The scope of Squid Drop is deceiving. In the game, you control a silhouetted squid plummeting through various undersea environments. All you have to do is slide your finger across the screen to direct the squid left and right to avoid the obstacles. Like all of the best casual games on the App Store, it’s simple, intuitive, and fun. Many games would stop there, but in Squid Drop that’s just the beginning.
We’ve played dozens of similar high score games, like Doodle Jump, Canabalt, and Blue Hole, but what Squid Drop does differently is that it gradually expands as you play. At first, all you have to do is avoid ledges that rise toward you as you fall. Soon collectibles are added that give you extra points or invincibility and point multipliers. Before long you’re put into new environments, with different styles of architecture and new background colors. Then come the enemies.
What big eyes you have.
This additional content is impressive because it’s unexpected. The game doesn’t have a traditional level set-up, where you progress from one environment to the next in a linear fashion. Instead, when you push the Play button, you never know what level you’ll be put in, or what new elements they’ll add to the game. It gives gamers plenty of reason to keep playing, particularly because some of the most inventive, fun levels are unlocked later in the game.
That said, it would be nice if there was an option to pick which stage you play on. Some levels are more difficult than others, so your ending score depends largely on which level you’re placed in. Also, don’t be surprised if you occasionally find yourself in a situation where, because of the random level design and enemy placement, it’s nearly impossible to get out alive.
Like in all the best high score games, when you die your score gets shuttled to an online leaderboard, where you can see how your Squid Drop skills stack up against the best players in the world. If you’re anything like us, looking at the leaderboards is not reassuring. But even if you’re not a pro, the achievements and ever expanding content will give you a sense of accomplishment.
Squid Drop is a highly polished, simple, surprisingly expansive high score game. And the music is terrific. So you’re into this kind of thing, give the game a shot. At the very least, it’ll tide you over until they release a new skin for Doodle Jump.