Sawbuck Gamer

Squids Wild West


Squids Wild West mines order and chaos for an authentic yet cartoonish experience.

By Steve Heisler • July 18, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

Like Shining Force (plus squids), Squids Wild West is a strategy game that teams you with a diverse party of squid fighters. One shoots from far away; one moves great distances and is good for exploring. Deliberate thought is needed to use the best squid for each job, whether it’s clearing out enemy crabs or trying to reach refuge behind a waterfall. On the other hand, Squids Wild West is also like Angry Birds or Cut The Rope, in that you sometimes blindly fling allies into the open and hope for the best. Painstaking planning meets random chance.

The result, a sort of middle ground between order and chaos, is less frustrating than it might sound. When tossing a fat squid into the middle of a group of enemies—with the ability to pound the ground and devastate nearby foes—you might knock the bad guy you’re aiming for, ricocheting it against others like a well-aimed pool ball. Or, you might knock it somewhere else entirely, perhaps against a spiky ball or an exploding lobster. The anticipation of what might happen is as thrilling as a well-executed move.

The Wild West backdrop isn’t overdone. It merely provides a bit of color to your customizable squid party, which includes characters like a Calamity Jane figure who wields candy canes like six-shooters. And much like the Wild West itself, Squids Wild West tries to maintain some semblance of order, only to have that order fall away for something more exciting.

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1,475 Responses to “iNoon”

  1. Ryan Smith says:

    This has been my go-to game while working the stationary bike at the gym this week. It’s better than Angry Birds, in my humble opinion, and I love that it almost feels like a Pinball RPG.

  2. The original was fun.

  3. DjangoZ says:

    The gameplay idea of the original game was pretty inspired…but I grew really tired of the stupid sexism and had to stop playing after a while. I wish the developers would join the rest of us in the 21st century.