ARC Squadron is a unique shooter that’s quite a bit of fun. Most space style games tend to use tilt motion controls for flying aircraft, but ARC Squadron uses some well calibrated touch controls instead, giving it an edge over the competition.
In this title, there’s an evil race known as the Guardians, who are set on taking over the universe, slaughtering peaceful lifeforms and ravaging innocent planets. You and your ship piloting skills are the only hope against the enemy – can you take down the Guardians and save the universe?
When you start the app you will be presented with a tutorial that guides you through the ship’s controls. You move your finger around on the screen to pilot the ship, and swipe to do enemy-avoiding barrel rolls. This is an on-rails shooter, so your ship moves forward continually.
To shoot, you will need to line up your weapon’s crosshairs with the target, and your ship will fire automatically. This means that you need to be quick and made precise movements in order to be successful, especially as the game progresses.
There’s also a secondary weapon (a rocket to begin with), which is fired when you tap on enemies. This weapon has a recharge time and does more damage than your standard weaponry.
When you destroy enemy ships and collect cubes you will earn Arcbucks. If you earn a certain number of bucks in a particular level, you can earn a star for even more points.
Those Arcbucks that you gather are used to purchase new ship parts and upgrades, and ARC Squadron has more than six upgradeable ships and ten upgradeable weapons for you to acquire.
Shooting and dodging at the same time are important game elements, and it can get frantic when there are quite a few enemies on the screen, but gameplay is easy enough that casual players will be able to pick up this game with no problem.
Enemies are dynamic, and you will need to fight several types with different abilities. Some you simply need to dodge, but others have the ability to disable your weapons. To regain control of your ship, you need to execute special moves like barrel rolls.
In addition to great touch controls and addictive, fast-paced gameplay, ARC Squadron also has impressive graphics that are calibrated for the Retina iPad. It looks great and plays great.
There’s also plenty of content, with a 64 level campaign to play, along with 15 different challenge levels. You’ll also be able to earn Game Center leaderboards and achievements, which is always a nice bonus.
What I liked: Every level is a little bit different, and the gameplay is quickly paced, frantic, and addictive. The graphics in this game are also impressive and deserve some recognition, especially for the backgrounds.
What I didn’t like: Though this is a fun game, it does have a tendency to get repetitive because of the one touch moving and firing controls. I was not a fan of the in-app currency purchases, because this game is already pricy at its regular price of $4.99.
To buy or not to buy: If you like space shooters, ARC Squadron is a must have. It’s definitely one of the best that I’ve played, and it’s on sale!
- App Name: ARC Squadron
- Version Reviewed: 1.1
- Category: Games
- Developer: Psyonix
- Price: $0.99/$4.99