Squids has been described as a hybrid of Angry Birds and Final Fantasy Tactics and I can’t think of a better comparison, it seamlessly blends physics based gameplay with a tactical RPG structure and is delivered with a strong storyline that compliments the comic of the same name, also available on the app store.
Gameplay couldn’t be simpler, moving your team around involves slingshotting them around with stretch and release gesture similar to Angry Birds, attacking is the same, simply aim your squid at the enemy and release and special attacks are activated just by tapping the target. Each Squid has unique stats and levels are attained by purchasing with pearls, found both in game and at the end of levels by earning stars. There are 4 classes of squid, each with its own special attack and specific strengths. Playing through the story, you unlock additional characters which eventually gives you the chance to create a unique team to your style of play. Additionally, you can give your squids stat boosts by giving them hats, found throughout the game, this also allows you to customize the look of your team.
Squids is visually outstanding, the characters all have a unique style and attitude and look just as they do in the comic series. The level design and background graphics are very well designed, you really get the feel of being on the ocean floor, barriers and enemies are clear and distinct and theres a good range of environments and enemies. The sound effects are bubbly and lighthearted and the music is a very subtle tune you barely notice but ties in well with the underwater theme.
The campaign has 21 stages to play through but that’s not where it ends, the next chapter in the story is now available and can be purchased from in game. Additional content has also been added, after completing the story campaign, you can play through the bonus levels which offer a variety of subplots, as well as additional characters and equipments to use. You’ll also find a couple of short comic strips to give you a taste of the full length comics, and these are delivered quite well.
This is a universal app and plays just as well on the iPhone as it does on iPad, visual quality and loading times don’t appear to be affected at all and overall app stability is very solid, the entire time I played Squids, I had no force closures, though it did once freeze on the loading screen. I did have a slight issue with a couple of Game Centre Achievements not being awarded but this should be easy for devs to address.
Overall, Squids is an entertaining experience with an engaging story. While its easy to play, it can also be quite challenging in places as well, there’s a good level of content with the option to expand on the story. I’m quite taken with this title, it takes too vastly different genres and combines them with class, well worth a look, I’m giving Squids 5 stars and now, I’m off to download the next chapter.