Transistor for iOS

Transistor, an action role playing game from Supergiant Games, is one of the best games I’ve played. Available on PlayStation 4, PC & Mac so far, it is now also available for iOS. We featured it in The Highlight last year and it has finally made its way to modern iOS devices.

Transistor follows Red, a singer in Cloudbank. She is attacked by the Process and comes into possession of a sword known as the Transistor. When the game begins, the Transistor is buried into a man’s chest whose voice and consciousness are now within the Transistor. This voice maybe familiar to fans of Bastion, because it is the narrator from Bastion.

Transistor has deep customization available for actions. It plays out in an isometric view and all combat can be done in real time and in turn based form. The turn based form freezes time and gives you a set amount of ‘Turn()’ that refills in a short time after executing a set of commands. You earn new functions and get the ability to customize each function with power ups.

Bastion translated quite well to iOS devices and it even was one of the first few to get updated with iOS 7 controller support. Transistor is a more involved game mechanically and the port is great in almost every aspect. Visuals are stunning and environments look great. Transistor is one of those games where screenshots can be used as wallpapers from almost every section. It has two control schemes which are both surprisingly good. The first is classic controls that has a floating omnidirectional d-pad for movement and the second one allows you to tap to move to a particular location. You can tap to select ‘functions()’ that are displayed on the right side of the screen. Transistor for iOS features gamepad support as well, at least for the 10 people out there who own an iOS gamepad.

The main issues with the port are with font rendering and with some visuals at terminals. You get to access data at terminals that give you some back story and these seem to be running on YouTube servers that automatically select 144p quality. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the difference in quality between the gorgeous visuals during combat and gameplay and these terminals, is shocking. Fonts are too jagged throughout. I’m not sure what text rendering they are doing, but it looks pretty bad. Minor issues arise with frame rate drops and I spoke to their support and have been told that they need to revisit Transistor for iPad Air 2 as it can handle a lot more than previous models. Also, the Terminal animations are being looked into. This was nearly a month ago. I hope they actually update the iOS version because these flaws should not bring down an otherwise great port.

Transistor’s soundtrack deserves a special mention. It outclasses the Bastion soundtrack by a mile and is easily one of the best soundtracks in gaming in the last few years. Ash Barrett and Darren Korb have done something amazing here. You can listen to it and buy it here.

Transistor is available for iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad mini 2 and above. Get it for just $9.99 on the App Store. Supergiant Games somehow topped what they did with the amazing Bastion in Transistor. The best platform to play Transistor on is still PlayStation 4 with the exclusive DualShock 4 features that add a lot to the experience so if you have one, play it there but make sure you experience this in some form. It is well worth it.

Mikhail Madnani is the acting Editor-in-Chief of Beautiful Pixels. He’s usually the one making sure so many weather apps get reviewed when he isn’t playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 or Hearthstone.