Since I'm in a reflective state of mind but still want to bob my head like a complete tool, I'll play "Subversive" on my jukebox. There are a bunch of songs which merit extended play (aka the "EP" of Futuridium EP), so if you use this app mainly as a music player, it won't be a waste of money.

Although the space jukebox doesn't have much visual backing behind it, the actual missions are infused with retro 3D inspired shapes that will leave Tron lovers drooling on their devices. By giving the title a steep learning curve and always putting the gamer behind the eight ball with the incessant need for more fuel, the developers takes a big gamble with our patience. By hitting a home run on an aural level, as well as crafting a compelling and eye catching world, their risky venture pays off in spades.

Titles like Futuridium EP are huge reasons why I've slowly switched over to iOS gaming, as it's that rare experience which is simply more than the sum of its parts. You may be adrift in space, with death knocking on your doorstep, but facing those fears can be an entirely revelatory experience. People will tell you this is just a cool shooter with a few good tunes to boot, and they'd be partially right. Show them a few pretty pictures, tell them where you've been, and maybe they'll join the lonely flight.

I never thought I'd listen to Flock of Seagulls, but Futuridium EP is a space age love song that sings straight to the soul. I may be overstating the impact of a $1.99 app, but any game that puts you in an elevated state of mind, even if it's for a fleeting moment, is worth the praise, even if your ship never comes back home.


App Store Link: Futuridium EP for iPhone & iPad | By Mixedbag Srl | Price: $1.99 | Version: 1.0 | 82.7 MB | Rating: 4+

8.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating