Late last year we reviewed MiniSquadron, a 2D, side-scrolling aerial combat game that we thoroughly enjoyed and was a hit with our readers. Developers MrFungFung have followed up their original title with a content-rich sequel, MiniSquadron Special Edition [AppStore].
Gameplay in the new MiniSquadron Special Edition is identical to that in the original game, so instead of reiterating what we originally reviewed, we'll just cover what has been added.
Primarily, the fee structure has changed. MiniSquadron Special Edition is now a free to download game, offering the first two levels for free and including the remaining 6 levels in the form of 3 separate level packs for $0.99 each. Each level contains waves of progressively harder enemies that you must defeat to continue. Essentially this adds to the same $2.99 price of the first game, but it should now be more accessible to those who never got around to giving the original MiniSquadron a try.
Content-wise, there are a whopping 50+ new aircraft to unlock, which also introduce the helicopter to your squadron ranks. As expected, the helicopter can hover and brings greater manoeuvrability and control. More than that though, it changes up the gameplay you're more than familiar with by now and gives a fresh perspective on how to tackle each of the 8 new levels. MiniSquadron Special Edition also features 2 new power-ups, Freeze and Rapid Fire (which can both be used against you, too) and are rather self-explanatory. Also included is a new fireball weapon-type that is unlocked for certain aircraft.
As in the previous version, the handcrafted levels are all individually themed (you can take your dogfighting into space to fly amongst aliens, or to the arctics to play with penguins) and really present a terrific backdrop to the frantic flying action. There is still a Classic mode (which offers waves of individual challenges per level) and a Survival mode to play through. MiniSquadron Special Edition also allows for Network play via WiFi.
We're a bit disappointed that our biggest wish for the first version hasn't been provided. There is no online multiplayer, and network play is restricted to 1 v 1 battles only-- overlooking the opportunity for this game to really shine by offering dogfighting between several players at once.
If you are a big fan of the first Minisquadron, then MiniSquadron Special Edition will be an obvious must-buy for you. The gameplay is identical despite the new additions, so essentially you're purchasing additional levels and a large number of new plane unlocks. We're sad that there is no expanded multiplayer functionality, as it would have offered something fresh for those that had their MiniSquadron fill in the original title.
This doesn't seem to have discouraged our forum readers though, who are already expressing their enthusiasm for the sequel on our forums.
App Store Link: MiniSquadron Special Edition, Free (With 3 In-App Level Packs for $0.99 each).