With games like Angry Birds recently exploding with popularity, developers are realizing that at the core of any good game are solid mechanics that keep the action flowing. Grip Games, a developer of iOS and Android apps, has decided to follow the trend of other app developers by releasing their popular game Mini Squadron onto the Playstation Network. The colorful and quirky graphics blending with some downright fun gameplay propel this one to soar above the rest.
The essentials needed to become a popular "casual" game consist of some traits that many people seem to overlook. Firstly, the mechanics of the game have to be undoubtedly more solid than even some AAA titles because games like Mini Squadron don't have the flash or polish to make gamers unaware of any downfalls in the gameplay department. Secondly, and more importantly, there needs to be an obvious progression and flow to the entirety of the game. What Mini Squadron does best, in my honest opinion, is the inclusion of unlocking ships for longevity and scattering power-ups through each map for an added strategic standpoint to the game.
The basics of Mini Squadron are crisp with the controls being smooth and the basic gameplay elements being enjoyable. This plays like most side-scrolling shooters except the particular feel of controlling a plane is very obvious and a welcome change. You'll duck and weave in and out of various enemies and their sometimes crazy gunfire. The whole setup makes it very easy to jump into Mini Squadron and enjoy yourself. You may find yourself dying at certain points of some levels and this is where the power-ups come in.
There are a nice amount of power-ups scattered throughout the levels that range from weaponry to added help with airstrikes and the like. You will definitely need to use these if you hope to have any chance of completing the whole game.
The whole look and feel of Mini Squadron is what you would expect from this type of title. The graphics are very quirky and the enemies are ridiculous. Knowing that you'll be unlocking new crafts to decimate your foes is a nice incentive, and the controls only assist in keeping the continuity of the game alive.
I for one am ecstatic that games like this are being brought to PSN Minis because these are the exact type of games that you can jump into for a little while if you're bored or just looking to shoot something. The fact that you can play this on your PS3 and then carry it along with you on your PSP only sweetens the pot. So if you're looking for some good, wholesome plane flying carnage, you should definitely pick this one up. You won't be disappointed in the least.
[Mini Squadron] – $1.99 (PS3/PSN Mini)