by Staff Writer
November 9, 2010
OverviewThe battle of the stick figures is back with StickWars 2. The original Stick Wars was the first castle defense game to make it to iOS devices, but is based off of Defend Your Castle which came a little bit later to the App Store. The first Stick Wars was released in April 2009, and a lot has changed in the App Store in that time so a sequel was necessary, but how does it compare against stiffer competition?
FeaturesThe game has the same endless style as the original, and many of the same features. Your main weapon is your finger to fling enemies into the air. You can upgrade your castle walls, and add archers, repairmen, and wizards to your arsenal in the same way you would the original Defend Your Castle flash game.
The GoodStickWars 2 picks up where the original left off giving you classic castle defense on a touch screen device. Your main action is flicking the screen to rid the battlefield of enemies. As you progress you earn money to upgrade your castle with archers, wizards, and repairmen so you can handle the larger and stronger waves of stick enemies. Just like the original the game is very challenging as you have to flick with quite a bit of force to kill enemies. Also the upgrades aren’t the easiest to come by as earning money is a slow process in terms of how much the upgrades cost. The enemies damage your castle quickly so you need to keep them off it as much as you can.
The BadStick Wars 2 isn’t very different than the original, and that’s a big problem. When the original was released it was the only Castle Defense game in town, and competed pretty well when Defend Your Castle made their iPhone version. Now though, when you think of a game like ZombieSmash or Knight’s Onrush this really pales in comparison. The gameplay is so repetitive and simplistic in comparison to quite a few other more complex castle defense games. You can only flick enemies so much, and the wizards and archers act on their own accord. Newer castle defense games often up huge arsenals of weaponry so it’s not just mindlessly flicking the screen. The artwork is slightly improved, but it’s still rough around the edges of the stick figures. It looks archaic to most recent iPhone games, and doesn’t even have the highly polished doodle style like many doodle games. The death animations aren’t very complex, and that can be the most satisfying part of seeing the destruction at your fingertips. The game is endless with no concrete objectives and incentive to keep going. Also the game lacks online high scores and achievements for alternate incentives. Now the game does offer differences from the original like new types of enemies, and new animations, but nothing major enough to warrant purchasing the game over the currently free original. Even the flick controls don’t work as smoothly as they should. You’ll need to try to flick some enemies a few times for the game to recognize your action. This can be especially costly because of the difficulty of the game even on normal difficulty.
The VerdictStickWars 2 is very similar to the original which has some good, but mostly bad. The game is just inferior to most recent castle defense games in almost every regard. The gameplay is just so repetitive and monotonous with no incentive to keep going in the endless fashion with lackluster polish on simple art design. StickWars 2 is not worth it no matter the price. That’s not to say it’s a bad game, it’s just there is a higher standard presently in the App Store. There are simply better choices in the App Store for castle defense, and this game has its own fair share of problems. If you’re intrigued by this game in particular try out the original that is free right now. All in all it makes sense as the original developer didn't make the sequel
John E. Hartzog
Defend Your Castle