Category: Turn-based strategy game
Seller: The Game Bakers
Requirements: iOS 3.2 or later
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
File Size: 175MB
Version Reviewed: 1.2.1
Age Rating: 4+
Squids is an underwater action game with spineless heroes. Really, they have no spines. Neither do the bad guys you encounter (but that’s because they’re crustaceans).
You start with three main characters searching for new places, treasure and adventure. The maps/levels are not very large—only about 3 or 4 screens worth—and limit play to certain areas and corridors. To move your characters around you tap and pull their tentacles away from the direction you want them to dash. I guess it’s a good thing they are spineless because it makes them nice and stretchy. You have a limited amount of energy per turn; the further you stretch your tentacles the farther you dash (you don’t hear that every day…), but you also will use more of your allotted energy.
When it comes to fighting the baddies, the game may give you two options for attack. There is a special attack which presents itself as a spinning circle of silhouettes. By tapping your opponent you can stomp and do some serious damage, but you have to be in a certain range to be offered this attack. The standard attack is to simply stretch back your tentacles (that’s twice in one day!) and fling yourself at the enemy.
Keep yourself alive and collect treasure along the way. At certain intervals, you will be offered the chance to spend you booty on upgrades to your characters’ abilities and equipment. There is even a feature to spend real money to buy game pearls to spend on these upgrades. There are plenty of special attacks, features and gadgets to keep you busy for days.
Watch your health points on Vahine; she has the ability to bump into your other characters and heal damage (if you’re into RPGs, she’s the cleric, so protect her as a critical resource). Different characters have different special attacks, so don’t forget to take advantage of different abilities. There are points in the game where you will encounter currents (indicated by a stream of bubbles). This can help to propel you further while expending less energy or send you off in a direction you don’t necessarily want.
Beware of the holes and unbound edges of the playing platform, as you can fall through which means the character is out for the level. Also, there are urchins that will do damage if you bump into them. These can work to your advantage if you manage to fling yourself at an opponent and knock them into an urchin…extra damage!
Squids is a really neat game. The graphics are pretty nice, even with a pallet of mostly blues and greens (not a lot of red or yellow in the ocean, really). You have to be careful to center your touch on your character to pull your tentacles (three times!) or the game may not recognize you are trying to move. That is about the only oddity I noticed in the game play. The background music is light and doesn’t get annoying or attention grabbing; it just helps to unobtrusively create mood and give the ears something to do while you play with your new squishy friends for a while.
There are enough things to discover and acquire for your characters that this game can easily keep you busy. It definitely gets my vote for the next plane trip.