Squadron is a fast-paced arcade shooter for Windows Phones that sends you to the depths of space to defeat a host of enemy spacecraft. The game reminds me of the classic arcade games such as Galaga with a dash of more current games such as Impossible Shoota.
The Windows Phone game has plenty of upgrades to give your ships a little pep in their step and plenty of gaming levels to fight your way through. Controls are simple and a little on the unique side. All totaled, Squadron is a fun time waster of a game for your Windows Phone (which includes low-memory devices).
Squadron's main menu offers up options to jump into game play, access the game's settings, options to share the game and visit the developer's Facebook page along with viewing other games from Magma Mobile. You can also tap on the envelope icon in the upper left corner to contact the developer with suggestions or concerns.
Settings are fairly straightforward with options to mute the sounds, turn on/off vibrations and choose your control methods. Squadron has two control settings that include Enhanced and Normal. Best I can tell the difference in the two settings change the touch sensitivity. I could not see any noticeable difference in the two control settings.
Game play is spread across three worlds. Each having clusters of levels that increase in difficulty levels. You start the game out defending the world of Charon and face ten levels at the easy difficulty and work your way up to an extreme difficulty.
The mechanics of Squadron are simple. You begin play with a squadron of four ships, each with unique weapons systems that include:
- A powerful laser that clears a path in front of the ship
- A laser that shoots bursts in three forward directions
- A laser that shoots six bursts around the ship that will seek out targets to destroy
- A spiral laser that is shot from the front of the vessel and spins up the screen destroying everything in its path
You can only control one ship at a time and do so by tapping/holding the screen. Weapons fire is automatic and movement is controlled by sliding your finger around the screen. Release the hold on the screen and the game pauses.
When the game is paused, you can tap the icons that line the bottom of the screen to switch ships. The game can get a little intense and I like the ease in which you can pause the action should you need to catch your breath. When paused, you can tap the "pause" button that appears to pull up a menu to exit game play or restart the level.
Enemy ships fly into your field of fire from all angles and come in a wide variety of shapes and strengths. You will not only need to dodge and destroy the enemy ships but also their weapons fire as well. It takes a delicate touch to weave between enemy fire.
If things get a little frantic, there is a bomb icon in the upper right corner of the screen that can be used to destroy every enemy ship on the screen. Upgrades will randomly drift down the screen that can be collected to give your ships a boost in firepower. Each weapon system can be upgraded three times.
Each gaming level is one of survival. There isn't a progress meter available, so you simply battle the armada of ships until the game informs you that you have completed the level. The more ships that survive, the higher your score and you will begin the next gaming level with your full complement of space crafts.
Squadron is an enjoyable Windows Phone arcade game. I like the simplicity of the gaming controls and the fast pace of the gaming action. I would have liked to have seen a progress meter in place to give you an idea how much longer the onslaught of enemy ships will last, but its absence is not a deal breaker.
Graphics are nicely drawn up and while the game is ad-supported, the ad banners are not present during game play.
While there are plenty space based arcade shooters available in the Windows Phone Store, Squadron is a quality addition to the genre. The touch controls and squadron based play does help Squadron stand out a little from the pack.
The game scores a 4.5 Star rating in the Windows Phone Store, which is about spot on for the space arcade game. If you give Squadron a try, let us know what you think of the Windows Phone game below in the comments.