Squids in Review – Tactical strategy meets your average slingshot

Unlike my wife, I’m not a huge fan of seafood. All those tentacles and scales – yuck. But what I do like is tactical strategy games, especially if there’s a bit of RPG element tucked in. Well it just so happens that an indie dev by the name of The Game Bakers have cooked up something for me to make even all the slimy creatures quite acceptable, at least in digital form. I’m talking about the unique iOS action strategy game Squids.

Squids is a turn-based tactics strategy game with some rather original game mechanics. The world of the Squids is in turmoil as an ancient evil has risen again and is corrupting the waters. A young cephalopoda scout Steev is one of the few who can stand up to the armies of shrimps and crabs. So together with Vahine and the remaining members of the Old guard, they set off to cleanse their homewaters.

True to most tactics-centered games Squids puts you in charge of a small group of up to 4, funnily enough, squids, which you’ll have to use to achieve the objective. These are usually the kill all enemies or reach a specific point on the map variety. The gameplay is turn-based, where each of your brave soldiers have a limited amount of action points to perform, well, actions. Noteworthy is the method of moving your squids, which actually doubles as attacking. Much like Angry Birds, you pull back on the squid and then release to it to dash towards the enemy. The more you pull back, the further the distance moved and more powerful the attack.

Your marine troops come in 4 classes: Scout, Warrior, Shooter and Healer, with a special ability unique for each. The scouts can be triggered to use a sudden burst of acceleration while moving, the warriors have an area attack ability, the shooters can, well, shoot from a distance and the healers heal party members when bumping into them. In addition to these class differences, you can further customize your troops by using headgear that’s found throughout the levels or unlocked for completing missions. These options for customization, augmented by random powerups that can be picked up, add an element of tactics that makes Squids special.

Squids is one of the model games in terms of interface intuitiveness. There are literally only a couple of buttons on screen and the way the draw-n-fling has been incorporated into the gameplay commands respect. Visually the game holds its own as well, with superb Retina quality hand-drawn graphics. The in-game music is extremely catchy and the sound effects are also very well done.

Offering an original blend of turn-based tactics with the casual “fling it” gameplay popularized by Angry Birds, Squids is a release worthy of attention. Aside from being addictively fun, casual players will enjoy the nice graphics and intuitive interface, while the seasoned gamers will appreciate the customization options and the challenge of getting all the stars on each level. That said, I did feel the game a wee bit difficult towards the end; it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the devs make it more casual-friendly by perhaps adding several difficulty levels.

With this I declare Squids officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: SquidsDeveloper: The Game Bakers
Reviewed Ver:1.2.2Min OS Req:3.2
Price:$1.99App Size:174.60MB
  • Intuitive controls
  • Nice graphics
  • Good customization options
  • Original blend of tactics and fling mechanics
  • A bit too difficult in later levels

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