Feb 18

Lately I’ve been playing Squids on the iPad (also available for the iPhone).

It’s a turn-based strategy game that centers around bouncing your good guy squid into ooze-covered crustaceans for combat damage. It’s similar to Angry Birds in terms of the fundamental play mechanic — you pull back rubber-band style, and send your character flying into stuff to make it go poof.

Screenshot - Squids for iOS

It starts off with a bit of a treasure-hunting-gone-terribly-wrong plot, starring a cast of likable cartoon squid characters. It’s not much in the way of challenge, but it makes up for it with charm in spades.

This is the kind of game your kids will love, and you’ll probably like it too.

Screenshot - Squids for iOS

I first heard about Squids through the Indie Game Music Bundle I wrote about a few days ago. My big draw to that project was the five headlining downloads available for $1, but I figured a freakin’ boatload of music for $10 wouldn’t hurt. (I still haven’t even listened to all of it yet.) Squids was one of the soundtracks at the $10 threshold and when I finally got around to listening to it, it blew my mind.

The soundtrack is bright and fun, and reminds you of the best songs from The Little Mermaid in all the best ways. The sample quality is excellent; some indy games have to scrimp on the hardware behind the tunes and you can usually hear that. This soundtrack wouldn’t be at all out of place at an A-list amusement park attraction.

The characters in the game grow in power as you spend the pearl currency you collect through your sustained excellence to buy them new helmets and level them up. You don’t need to over-strategize your squids’ accessories: helmets’ power is “transfered” to the character permanently, so the hat you wear ends up being cosmetic.

Screenshot - Squids for iOS

If you’re looking for a fun little game to mix it up from the iOS standards, you could do a lot worse with your $2 than Squids.

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