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iPhone/iPad review of the day: Doodle Wars 2: Counter Strike Wars is like stick-figure StarCraft

On iPhone
Game:
Doodle Wars 2: Counter Strike Wars
Price: $1.99 / £1.19
Size: 14.7 MB
Get it now on the iTunes store: US / UK

On iPad
Game:
Doodle Wars 2: Counter Strike Wars HD
Price: $0.99 / £0.59
Size: 17.6 MB
Get it now on the iTunes store: US / UK

Judging by the name alone, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Doodle Wars 2 is just another cartoony, desktop tower defense-style strategy game. But it isn’t. It’s more like a simplified StarCraft II with a Nickelodeon makeover.

You’ll start the game with a home base and a bit of gold. Only a tiny bit of the map will be visible, and from there it’s up to you to proceed however you want. You’ll be able to create miners who can harvest diamonds, giving you much needed cash. This cash can then be used to buy new buildings and units, from additional miners to actual soldiers. It’s a pretty standard system, but it works well.

But much like Cartoon Wars 2, what makes Doodle Wars 2 stand out is just how over the top it is. Eventually you’ll be playing on a screen filled with tanks, planes, and pools of blood from fallen soldiers. It’s mayhem, but if you’re playing right, it’s controlled mayhem.

It will take a lot of work to get to that point, though. Doodle Wars 2’s main flaw is that it provides almost no instruction. You’ll need to figure out everything on your own. You’ll also have to spend quite some time getting used to the controls, which aren’t exactly optimized for a touch screen. You can only scroll around the level by touching the tiny map in the lower left corner, and selecting individual units can be very difficult, especially when they’re in a crowd.

But if you’re looking for some adorably violent, strategically challenging action, it’s worth adjusting to the game’s quirks. When the action ramps up, Doodle Wars 2 provides large scale, addictive, and challenging battles that will inevitably flatline your phone’s battery.


Above: The iPhone (top) and iPad (bottom) versions for comparison.

Jan 14, 2011

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