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Cartoon Wars is the latest iOS port from Gamevil. It's a fairly simple yet sometimes brutally challenging castle defense game with a cool cartoon art style. It's not really the best castle defense title out there, but the appealing aesthetics and the fact that it's free have made it an extremely popular download. There's no harm in checking it out, despite it not being paricularly strong.
So you've got this castle, see? And your job is to keep the troops from the castle across the field from murdering your castle by murdering theirs first. There's apparently some kind of backstory, where the colorful and evil looking cartoons had enslaved the black and white stick figure race of cartoons, and eventually the stick figures revolted. I wasn't expecting moral lessons on prejudice and equality from this game, but there it is!
So anyway, as you sit there and do nothing, you'll slowly build up mana, which is used to train and send out your troops. You can upgrade your mana generating statue to increase the maximum amount and generate it faster. You also gain some mana from each enemy soldier that you destroy. Should you find yourself with no mana or troops, you also have a rapid fire crossbow on the top of your castle with unlimited ammo. It won't get the job done, but you can aim it and use it to tilt the battle in your favor.
After each battle, you'll be rewarded with lots of gold and some forging stones, which I'll just call rubies. Gold is used to upgrade your troops statistics, but the rubies are used to unlock new kinds of troops, as well as "evolve" each class into its stronger and more powerful version. The swordsman pickup spears, and the ninjas start breathing fire, that kind of stuff. There is very little choice really. You'll pretty much have to upgrade everything in a certain order to remain successful, otherwise the game becomes cripplingly difficult. Actually, that happens eventually anyway, but you can lessen the blow. You can, of course, buy extra gold and rubies through in-app purchases if you really want to, but you shouldn't have to spend extra money just to win.
The aesthetics and music are all great. The game runs a little bit choppy, though I don't know If that's just how it was animated or what. I really wish there was a fast forward button. I often already sent out an unstoppable force that's going to win no matter what, and I just had to sit there and wait for a minute or two. It can get tedious. This game is fun, and done well overall, but If a few things were tweaked, it would be far, far better. It is free and all, so give it a download and see what you think.