148Apps Network Post
Developer: IM Games Co., Ltd.

Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

For whatever reason, the popularity of iOS games gave birth to a whole sub-genre of games with rudimentary stickmen as characters. These “cartoon” games come in all shapes and sizes and they span all types of genres. This particular example is a mixture of the tower defense and real time strategy genres, and though it puts itself squarely into the “cartoon” game camp, the characteristic stickmen aren’t really part of the experience.

Space Wars casts players as the defender of planets in peril, faced with advancing waves of enemy ships. Unfortunately, there isn’t much narrative to parallel the gameplay, and players are pretty much on their own as far as figuring out the subtleties of the mechanics. It’s not clear whether or not this was a conscious decision on the part of the developer or due to the difficulties of translating to English, but game is often confusing and suffers from a lack of purpose.

In each level, the players must protect a planet at the center of the screen by deploying different types of spacecraft around the planet. These space craft fire upon enemy ships that enter their range as they advance on the planet from the outside of the screen. However, the units can’t move and cannot be moved after they are deployed. Resources are required to build units so players must also deploy mining units to mine asteroids and build their reserve of resources. It’s an intriguing mesh of tower defense and real time strategy, and with a well balanced approach it has the potential to be a really enjoyable mix. This just isn’t true in the case of Space Wars though. The game has a distinctly throw-together feel and it’s difficult to tell if the units are tactically really any different from one another in a way that would make any kind of strategy possible. Enemies come in from random directions, and the fact that units can’t be moved makes it more of a guessing game than a tower defense game.

This game has some promising ideas and if executed well, it could have been a hit. Unfortunately, the result just isn’t that fun to play and is often more frustrating and confusing that it’s worth. The cute, cartoony visuals are a nice touch, but it’s not nearly enough to make this game recommendable.

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