ARC Squadron, a gorgeous new arcade shoot-‘em-up from Psyonix, is now available from the app store. Featuring beautiful graphics, smooth gameplay, upgradeable ships/weapons, and an intuitive and simple control scheme, ARC Squadron offers fantastic gameplay in an equally pretty package.
ARC Squadron Pros:
- Gorgeous graphic style, smooth animations, and frantic gameplay
- Soundtrack and sound effects are terrific
- Controls are simple to use and intuitive, requiring drags and taps
- GameCenter integration provides several leaderboards and an achievement system
ARC Squadron Cons:
- A little simplistic and repetitive
- Requires high-end devices for stability
You control a single ship representing the only hope in a galactic war, tasked with taking out all enemy ships that you encounter. Your ship automatically fires its primary weapon when you line up your aiming reticule with enemies in the foreground. You have a secondary weapon that fires a homing missile at any enemy that you tap on. This weapon has a required recharge period before you can fire it again. Most enemies don’t engage you, but a few can fire back, causing damage or even temporarily disabling your ability to shoot. In addition to enemy ships, you’ll also need to avoid meteors that stream toward you and collect health pick-ups and bonus boxes to boost your score. Collecting the boxes in order will also increase a multiplier for better scores. At the end of each of the 64 levels in the main campaign, you are evaluated on the percentage of enemies destroyed, boxes collected, and health remaining at the end of each level. Money is awarded to you, which can be used to purchase new ships, weapons, and skins, or to upgrade those that you’ve already purchased.
Graphically, ARC Squadron takes advantage of the Unreal Engine to provide a visually impressive experience, with sharp graphics, smooth animations, and lots of action. There are a number of different environments to navigate, keeping the visuals fresh. Your health meter and score appear at the screen top, and your secondary weapon’s recharge meter is integrated into the aiming reticule. ARC Squadron plays like an on-rails shooter, forcing you to act quickly and prioritize your targets lest they pass you by. There is a good mix of standard levels and wormholes, with the latter leading you through claustrophobic tunnels occupied by large meteors that prove challenging to avoid. The soundtrack is upbeat and fast-paced, matching the game’s intensity well. You control the ship by moving your finger around the screen, pulling off defensive barrel rolls by quickly swiping to one side or the other.
Replay value is very good, as you can go back to previously-completed levels to earn more money or pick up any of the level’s 4 possible stars that you may have missed the first time through. Boss battles also provide a fun diversion from the typical levels you’ll encounter. GameCenter integration offers a bunch of leaderboards to compete on and 5 dozen achievements to earn. Three difficulty levels also allow you to tailor the experience to your own comfort. A universal app for $4.99, ARC Squadron is an exciting 4.5-Dimple adventure.
ARC Squadron Review,