Developer: BLUE GNC
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 100
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Fans of the first two Cartoon Wars games know what to expect out of this entry into the series. The core gameplay is back in spades. Protect your base from hordes of all forms of demonic enemy. Do it with your own, simply drawn host of warriors. As you play, you’ll use money to make your army better.

New to the game are individual heroes that players select and develop over time. Heroes have their own mini-missions before the castle defense quests begin. It’s there that players will take control of their pros and take to mowing down the special forces of the enemy. Move around with a virtual d-pad and shoot in any direction. It’s an extremely basic mechanic that becomes a little too habitual. Players will get used to it and these segments turn into a complete grind given time.

If the stuff described above sounds familiar to you, then you probably played the spin-off of the original Cartoon Wars, Cartoon Wars: Gunner. Cartoon Wars 2: Heroes is essentially a combination of the first title and the game born out of it. The tower defense and the gunning missions come together to form a unique package that provides a ton of content for fans new and old. The only gameplay complaint that stems from the fusion is that the gunner missions have been stripped down and made a bit too simple.

Perhaps the hybrid of the two titles is where the developers ran into trouble when it came to designing this game’s menus. They’re a bit convoluted and confusing. This series has never been blessed with smart interface design, but the move to blend two different games into one only worked towards further slicing and dicing the menu system. At points, it can be a complete mess.

The story of this game is a bit of a toss up. Told through the stick figure style cutscenes, it’s a bit too rudimentary to be taken all that seriously. It never stands in the way of the addictive gameplay, but it’s never exactly the driving force that the folks behind it potentially meant for it to be.

The grinding nature that rests at the core of the game is both charming and a little discouraging. For players looking to settle into a methodical experience, Cartoon Wars 2 is a solid choice. But for those that hate bearing down on repetitive gameplay, this one won’t feel so hot. The rewards are well worth the effort they require, it just takes a certain type of player to find enjoyment in this type of game.

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