by Felix Xiao
October 25, 2010
OverviewThe last time a conflict arose in the cartoon kingdom, Captain J defeated King K and exiled him from the country. However, only a short period of peace later, the king is back to take what was his to start out with. After gaining the support of a powerful monster king, Telos, King K puts a full out invasion into effect in a whirlwind of stick figure mayhem.
FeaturesCartoon Wars 2: Heroes is split up into 6 acts, each of which includes contains several battles. There are 2 game modes that are featured as the campaign progresses. Every level has a battle mode where you send units to the right side of the screen in order to destroy the enemy base. You are also equipped with a cannon-like object that you can use to shoot bows at charging soldiers. After completing the level on battle mode, you can play hero (gunner) mode and use a movement pad and fire button to kill enemies. The game has 80 land and air units, 20 skills, and 10 base properties that can be upgraded. During battle, units costs mana, and stronger troops will require greater amounts of points. You also get to choose one of 6 heroes to use during hero mode, each of which has 6 attributes that can be improved. The game has many missions but doesn't require you to complete them all. However, playing through the optional ones will earn you a nice sum of gold that can be used to make units stronger.
The GoodCartoon Wars 2 provides an insane amount of content and customization, primarily in the number of units available. The game lets you do what you want and develop your own strategy to attack. Levels get much harder as you move on into the later acts, but the fact that you keep all gold upon death guarantees that you'll complete it sooner or later. Most of the game uses touch controls, but optional tilt controls are included that allow you to move to different parts of the battlefield. There are plenty of polished castle defense games available, but Cartoon Wars 2 adds a level of depth unseen in any game except its predecessor. Hero mode takes you into the action and lets you move around with a gun, trying to kill a set amount of enemies and stay alive for extra gold. These short periods of unique gameplay are very fun and allow you to take a break from constructing units. During battle mode, you can shoot bows at oncoming stick figures with available energy by aiming a cannon. This once again adds another element that puts the game at the top of the castle defense genre. Gameplay is fast paced, and ignoring anything will likely result in defeat. Enemy soldiers are constantly moving towards your base, so you have to construct units to hold them off. You also have to make sure to level up your mana so that you can produce more troops in the future. If you do go and try to shoot some bows, the enemy front will push forward quickly. The graphics are nice for the game's theme, and the storyline isn't half bad either.
The BadProbably the most noticeable of the errors in the game are the spelling mistakes and lack of wordwrap that make reading the instructions a nightmare. First off, the title of the game shown at the menu spells "heroes" as "heros", although the description of the game says otherwise. In tutorials and menus, other grammar mistakes are present as well. During each of the game's instruction pages, words are cut off at the end of the screen and make it much more difficult to understand. The cannon bow weapon in battle mode is difficult to aim and shoots continuously once you fire it. The button to tap in order to cease fire is slightly unresponsive, and the fact that the cannon will fire several more shots before it completely stops makes the entire process confusing. Air units are only available from act 4 for some surprising reason, which makes you feel like you're not getting the full experience for the first 3 acts. The graphics are exactly the same as the ones from the first Cartoon Wars, without much improvement or changes. What will probably make many people upset is that the game doesn't include a gunner survival mode. This feature was very popular in Cartoon Wars - Gunner and is completely missing right now. The developer has announced that the endless mode will be making its reappearance in a future update, as well as another surprise mode due for mid-December.
The VerdictThis game has many things to love, especially its abundance of units and its fast paced strategy-action blend. Although it does have its setbacks, most of the current issues will probably be addressed in an update soon. If you enjoyed the first Cartoon Wars or castle defense games in general, then this one should be pretty fulfilling. Cartoon Wars 2: Heroes is one of the better castle defense games available and is worth it for $0.99.