Indie developers never cease to amaze me with what they manage to create, and Tak Fung’s game MiniSquadron easily falls into that category. This aerial combat game may have cutesy, unimpressive graphics, but once you get into the game the art style feels very natural. There are planes of all shapes, colors, sizes, and all of them have in-depth, detailed statistics about their speed, turning, armor, weapon type, and more. If you’re looking for an epic aerial battle I suggest you look no further, as MiniSquadron will definitely satisfy your craving for blasting planes out of the sky.
Craft Selection: There are so many planes you can unlock and play with that it’s insane. There are eight different types of planes, and seven different planes of each type. If you do the math, that’s fifty-six planes you can unlock. Each type of plane has a different maximum speed, aerodynamic speed, armor rating, size, turning rate, reload time, and weapon type.
Weapons Variety: The seven weapons in the game are the cannon, double cannon, triple cannon, homing missile, cluster bomb, drop bomb, and laser. Each plane has its own set weapon, so you cannot customize your planes – you must pick one that you have unlocked. However, in my opinion seven weapons in a game is a nice amount – not too much that you’ll get swamped with choices, and not too much that you’ll feel it has no variety. The weapons all shoot and affect enemies differently too, so weapons can also be used based on the player’s style of fighting.
Power-Ups: There are numerous power-ups in the game, and they help when your little plane is in dire need of support. Each of them is a differently colored star, so you are supposed to memorize their effects. I would have liked some type of image indicator of what power-up I was picking up, but they work fine as they are. I
In addition, more lives can be gained by picking up a red heart that floats around the screen. Sometimes I get frustrated, as it seems the heart is purposely flying away for me, which is the effect that I think the developers wanted to give. Enemies can also use power-ups, so if you see one it’s best to get it ASAP, or you may find yourself in deep trouble.
Controls: The controls are simple and I love them. A virtual joystick controls your plane on the left, and your move it around to fly, loop, and dodge. On the right, a fire button well… makes your plane shoot. Very self-explanatory, very simple, and very easy to use.
Enemy AI: It seems that the enemies in the game are either really stupid or insanely smart. On some levels I would completely decimate a ton of planes, and then a plane of the same type would be smarter and evade all of my shots while hitting my plane accurately with his shots. It’s not a big problem, but the unstable AI sometimes gets on my nerves.
Once again, I must reiterate that if you like dogfighting or aerial combat games at all, MiniSquadron is the game for you. It’s a polished, high-quality game that will last you a good length of time. If the developer has any updates planned in the future, that would make this fun game even better.
MiniSquadron was developed by Tak Fung, and I played through version 1.0 of the game on my iPod Touch 2G (OS 3.1.2). The current price point of the game is $2.99.