There’s certainly no shortage of endless high score games in the App Store. Whether you’re seeing how high you can jump in the sky, how far you can fall down, or how long you can run to the right, you’re pretty much covered on the iOS platform (though curiously, I can’t think of one single game where you run to the left, but I digress). The newly released Squid Drop [99¢] from developer Nor Eagle is of the falling downwards sort, and although the concept is dead simple I’ve actually been enjoying it quite a bit due to its variety, excellent control, and adorable main character.
In Squid Drop, you’ll move your squid left and right by sliding your finger across the screen, avoiding hazards as he dives deep below the sea. Since you’re diving down, your score is calculated in negative numbers which can be sent to an in-game online leaderboard. Occasional bubbles can be collected which temporarily protect you from all objects in the game while simultaneously doubling the score you earn. There’s also coins which can be picked up for an additional bump in your score, though making a dash for coins can often result in an accidental death, so there’s a certain risk associated with your greed.
Visually the game is very attractive with simple silhouette-style characters against different color backgrounds. The tune that plays during the game is also undeniably catchy, but what I really like about Squid Drop is that there are a ton of different level types to play. One level has you avoiding enemies that rapidly swim up in your direction, another has you collecting keys to unlock previously impassable barriers to progress. It seems like every time I think I’ve seen it all, the game throws a new style level at me, and it really adds variety to the core gameplay.
The thing I do not like about this, however, is that high scores are based off of your best runs out of all the level types. Inevitably, some levels are easier to get higher scores in than others, and ideally there would be separate leaderboards for every game type. Also, while there are in-game leaderboards and achievements, it would be nice to have actual Game Center support to add some more weight to these features. Finally, I'd like to be able to choose any of the level types separately in addition to the random mode the game currently employs, so I could practice certain levels without having to wait for them to be chosen for me by the game.
Despite a couple of minor negative points, Squid Drop is a really enjoyable game. The nice silhouette style of graphics is simple but effective, and for what is essentially a black blob with eyes the little squid in the game oozes personality. The controls are also spot on, allowing for precise movements through some of the trickier passageways in the game. As a funny bonus, one of the monsters in the game is named after everyone’s favorite TouchArcade editor Eli Hodapp, and it’s striking just how well they nailed the look of Eli in the game.
Squid Drop won’t set the App Store ablaze as the next fully featured console-like game, but it offers a good dose of simple fun if you’re looking for a new high score time waster, and the players in our forums have been enjoying it as well.
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