Arc Squadron is a space shooter title just recently released on iOS that’s very similar to Nintendo’s Starfox: You’re put in a ship, guided along a series of directed levels, and asked to take down everything in your path while dodging bullets and picking up powerups. We’ve seen a few similar apps on iOS before, but this is the best one so far. The graphics are clear and colorful, the controls are simple but allow for a fair amount of precision, and while the story isn’t much to get excited about, everything in the game is portrayed clearly and well. You can watch my playthrough of the tutorial and the first level below, and that will probably tell you everything you need to know about how this game works.
The one drawback for most gamers is that Arc Squadron could be seen as a little pricey — it’s US$4.99 for a universal app, and it doesn’t help at all that the game is propped up by a really unnecessary freemium-based currency system. That’s a misstep, in my opinion, and the devs should have stuck with just the in-game currency rather than offering it for real money as well. But I’d argue that this game is a perfect example of a higher quality App Store offering that’s worth the money. With lots of different levels to play, really great graphics and well-made gameplay, this one’s worth the relatively high price tag. Pass on that muffin and coffee next time you’re at Starbucks and pick up this game instead.
If you’re still not convinced, Arc Squadron also has a free version available, with just two levels and a boss battle to play. By the time you finish that one, you’ll know if you’re ready to take on the rest of the universe.