Game Reviews

Space Squadron

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| Space Squadron
Space Squadron
| Space Squadron

Being a spaceship pilot may sound like an incredibly cool job, but I'm prepared to bet it's probably a wee bit dull when you get down to the daily grind of it.

In that respect, Space Squadron gets it right on the money. As a game, unfortunately, it's slow, lumbering, poorly explained, and frustrating to infinity and beyond.

Nowhere near light speed

The premise is promising enough. You get a top-down strategy affair in which you control the patterns your crafts fly in, while taking aim at just the right time to send enemy ships crashing out of the sky.

You might be thinking that sounds like Steambirds in space, and it sort of is, although nowhere near as polished.

Despite having mastered the art of defying gravity to lift off from their planet surface, the ships move at a pace that glaciers would term 'sluggish' and suffer from continent-wide turning circles.

The result is that you spend an awful lot of time waiting to get anywhere. This would be dandy if Space Squadron weren't hugely difficult to begin with, yet from the get-go dying is all too easy.

Space to grow

It's an unpleasant combination of slow pacing with the enforced repetition of performing the same moves over and over again that make Space Squadron, at the very least, a slow burner. But a very slow burner at that.

The controls, meanwhile, aren’t intuitive – it’s very easy to have your ships flying backwards (which you won’t notice until you try shooting), for instance – and the game’s tutorial is disappointingly flimsy and confusing.

That said, the missions themselves are a varied bunch, with plain dogfights, escort missions, base attacks, and more thrown into the mix… so, if you can get on with the basic gameplay, there is a generous amount to see and do.

Star Gazing

You won't be bowled over by the technicalities – the graphics are functional, if a bit on the small size, and the sound is sparse – but there is a decent game buried in here somewhere.

It's just a shame Space Squadron tries its hardest to keep it a secret by hiding the fun behinds layers of impenetrable gameplay trappings.

For the few that click with the game, there's quite a bit to get your teeth into, with ten lengthy missions to fight through, but it's too slow and fiddly to be of much interest to the rest of us. The title may draw you in, but the grinding reality will soon have you exploring other options.

Space Squadron

A decent idea let down by snail-like pacing, fiddly controls, a poor tutorial, and a punishing difficulty curve
Alan Martin
Alan Martin
Having left the metropolitan paradise of Derby for the barren wasteland of London, Alan now produces flash games by day and reviews Android ones by night. It's safe to say he's really putting that English Literature degree to good use