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Hands-On with Assault Squadron: Best Top-Down Shooter Out There?

Most top-down shooters on the iPhone have been defined by one word so far: suck.  They’re boring, bland, generic, etc. etc.  The only top-down shooter I’ve ever enjoyed on a mobile phone was on an old Sony Ericsson a couple of years ago, and I played that game until my battery died.  While I can’t remember the name of the game, it was one of the first and best top-down shooter I have ever played.

So why hasn’t it been successful on the iPhone?  I know there have been many such as iFighter, Sky Force Reloaded, and Siberian Strike; but I’ve never enjoyed any of them as much as I have Assault Squadron.  Wowza, this is one shooter that should definitely be on your wish list.

The build I received was still well into the beta stage, but still, I had a lot of fun with it.  The included controls were touch, and while I had some slight problems with them, I still enjoyed the game very much.  There weren’t tilt controls included in the options, but of course, the game is still a ways off from being submitted.

One of the most impressive features or things that I noticed about Assault Squadron were the voiceovers.  The voiceovers sounded professional, clean-cut, and extremely… intense.  You can hear some guy talking over a walkie talkie (or whatever they have in the future), and I was more than impressed with the professional voiceovers.

Along with that, Assault Squadron is extremely polished.  There are dozens of impressive cutscenes along with wonderful 2.5D graphics.  I couldn’t help but think to myself, “What a good looking, professional looking game.”

Only one word can describe Assault Squadron: impressive.  Of all the top-down shooters that I’ve played on the iPhone, this one seems to be one of the best.  I had a blast with it, and with tons of content, boss battles, and an interesting weapon upgrade system; I can see this becoming a home run.

But it’s not all about top-down shooting.  While I enjoyed the top-down aspect much more, there are levels in which you must take the side view of all ships, or in other words, a side-scrolling shooter.  At first, I thought the developers were trying a bit too hard to make the game different from the rest, then I realized that it’s not too bad after all.

Even with the beta build I played, I was more than impressed.  Look for this bomb to drop into the App Store late this month or early April.  And when I mean look, I mean it.  It can also be assumed that Assault Squadron will implement Chillingo’s Crystal social platform.



  1. Matt on Saturday 13, 2010

    Sounds promising, though I disagree schmups have been one large pile of suck on the iPhone. Space Invaders Infinity Gene is awesome, and Sentry Alpha and Skyforce Reloaded are pretty decent as well. I’ll be looking forward to this one, though.

  2. Daniel on Saturday 13, 2010

    I totally forgot about Space Invaders. Let me correct myself and say that there has been one other shoot-em-up that has been good on the App Store. I didn’t exactly enjoy Sky Force, and Sentry Alpha is one that I have not played.

  3. [...] are games we’ve had hands-on previews for (Assault Squadron, Pirate’s Treasure), and both are games that we thought had promise.  Assault Squadron, in [...]