Medieval-style tower warfare and machine guns: Two great tastes that God never intended to go together, but can mate happily thanks to the magic of the iPhone and the App Store. Cartoon Wars II: Heroes combines the tower defense and real time strategy of the original Cartoon Wars with the running and gunning of Cartoon Wars-Gunner. The two ideas admittedly don’t click together as cleanly as Lego blocks, but when you take down your first dragon swarm with an automatic weapon in each hand, you probably won’t notice.
Cartoon Wars 2: Heroes tells the story of Captain J, who kicks the ink-colored King K out of his kingdom. King K and his pals search for the ultimate monster, Telos. Presumably, they find him, because the displaced monarch suddenly finds the manpower and resources to launch a full-scale attack on Captain J the usurper. Thus begins several dozen epic battles.
Quit doodling and pay attention!
Cartoon Wars 2: Heroes is 75% tower defense and 25% action. You choose a hero to lead your troops (you can buy more as you earn gold), though it’s mostly your troops who will be getting their thin little stick hands filthy with blood. You start off with very basic warriors: Spearmen, rock throwers, and swordsmen whose blades are little better than a kitchen knife. As you win battles, you gain gold, with which you can hire stronger, faster troops. In time, you’ll have the means to hire the flying, horse-riding variety of warrior that you’ll need to go up against the enemy’s soldiers, dragons, hellhounds, and giant war chickens.
True to the tower defense genre, victory against your enemies in Cartoon Wars 2: Heroes involves deploying an endless stream of troops. Troops cost mana to deploy, which fills up constantly as the battle rages. The stronger the warrior, the more mana it costs to send on the field. Larger, more skilled warriors cost more mana, and require more of a rest period between deployments.
And then there’s your tower. If you don’t defend it, it’s game over. You have an upgradable ballista at your disposal, which will be vital when the enemy comes too close for comfort. However, aiming the ballista is tricky, and you might end up slaughtering your front line along with the bad guys.
Robots vs. dinosaurs: the battle that never should have happened… but did.
Cartoon Wars 2 gives you the option of taking on the role of your hero after each battle (and sometimes before) as part of an action sequence that has you mowing down King K’s army with guns. These interludes are, as previously mentioned, a touch out of place, but undeniably fun. Particularly if the monsters you shoot tend to trouble you on the regular battlefield. Your reward for victory is gold, and, in some instances, a head-start on your enemies in the next battle.
Cartoon Wars 2 offers six lands to conquer, each with several individual battles. There are 80 units to acquire and experiment with, and you’ll never get bored; the game moves fast. Too fast, in some cases. Re-adjusting the ballista for the shot you need takes your eyes off your troops, which is an open invitation for the enemy to eat you alive. You will lose, especially at first–but you keep the gold and experience you earn even after death.
Navigating your way around the game is complicated by spelling mistakes and a lack of word-wrap. Really, the game is pretty heavy on instructions, which are necessary for victory; what excuse is there to not employ word-wrap?
Fortunately, Cartoon Wars 2 teaches you best after you’ve fallen down a few times and scrambled back up to try again. For a tower defense experience with a unique spin, enroll in the 100% justifiable Cartoon Wars.