Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Caveman Wars constantly feels like it’s on the verge of extinction. Given the amount of systems it juggles simultaneously, it’s impressive that they come together half as harmoniously as they do. However, their union isn’t quite strong enough to fully stave off the eventual collapse.
Caveman Wars is sort of a tower defense game in that players need to fend off waves of invaders from stealing resources at the home base. However, instead of letting towers handle all the grunt work, the player’s role here is much more hands-on. They must manually search the screen for enemies and launch attacks by tapping in their general direction. By holding down on a group of foes or swiping up and down the screen with two fingers, players can also activate widespread attacks and special moves respectively. The amusing paper cut-out art style makes these onslaughts feel like knocking over a bunch of toys.
Considering how often the massive mobs come, that part of the gameplay alone already gives players a lot to manage. However, what they should really pay close attention to are the cards determining what attacks are available. During each round, players maintain a hand of three attack cards and one spell card typically giving stat boosts. One must know what card works best against which enemy, like saber-toothed tigers’ weakness to ice. But that’s not all. Every card will also eventually expire, reducing attack options until players replace it with a new one. The deck at the bottom of the screen randomly offers a new card to swap in, but for a limited time only. Upon seeing that a good card is available, smart players should seize the opportunity and bring it in instead of waiting for a card already in play to run out. After matches, players can buy new cards with the coins they’ve earned. Meanwhile, the deck automatically incorporates the strongest, rarest cards collected while dropping the weakest so there’s no need to worry about deck-building strategy.
With so much going on though, Caveman Wars quickly descends into chaos a little too often. Between finding enemies, trading in cards, and using attacks, the vast amount of frantic tapping leaves little room for finesse. But for those with the reflexes for it, at least this is an inventive take on both card games and tower defense.