by Staff Writer
November 18, 2009
UpdateMini Squadron got it's first update, and now adds survival mode for each of the eight locations. You can play the normal mode, and progress through the twelve waves, and then done. Or you can just go for as long as you possibly can with the same initial three lives. Also you can now play your own music if the outstanding classical music bothered you. MiniSquadron was already an absolute must at launch, and now there's even more to do with more updates planned. It's currently on sale for $0.99 too so pick it up today.
OverviewWe gave you a sneak peek, and now that Mini Squadron is finally in the App Store it’s time for the detailed review. Mini Squadron is a 2D arcade style air combat game that is comparable to F.A.ST. and Aera. What separates Mini Squadron is that the game is packed with action with an actual progression mode, and provides reason to take down enemy planes. Mini Squadron isn’t feature rich, but that’s not too important because it’s all about the gameplay. Some games need to pack on special features to hide the gameplay, but luckily Mini Squadron is the other way around.
FeaturesMini Squadron has eight areas to play in, and each area has 12 waves to battle through. 56 Planes are included that you unlock as you progress in single player mode. In the game you will have to face all of those enemy planes. In game there are multiple bonuses to pick up including air strike, big laser, and speed up. Also included is local wifi multiplayer for one on one battles. Local High scores and time to complete are kept for each area.
The GoodMini Squadron is all about the gameplay, and it’s absolutely epic. This is the best flying game I’ve ever played since it’s just so easy, and so much fun. Since it’s in 2D you don’t spend time looking around the level for other planes, everything is right in your face at all times. As you progress through the waves more planes come out, so most of the time you’re fighting 10 enemy planes at once. There is nothing as hectic as blasting away enemy planes, but at the same time avoiding fire from other planes. Every level is just packed with action so you’re fighting for your life against multiple planes with heavier fire power, faster, and sometimes they're even UFOs. I can’t say enough how much fun this game is. There’s never a dull moment, and it’s great to just flip around, do 360s in air to get in range to fire upon enemies or to avoide the enemies. The game is super challenging, but still fun the entire time. The game has a really well designed 2D cartoon style. All of the planes are uniquely constrcuted with a different art style, and the animations are great as well. From the flowing jet trail of every plane, to the chunks flying off planes as you hit them, and even the planes crashing to the bottom. I have to emphasize how great the controls are. It’s just a virtual stick in the left corner, and tap to fire in the bottom right. You’re plane is flying, and you want to do a u-turn, just flip the plane around, and it does that. Never once do you think about the controls, you just connect with them wholeheartedly. The sound effects are so simple and yet so good. The firing of planes, and hitting planes sounds spot on, and then when a plane crashes, it’s a huge blast. The best aspect is that each area has a different famous classical song as the background music which is the very opposite of what you would expect, but works so well. It’s great to unlock the planes, because as soon as you do, you can play with them. Each plane provides a whole new experience, and requires a brand new technique.
The BadI couldn’t find much wrong with this game. The main “problem” is that it lacks the features of many games in the App Store. While playing though I wasn’t missing online high scores, achievements, or Bluetooth multiplayer, I was having too much fun. Replaybaility is a slight question mark without the usual online high scores and achievements. I’ve played the different areas multiple times though just to have a good time, and to unlock some new planes. When I have some time, I just go to this game. that's how addicting it is.
The VerdictMini Squadron is one of the most fun experiences on the iPhone, and is not only the best flying game, but already one of the top five games overall. No other game comes close to providing the challenge, action, and fun on the iPhone with seamless controls, and graphical flow. Mini Squadron provides a great balance of fun and challenge, that will keep you coming back for more and more. Many games are great, but lack in the fun department. Isn't the goal of a "game" to have fun! Mini Squadron is only $2.99, and you officially can't spend $3 any better anywhere. This is an absolute must, so get downloading!
F.A.S.T. -- Fleet Air Superiority Tactics!