App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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The entire concept behind Chroma Squad makes so much sense that I'm surprised no one really thought of it sooner. The whole game lets players manage a team of sentai superheroes (think Power Rangers) in their quest to make an entertaining television show. The result is a turn-based strategy game that–while simple–has a ton of heart and charm.
Go Go Chroma Squad
As a game about making a sentai show, Chroma Squad has you build a team of five costumed heroes who perform martial arts and pilot a giant robot to protect the world from evil. Instead of pretending all of this action is real though, Chroma Squad presents your actions as stunt fighting that is being filmed to create an entertaining TV show.
So, even though a lot of the action in Chroma Squad is centered around turn-based strategy combat, you don't just fight to win, you fight to entertain. This is measured in the game through an audience meter, which can increase or decrease whenever a member of your team does something. It's a really neat system that forces you to approach fights a little differently than you might in other games.
Between fights or “episodes” in Chroma Squad, you can spend any money you've earned from your audience on upgrades. These consist of things like improved costumes, new marketing partnerships, and upgrades to your studio. All of these things can help you either win fights, gain audience members more easily, or give you more money per episode.
It's a wacky upgrade system that's pretty fun, though it does take some getting used to. Chroma Squad doesn't do a particularly good job of guiding you through how all of its management mechanics work, and some of the menus even have visual bugs that can make using them an extra hassle.
The real draw for Chroma Squad is its crazy plot setup. There's a charm to the characters and writing that makes going from episode to episode a pure delight. There's also a certain satisfaction in beating up a boss with your sentai crew and then launching into your mecha to finish them off.
That said, Chroma Squad isn't the most sophisticated turn-based strategy game out there. Your crew's abilities and upgrades are always pretty limited, which translates into a lack of options in combat. Although every episode may have its own challenges for you to gain viewership, they are not nearly as interesting to complete once they start being recycled.
The bottom line
I am no particular fan of sentai, but Chroma Squad pays such a loving homage to the genre that it's hard for me not to like it. As a strategy game, it doesn't show off a bunch of new tricks, but the way it repackages aspects of the genre still makes it feel fresh and exciting.