Back in July I had the pleasure of welcoming one of my favorite shooters of all time, Cope-Com's excellent Battle Squadron, into the App Store in the form of a native iOS port of the original Amiga game. Today I'm happy to bring news of a new, lower-priced iPad-only release of the title featuring two-player, split-screen action and Game Center achievements as well as an update to the original, universal release.
The new iPad-only release, entitled Battle Squadron ONE 2-player [App Store], allows two players to face off on the same device, thanks to a new split-screen, portrait play mode that lets you and a friend share in the action (for those equipped with a friend). In this mode, each player is able to choose their own control configuration, and gameplay is as smooth and fast-paced as it is in the one-player mode. What's more, two-player network gameplay is planned for a future update.
A number of other improvements have arrived in this new release, as well. The game features 36 Game Center achievements and a new super-tough "Air Commodore" difficulty level (get it?) with a particularly intense level ending. Cope-Com has listened to player feedback and has tweaked every control mode and rolled-in a new one. The main user complaint was that it was "tedious" to have to move a finger all over the entire screen to control the ship. To address this, a drag control mode with 2x the movement vs. finger rate was added (with the original 1x control still available). Additionally, the joypad and tilt control modes have been adjusted to allow movement in all directions (analog) as opposed to the earlier release's 8-way (digital) movement.
While the iPad-only Battle Squadron ONE 2-player is indeed a new release, the original, universal version of the game has been renamed Battle Squadron ONE [App Store] (from BattleSquadr1) and has inherited all of the enhancements that the new iPad-only release brings, plus the ability to run on both the iPhone (one-player only, right now) and the iPad, natively. What's more, Cope-Com has lowered the bar on the minimum-spec supported devices, bringing support for the iPhone 3G and 2G iPod touch. An important distinction to iOS gamers just walking into this situation is that the iPad-only release is priced $1 less than the universal version.
As I've indicated in the past, Battle Squadron is perhaps my favorite scrolling shooter of all time. The Amiga version is superb, and the iOS version has been excellently translated. With this release, there's even more goodness to be had. I can't recommend Battle Squadron ONE highly enough to any iOS gamer out there.
And, my Amiga-using brothers and sisters, note the little bit of goodness pictured down in the corner of the options screen. We've mentioned it here before, but it's a happy reminder -- the precursor of Battle Squadron, the Amiga scrolling shooter Hybris from Cope-Com, will be arriving in the App Store sometime next year. Stay tuned!