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Cartoon Wars: Blade Review (iOS)

Our new reviewer Ryan Thomas McDonagh goes to war!

Cartoon Wars:Blade is the latest in a series of stick-figure action games by Zenonia developer, Gamevil. The games have gathered a huge following on both iOS and Android devices. As a newcomer to the series I was interested to see why it has become so successful and whether or not a fast-paced action game could be enjoyable on touchscreen devices.

The game’s story continues from the previous installment , Cartoon Wars. However the premise is paper-thin and the few cut-scenes Cartoon Wars: Blade has are only there as padding between levels. It is not important to have played the series before.

The player is tasked with defeating a wide variety of cleverly designed enemies ranging from floating ice skulls to walking gun turrets. After every level you are rewarded with gold and crystals; these are used to buy new weapons, armour and to upgrade their abilities and statistics. Speaking of which, there is a large number of each to purchase from the game’s item shop – you are going to need these!

The game boasts an unlimited number of levels as well as 20 Dungeon stages which are all short and action-packed. I was dubious about how controls would work on such a small screen, however I needn’t have been. Gamevil got the controls spot on. The analogue stick is unobtrusive and the action buttons are intuitive. I’d go as far to state that Cartoon Wars sports the best controls of any touchscreen game I have ever played.

Enemies become stronger and more difficult to defeat as you progress through the game and the screen becomes more populated and hectic – this caused slowdown on my Ipod 4G. The only way to conquer the opponent is to constantly upgrade equipment and stats; this is initially interesting but becomes a chore later in the game where grinding is required to make any progress. Cartoon Wars rewards the player with crystals and gold for every level they complete, dungeons offer a larger amount but this is still not enough. Gamevil has included a microtransaction model where the player can buy gold and crystals if they don’t enjoy grinding but are willing to pay to get ahead. It became clear that this was the only way to see the end stages of the game.

Cartoon Wars: Blade, although simplistic graphically, is a good looking game. Levels are varied and interesting to look at but become repetitive due to the unlimited number of levels the game has. Enemy design is varied and you will encounter ghouls, stickman samurai and even fire-breathing chickens. Music and sound effects are nothing special and are repeated throughout the game, however this is not too distracting.

For the price Cartoon Wars: Blade represents great value for money. It is addictive and has a surprisingly large amount of content. It is however not without its flaws. The action becomes slow when there are a lot of enemies on screen which happens often. Microtransactions seem to be the only way to complete all of the dungeon levels. I can’t help but feel that the game was intentionally designed to be unbeatable without additional purchases. Despite these issues I would recommend the game to anyone looking for a cheap timewaster that is easy to pick up and play.

7 fans of fun stick fighting out of 10

Published inReviews