The Squadron iPad game is a win for line-drawing genre

Jul 19, 2010
Games

The Squadron: Curse of the Aztecs (99 cents) takes line-drawing games to frantic heights on the iPad. In this game, developed by Republic of Fun, you pilot varying fighter planes in an attempt to stop opposing ground units from reaching a supernatural Aztec device, which rests in the center of the board. The goal of […]

The Squadron: Curse of the Aztecs (99 cents) takes line-drawing games to frantic heights on the iPad. In this game, developed by Republic of Fun, you pilot varying fighter planes in an attempt to stop opposing ground units from reaching a supernatural Aztec device, which rests in the center of the board. The goal of this game is (as you might suspect) to get the highest score possible.

Like line-drawing games Flight Control HD and Harbor Master HD, you control each fighter plane by touching and laying out its flightpath by dragging your finger in the desired direction. Enemy tanks, jeeps and other vehicles are foreshadowed by exclamation marks that appear on the edges of the screen. You are alerted to additional fighter planes in a similar manner, with a small icon prominently featuring the type of plane. If eight enemy vehicles enter the Aztec device, it powers up in a flashy array of green lights and detonates what looks like a nuclear weapon. Also, make sure your planes do not collide, especially over the device. If that happens, game over.

The Squadron blends two simple concepts, and the resulting gameplay is anything but peaceful. Despite having superior firepower, it always seems as though your fighter jets are grossly outnumbered, ensuring high-octane action as the number of enemies increase. On occasion, the enemy will place anti-aircraft towers around the level as well.

You are equipped with one wild-card weapon — a bomb that charges over time and eradicates all enemies on the screen once it’s activated; it’s best to hold off on using this weapon until absolutely necessary. Another tip: Mentally divide the board into sections, giving your planes a smaller territory to cover.

This game’s graphics are not advanced, but provide enough texture to not negatively affect gameplay. It might be hoping for too much, but adding more levels or board designs, a story mode, and/or two-player mode would make The Squadron a leader of the line-drawing genre.

Republic of Fun also created Slug Wars: To Shell and Back, an iPad game that mixes real-time strategy and tower defense. With The Squadron, it’s clear they are stepping up their game while branching out into another game genre, combining line-drawing and tower defense. This produces one amazing casual gaming experience at an affordable price, the latter unique for iPad games.

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Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com, AndroidApps.com, and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

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