Game Reviews


Star onStar onStar onStar halfStar off

Most of us remember the Amiga era fondly, waxing lyrical at every opportunity about the games we played in our bedrooms when we were still young and happy.

But as intrepid retronauts discover to their cost every day, when they actually go back and play the 16-bit 'masterpieces' of their youth they come away disillusioned. Video games, relying as they do on rapidly evolving technology, don't always age well.

Battlesquadr1 was a well-regarded shooter during the golden age of 16-bit computer games. Should it have been left to rest in peace, or is it worthy of the reincarnation developer Cope-Com has given it? Let's find out.

There’s too many of them!

Whilst you can jump straight into BattleSquadr1's balls-to-the-wall dogfighting if you like, there's a story to set the scene.

The planet Terrania is about to be invaded by the evil Barrax empire. Two commanders carrying vital information have been taken hostage onboard a Barrax Nova Crusier, leaving Terrainian forces exposed and in need of a hero.

That's you. Travelling in a low-flying craft, you have to glide vertically through the game's battlegrounds taking down as many ships, bases, and bosses as you can along the way.

I need a hero

You can control your ship in one of three ways, though only one of these will give you any chance of survival. The default method is simple. Touch the screen and drag to move your ship around while an endless stream of bullets automatically fire out.

The tilt-to-move option is too inaccurate, and the D-pad option only lets you travel in eight directions, meaning it gets a little fiddly.

I will survive

One wrong move and you lose a precious life. Lose them all and it's Game Over. If you find yourself in a sticky situation you can press a special 'missile' button to clear the screen a limited number of times.

There are also four varieties of basic weaponry, though surviving long enough to get to use them may be a big ask.

BattleSquadr1 is hard. Hard enough to put some people off. There's a lot to be said for a stiff gaming challenge and the satisfaction of overcoming it, but Battlesquadr1 is in danger of taking it too far.

This isn't helped by the perennial issue with all touchscreen shooters to some extent - your finger partly conceals the action.

Cope-Com has promised that a two-player update is on the way, and this would add more depth and replay value to this tough-as-leather shooter. As it stands it’s a fundamentally solid slice of nostalgia. Retro purists will love it, but more casual gamers will struggle to cope with its 16-bit era difficulty.


Whilst its insanely steep difficulty level will alienate many, there's enough bullet-dodging action and excellent retro polish to ensure the hardcore will be satisfied