The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron
You know I really have to “hand it" to HandyGames, as they are responsible for some of my very favorite premium games on mobile. Games like Battle Chasers: Nightwar, Sine Mora, and Titan Quest HD. Generally their output has consisted of ports of games by other developers, but this week they’ve added another gem to their library and this time it’s one of their own self-developed titles, Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron ($1.99). This is the sequel to the original Aces of the Luftwaffe which launched on mobile way back in 2013 and eventually found its way to console and PC, and was remembered mostly for being entirely average. Not bad per se, just not remarkable. Well I don’t think you’d find anyone on Earth willing to say that about Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron.
The first thing to note is that Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron plays in landscape orientation, which is different from the norm on mobile. It makes sense seeing as this was designed for consoles and PC originally, whereas the first game was designed for mobile first and plays in portrait. The other thing to note is that there are only two control schemes, and both of them are off-putting at first and take some getting used to. One is a touch anywhere virtual stick and virtual buttons scheme, which I’m finding I prefer the most. The other is one where your plane will follow your finger anywhere you drag it on the screen. You can adjust how far away your ship is from your finger in the Options so you don’t completely cover it up with your fingertip, but I still found this control scheme too obtrusive and favor the virtual control scheme instead.
In terms of content, Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron is hard to beat, especially compared to most typical shooters that only offer a handful of levels. There are two full campaigns, the regular one featuring the heroes and, because this is the Extended Edition, the Nebelgeschwader campaign that was originally released as DLC and lets you play as the “bad guys." There are multiple skill trees for all your pilots that allow you to level up and upgrade your abilities, and there are multiple goals for each level giving you reason to play and replay every level to master it. The stories of both campaigns are fully voice acted and this is probably as close as I’ve seen of a full RPG squished down into a shoot ’em up package.
As long as you are pretty adept with touchscreen controls, and you should be if you’re reading this website, and you enjoy a good shoot ’em up with TONS of stuff to do, I can heartily recommend Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron. Strangely the game doesn’t appear to support physical controllers, which is weird because it was originally designed for physical controls, so be aware of that if that’s a major requirement for you. But judging the game itself, Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron has blown me away in terms of content and how much personality it has, so it’s definitely one to check out for shooter fans on mobile.