It’s time to look at another EastAsiaSoft published game and this time it’s Squad Killer from developer WANZUNGDEV. Squad Killer is a 2D action platformer with a lot of challenge and a two-tone color style. It’s a very affordable game but is it worth your time?
Squad Killer is a very simple game as you’ll be battling from room to room with the sole goal being to kill all the enemies and obtain a key to advance to the next one. There are three gameplay modes included with those being the main mode, stacked deck mode, and a boss rush mode. Everything outside the main one starts off locked so you’ll have to dive into that first. The controls are pretty simple as X lets you jump, Square fires your weapons, R1 lets you fire grenades, Triangle lets you get into cover, and L2 lets you slide.
It controls pretty smoothly but I did find that trying to get into cover required you to be really precise or it wouldn’t work. There are 17 randomized levels in the main mode to play through with a boss battle occurring every five levels. Moving about the rooms and killing enemies works well but you really have to stay on your toes to avoid enemy attacks otherwise you’ll be dead and your run will come to an end. Defeated enemies drop health at times along with coins which you can collect to buy upgrades like being able to do more damage, increase your fire rate, gain more health and more. The downside to the upgrade system is that you can only buy them every few levels and what’s offered to you is random. That means if there if nothing that you really want then you could end up playing for awhile before you actually upgrade yourself the way you may want to.
When you unlock the other two modes you can try them out if you’re seeking a reason to keep playing. Boss rush mode says it all as you’ll be pitted against the six different bosses in the game but will be forced to do so without power-ups. The stacked deck mode gives you seven random power-ups to use in your run.
The visual design in Squad Killer is simple but the retro pixelated sprites do have a charm to them. My big issue with the visuals is that things can get a bit too busy on-screen and it can be hard to make out things. The game has music that you would expect from a retro game in the 80s but it isn’t varied enough and gets a bit repetitive. With this being a game from EastAsiaSoft the trophy/achievement hunters out there will at least find it appealing as you can get all 13 trophies pretty easily. If you know what you’re doing you can add this Platinum to your collection in under ten minutes.
Squad Killer is a challenging action platformer game that is affordable but doesn’t do a lot to stand out. Some may be turned off by the difficulty and the heavy emphasis on randomness. You can go a long time in your run without finding upgrades that you want or have a run ruined by a very difficult room. If you’re up for the challenge and have a few bucks to spare give it a whirl, you’ll at least get some easy trophies/achievements along the way.
*Squad Killer is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 4 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.