Back in January we heard the excellent news that Cope-Com would be bringing an exact port of their classic Amiga shooter Battle Squadron to iOS. Originally released for the Amiga in 1989 (arriving on the Genesis / MegaDrive the following year), Battle Squadron is widely considered one of the very best Amiga shooters ever released and is probably my personal favorite 2D shooter of all time. And, I know Arnold Kim spent plenty of time with this one on his Amiga 500, as well.

Since the original announcement, I've previewed several pre-release builds of the game and have loved every minute of it. I'm happy to report that, at long last, Cope-Com released the Universal application (for iPhone and iPad) Battle Squadron ONE [link] into the App Store. And, any self-respecting shooter fan (of a retro bent or no) needs to take notice.

At its core, Battle Squadron ONE for iOS is an exact rendition of the Amiga original; it is a line-by-line C/C++ adaptation of the original 68000 assembly code. The game features four scrolling level environments, huge numbers of enemy craft, 24 different weapons (four types with six power levels each), Nova Missile smartbombs, four powerful end-bosses, and three different levels of difficulty. Three different control modes have been worked into the iOS version: direct touch (at both "Amiga speed" and "keep up with my finger speed" modes), tilt, and virtual joypad. Game Center integration and daily leaderboard updates are there, and a simultaneous two-player mode is coming in a free update.

Have a look at Cope-Com's gameplay video, with co-creator Martin Pedersen narrating. A longer demo that I captured of a recent, pre-release build of the game can be seen here.

To ensure solid performance, the developers have limited Battle Squadron ONE to iOS 4 and the iPhone 3GS, 3rd-generation iPod touch, iPad or better.

Amiga Computing magazine, way back when, gave the original Battle Squadron a 109% review rating. I was thrilled with my $40 purchase of the game in 1989. Battle Squadron ONE, at $1.99 USD, is excellent gaming, folks. Do not miss it.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • hippiefahrzeug

    it's beautiful. with all the music. a trip down memory lane.

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi hippiefahrzeug, Great to hear you like Battle Squadron ONE. Much appreciated :-)

      • Anonymous

        Hi Martin, Thanks for the great port of Battle Squadron ONE. Also, many thanks for your kind, informative comments in this comment section. It's marvelous to see developers that truly care about their users. It shows you're not just in it for the money, but that you are a true Amiga fan who loves to share the classic experience on new devices with fellow Amiga fans. Any plans for Android and WP7? Thanks again!

      • Martin Pedersen

        Hi Newera77, Thanks for your feedback. Very nice to hear :-) After making the 2-player version of Battle Squadron ONE we will decide what the next step will be. We are naturally considering other devices, and also converting Hybris :-) 

  • Ahamling27

    I don't get how this could run on an old ass amiga but they can't get it running on an iPhone 3g? I just don't get it...

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi Ahamling27, This should definitely also be possible. To not delay the release we however decided to get it out on the newer iOS 4.0 devices first. We will do our best on 3G... I agree it should work...

  • http://twitter.com/teknikal69 P Allen

    Strange I had an Amiga and literally hundreds of the top games and I can't remember this one although there is a familiar look about it. That's not to say it's not a good game though I might give this one a chance and see if it triggers any memorys.

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi P Allen, You might have missed it... even with hundreds of games... As I recall there were thousands... ;-) Hope you will give the iOS version a try :-)

      • AmigaVeteran

        No one should've missed Battle Squadron.  It's a seminole shooter, right up there with Xenon 2 and Blood Money.  Now, where's Hyrbis?? ;)

      • Martin Pedersen

        Hi AmigaVeteran. Thanks for that :-) Hybris is not forgotten. After making the 2-player version of Battle Squadron ONE we will decide what to do next. Other devices... or indeed Hybris ;-)

  • http://kodea.gotdns.com Nuno Maia

    No freaking way.
    My fave Amiga shoot-em-up on the wrong platform :)
    This game was an underrated classic.
    Finished it. Loved it. Co-op also excellent.
    Analogue controls!

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi Nuna Maia, Thanks for posting your voice. And very happy to hear Battle Squadron is your favorite shoot'em up on the Amiga :-) I fully respect that you prefer to leave it at that... joystick controls are hard to beat...

      • http://kodea.gotdns.com Nuno Maia

        The beauty was this game could be played with mouse :)
        and its Nuno :)
        I then did a ProjectX killer for Ocean which did not get released (Ocean was going down fast)
        Timing is everything in games... and life :)

      • Martin Pedersen

        Hi Nuno, Sorry for the typo on your name in the first post. Things were a bit hectic yesterday on the release date ;-) The mouse controls on BS for Amiga were actually primarily set up so that owners with just one joystick could still take advantage of the 2-player mode... i.e. using the mouse for player 2 :-) Sorry, to hear about your coding experience back in the days. This happened quite often back then. I used to say that "all the companies I worked for went bankrupt"... all 3 of them in fact... and within less than a year of our releases ;-)

  • RS200

    Bought it - and love it! ... 5*'ed it too :-D
    .. I bought this at £22.50 for the Amiga (still have it!) so at £1.19 I didn't have to think twice.

    I'm pleased there is a cadet mode though cuz you know ... jeez! - this is hard :-) think my reactions are not quite the same as when I was a 18 year old Amiga freak. But really, well done ... this is a joy to play - with so many control options I find it hard that anyone will complain about that. Super job .. love the full screen mode too!

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi RS200, Thank you for your post... and 5* rating :-) With 8 months making the original and 12 months for the iOS it is very nice to hear. A great part of that time was spent on the controls. And thanks for mentioning the full screen mode as well... also cost a bit of hard work... and you are the first one to mention it ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/delfrate Bruno Del Frate

    An absolutely magnificent conversion, for of one of the best Amiga shooters ever created. Congratulations to the developers! :-)

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi Bruno, Thanks for that... very happy to hear our hard work paid off :-) We have done our best to port this Amiga classic to iOS in the best possible way...

  • mnemo

    Finally! Just bought it. After cracking it on the Amiga more than 20 years ago. ;-)

  • mnemo

    Finally! Just bought it. After cracking it on the Amiga more than 20 years ago. ;-)

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi mneno, Hmmm... cracking it. Well I guess it is one of the things that has kept Battle Squadron alive for so long ;-) Happy to hear you bought on iOS :-)

      • mnemo

        Gah! It's still as difficult as it was back then! :-) Excellent conversion, though.
        I can't count how often I listened to the music in the past 20 years. Is it emulated on iOS, re-programmed or a sample?

      • Martin Pedersen

        Hi again, Thanks for that :-) Yes, the music is quite fantastic... it has been part of keeping Battle Squadron alive as well. In these "modern times" we found that the simplest thing would be to sample the music... it was however "remastered" :-)

      • mnemo

        Gah! It's still as difficult as it was back then! :-) Excellent conversion, though.
        I can't count how often I listened to the music in the past 20 years. Is it emulated on iOS, re-programmed or a sample?

  • Travisr2h

    I would love to see ICade support for this title.

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi Travisr2h, Yes that would be a quite fun to play :-) In a couple of months we will determine exactly what to do with the further developement, so all input is appreciated...

  • Anonymous

    Hold on - judging by that video, it looks as though the firing is manual and non-repeating, ie you have to tap the screen for every bullet. Can that be right? If so it's a total no-sale deal-breaker, and the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

    • http://www.facebook.com/delfrate Bruno Del Frate

      Hey PopeGodzilla, there's automatic fire in the game, don't worry! :-)

      • Martin Pedersen

        Yes, but true "Squadron Leaders" of course don't use auto-fire ;-) Anyway, thanks for the clarification Bruno :-)

  • Sbgetb

    Battle Squadrons graphics kick ass. But not these menus, buttons and smudgy pixels. They suck so f. much.

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi Sbgetb, Very happy to hear you think the graphics in Battle Squadron kicks *** :-) It was tricky to match the original graphics of the game (and even making the decision whether to do so or not), so yes there may be some room for improvement. I don't know if you refer specifically to the video, but it is actually a working version we sent out (that should hopefully be updated here).

      • Sbgetb

        The in-game buttons and menus are horrible. They were already bad in the preview builds and now they look even worse...

        The same with the game icon. It's an unreadable mess with that squished title screen and glass effect on top of it. Come on, this is the first thing people look at!

        Also the name... wtf is "BattleSquadr1"? Gimme a proper name of my beloved game!

        I know that I'm not so delicate, but when I see how much work has been put into the game itself and how god it plays, It hurts me that such details spoil the overall effect so much. I don't regret paying the price at all, but really hope for some changes.

      • Martin Pedersen

        Hi again, And thanks for your feedback and liking of at least the original Battle Squadron. Most people actually prefer the new set of ingame panels and buttons to the old ones, but hey... we all have different preferences ;-) One tester also suggested we should have more pixelated buttons, which is fair enough. Overall, I think the 10+ beta-testers are happy with the look (some were not 6 months ago). The name of the game is still Battle Squadron (with ONE added). This unfortunately does not fit in text under the App icons in iOS (not if you remove ONE either), so we had to squeeze it a bit to prepare for a planned later release (in the Battle Squadron series). Sometimes things can't be exactly like we would like... also for us ;-)

  • Mario Gaida

    Hello Martin,

    thanks for the great game - loving the original and loving this one.
    Can you reveal if there are any cheats in the game? s.th. like unlimited continues, 0 points score (to not mess up the high score table)? :-)

    Greetings
    Mario

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi Mario, Many thanks... times two :-) We had a very simple cheat mode in the beta-version (could get activated by "accident"), so I removed it. But yes. We should implement a cheat mode in one of the coming updates ;-) For example when we get to the 2-player release...

  • http://twitter.com/jinchoung jin choung

    bought it.  fantastic game!  and i didn't even have an amiga (stuck with a pc xt in the bad ol days).  i'm gonna say it's the best shooter i've played on the iphone. congrats.

    but i hope you either get rid of the d-pad or add an additional control scheme of analog stick.  especially without tactile feedback, d-pad on a touch device is pretty useless because you have to look at the controls and not the action.  the analog stick in death rally is pretty much perfect imo.

    as for the touch controls, they're implemented really well and allows you to lift your finger to change the offset between your finger and your ship... genius!

    but in the review, they said that there is a way to change from "zip with my finger mode" to "amiga speed" mode but i haven't been able to find that switch.  where is it?

    anyhoo, thanks much for a fantastic game and you will be getting my five stars!  rock on.

    jin

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi Jin, Thanks... Great to hear Battle Squadron ONE is your favorite shooter on iPhone. And extra nice since you are a new player :-) The D-pad is mostly for use of "fling" and similar devices. The reference to "Amiga speed" was a touch control scheme we had in a beta-version, but that we eventually left out, since the "direct touch" functions so much better. Thanks for stars :-)

      • http://twitter.com/jinchoung jin choung

        hi marten,

        thanks much for the info.

        any plans on analog stick?  even the fling works better with analog sticks - especially since they're primarily for dual stick shooters.

        also, my finger's kinda large on my iphone so i'd love to be able to use analog.

        anyway, no big deal if no such plans are in the pipe.  great game anyway.  i just have to start not sucking!  : )

        rock on.

        jin

      • Martin Pedersen

        Hi again Jin, We actually almost included an analog stick already, due to a request from a beta-tester, but since we did not want to delay the release it is not yet in. We definitely have it on the list... it is just a matter of priorities... and there are a quite few ;-) I hope you will continue to enjoy BS ONE :-) Martin

      • http://twitter.com/jinchoung jin choung

        awesome!!! thank you much!

        STUPID QUESTION: what are those orange 'x' pickups after you blow up an enemy emplacement?  they don't seem to give you points or.... do anything.

        thanks again!  

      • Martin Pedersen

        It is actually not explained in the game what the x pickups do, so fair enough question :-) When you enter a subterranean level you will get a bonus based on the x's you collected until that point... a 1000 points a piece... so definitely worth it ;-)

      • http://twitter.com/jinchoung jin choung

        sweeeet!  thanks!

  • http://www.martindemsky.com Martin Demsky

    wow, another great Amiga classic for iOS :)

    • Martin Pedersen

      Hi Martin, Great to hear. Thanks :-)

  • Daniel M

    Now available for Android too :)

Battle Squadron ONE Reviewed by Blake Patterson on . Rating: 4.5