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Squids Wild West Review
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Squids Wild West, the follow-up to The Game Bakers’ cephalopod-flinging adventure, is now available from the app store. Featuring a variety of characters in distinct classes, strategic gameplay, and an evil goo to vanquish, Squids Wild West builds upon the original’s solid foundation and makes for an even more enjoyable experience.

Squids Wild West Pros:

  • Terrific underwater cartoony presentation
  • Soundtrack fits the overall theme, providing catchy backdrop
  • Controls are intuitive and responsive
  • Nice variety of characters, hats, traits, and special moves for strategic gameplay
  • GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements

Squids Wild West Cons:

  • Navigating menu system can be a little confusing
  • Can feel a bit repetitive; judging fling distance is not easy

Squids Wild West is a turn-based RPG at heart, presented in a very approachable way. A mysterious black goo is turning mild-mannered sea fauna into evil beings. It’s up to our heroes and a few friends we meet along the way to defeat any creatures affected by the goo to prevent its spread and restore peace to the land. Each of our characters is rated on a number of attributes, which can be improved upon by purchasing new hats with pearls collected in-game. Better stats means a better chance of staying alive and wiping out your foes in bulbous-head-to-bulbous-head confrontations. There are dozens of levels spread across 5 environments. Each level pits your team against a number of baddies in turn-based play.

You move/attack by pulling back on the active character, releasing to slingshot him forward. There is a finite amount of power that can be expended by each squid per turn, and pulling back on the squid will gradually use up this power. Judging how much you’ll need to position the squid properly or reach an enemy is important, as is leaving some power to put distance between yourself and nearby enemies at the end of your turn. Each enemy type has additional powers, such as the shooter’s ability to fire a ranged shot at enemies or the scout’s ability to dash. There are special items placed around the levels that can replenish power or increase damage done to players. Smart use of these items can also go a long way toward helping you to earn all 3 stars per level. Stars are earned for escaping without losing a team member, using the target number of turns or fewer, and finding the hidden star in the level. There are even seahorses available in the stables to use when riding into battle, a fun new touch.

Graphically, Squids Wild West has a very similar style to the original, providing a beautiful underwater world in which to compete and distinctive looks for each character. They have a bit of a cartoonish feel that adds to the light-hearted nature of the game. A good sense of humor is evident in the story filler provided between levels, as well as the quirky text that cycles on the loading screen, indicating the various tasks that the characters are performing while you are waiting. The soundtrack has a Western-theme, as does much of the dialogue. Controls are tap- and drag-based, giving you good control over the characters and allowing you to snag pearls with a quick tap. You can also swipe to pan, tap your character bubble to return focus to the squid, and pinch to zoom in and out. Controls are responsive and intuitive, making gameplay a breeze.

Replay value is good, as many levels will require repeated attempts to snag all three stars and grinding may be necessary to earn some of the higher-end items. GameCenter integration brings global leaderboards and achievements into the fray, as well. A universal app with iCloud syncing for an introductory sale price of $0.99 (regularly $1.99), Squids Wild West is a solid 4-Dimple sequel.

Squids Wild West Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2012-07-05T23:50:08+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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