iPhone dogfight!

MiniSquadron is a 2D aerial-dogfighting game with a cute, cartoony vibe and lots of frenetic arcade action.

MiniSquadron is a 2D aerial-dogfighting game with a cute, cartoony vibe and lots of frenetic arcade action. The game uses a simple two-sided interface: you shoot with a touch-screen button on your right, and you steer with a virtual joystick on your left. You can bounce off either side of each scrolling level (performing a convenient Immelman turn), and if you fly up too high, your plane stalls--forcing you to turn back into the stall to keep from crashing. Play progresses through eight levels (which you unlock as contiguous "countries" on a map), with multiple, increasingly difficult waves of attackers.

What makes MiniSquadron so much fun is its wild, battle-royal combats, with arrows indicating off-screen enemies and rapidly moving health power-ups. You fight a huge range of foes--all with different tactics and capabilities mixed into each wave--and you choose from more and more unlockable aircraft (out of 56 total), each with different armor, speed, maneuverability, weapon type, and more. You end up flying everything from basic fixed-wing shooters to jets that sport guided missiles, lasers, and even a panda head for a cockpit. Finding the best aircraft to take on a particular mix of enemies takes some experimentation, and sometimes you have to replay earlier levels just to unlock more planes. You can play in normal mode, an infinite-enemy survival mode, or in a one-on-one duel mode over Wi-Fi.

If you're looking for a flight sim, MiniSquadron isn't it, but if you want a fast-paced arcade shooter with an increasingly complex armada of aircraft, then this app delivers a lot of fun and replay value.

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