December 15, 2011 | Andy Boxall
Cope-Com, the developers behind the arcade hit Battle Squadron ONE, has just released version 2.0 of the iOS game along with a brand-new edition for the iPad. Battle Squadron ONE was reviewed back in July and awarded 5/5.
So what’s in the new version? A total of 36 Game Center achievements have been added, along with an even tougher difficultly level named Air Commodore, which if you’ve played the Squadron Leader level, you’ll understand just how much of a challenge it’s likely to be!
Additionally, the controls have been given an overhaul and a second, even more sensitive touch system has been added. Like all games that require a deft touch, choosing the right control method is a matter of personal preference, and the original touch controls still feel just right. However, because it’s down to the player, the more options the better.
Battle Squadron ONE is a universal app for the iPhone and iPad, and the final new feature for version 2.0 is a two-player split screen mode on the tablet. Battle Squadron on the Amiga was at its best when played with a friend, and this is an interesting adaptation.
But how do you adapt a two-player system over from a game played on the TV, to one operated by touching a 9.7″ screen? Cope-Com’s answer is a clever one. The screen has been split down the center, with each player getting one half to view and control their ship; and because you face each other to play, the amount of screen real-estate has been maximized.
You still see your friend’s ship whizzing around next to yours and although you can play together or against each other, but it’s always more successful when you team up against your common foe. In the brief time playing the two-player edition, it’s safe to say none of that former magic has been lost.
If, like me, nobody around you really cares about two-player retro shoot ‘em ups, and have to be plied with chocolate to have a go, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the next version of Battle Squadron with have an online two-player mode included.
Anyone who doesn’t own an iPhone can now purchase a standalone iPad version, which includes both the single and the two-player game modes. The universal app is priced at $3.99/£2.99 and the iPad edition at $2.99/£1.99.
Standby for a review of the two-player mode early next week.