Cartoon Wars - Gunner (Updated!!)

Now, here’s a surprise; Cartoon Wars - Gunner is about as addicting as Crack laced, nicotine infused, Red Bull spiked, triple chocolate expresso. Dark roasted.

I wasn’t expecting the game to be so much fun. It’s just a bunch of stick figures running around, after all. No hi-tech 3D graphics, no super colossal quadraphonic stereo sound, no enhanced Bluetooth and WiFi multiplayer death-match mode, and barely a drop of simulated blood is spilled. Just a large playing field, the ability to move your little stick guy all over that field, hordes and hordes of bad guys, and weapons. Lots and lots of weapons. And that’s what makes this game so much fun.

Your stick guy starts off with a lowly bow and arrow, but in the lower levels it is adequate to dispatch the waves of sword wielding, teeth gnashing, dagger poking, gun shooting, beak pecking baddies. After each battle, win or lose, you gain gold for the malnourished miscreants you’ve sent to bad guy heaven and you can spend that gold on upgrades to whatever weapons you currently possess or buy new, more powerful weapons. It’s a tough choice because upgrading adds new features, some enhance the weapon’s range, power, and shooting speed while others give your emaciated alter ego the ability to heal or rain down a variety of Biblical-like smiting on the unsuspecting enemy swam. Meteor storms, lightning, and other spells help clear the field when it gets a bit too crowded.

Back to the weapons: Upgrades can turn that lowly archery set into a stick-lethal, rapid firing arrow launcher that can take down nearly any baddie given enough time and enough arrows. Of course, it isn’t just shoot, shoot, shoot.

Well, ok, it is just shoot, shoot, shoot, but there’s some strategy thrown in as well. Stand still and your weapon shoots faster, straighter, and with more power, but running keeps you from getting stabbed, chewed, or pecked to death. Also, some weapons overheat after lengthy use and you can only equip your guy with three at any one time. You can switch out which weapon he shoots with while on the run, so you can use the bazooka, for instance, to take out some tough characters then switch to the arrows for the easier ones.

There are options that let you adjust sound and what not, and the user interface is easy to use. Controlling your stick guy does take a bit of getting use to. He can shoot forwards and backwards even while running (Except with the bow and arrow. He has to stand still to shoot it.)

There is one annoying thing about Cartoon Wars - Gunner that I’m at a lost as to why its maker, Blue GNC, haven’t fixed.

You MUST manually save. If you get a phone call, text message, or interrupt the game for any reason and you haven’t saved, tough. All that cartoon carnage and weapons upgrades you may have done since your last save was for nought. All gone. If you ignore the call the game will continue where you left off though. If you start a new game your entire old game is lost. There should at least be an option to save one old game. Just remember to save often and you’ll get by.

Still, I can’t fault Blue GNC for keeping the game simple because it is that simplicity that makes it so darn addicting. I’m now at a level where my guy can use a samurai sword. Great for close up work, but the bad guys are especially lethal at the level I’m on. Thank goodness I have the laser rifle.

Cartoon Wars - Gunner is near perfect. It’s challenging, fun, and just right for those few minutes you have to waste while standing in a line. The only thing keeping me from giving the game my highest rating is the lack of an autosave feature. As it is I Highly Recommend* that you download this game and buy a bottle of aspirin for the aches you are going have in your thumbs tomorrow.

Update: Blue GNC just released an update (version 101) to Cartoon Wars - Gunner that partially addresses my save-game complaint. Now, if you get a call or quit the game unceremoniously it let's you pick up where you left off when you come back. You still need to manually save the game to be sure you keep your progress, but the "quick save" addresses the most glaring problem I had with the game.

The update also spruces up the controls, making them a tad easier to use. And they changed the game music. In all, not a bad update. I would still like the be able to start a new game without deleting my old one, but that's a nit and not worth withholding my highest rating. Cartoon Wars - Gunner has moved ever so close to perfection and is a steal for US$0.99. I suggest you GET IT NOW* before they raise the price. 

Review ItemCartoon Wars - Gunner
ManufacturerBlue GNC
List Price
Street Price
Minimum Requirements

iPhone or iPod Touch

* Note: My rating system goes like this;

  • Get it Now! - Highest rating and an absolute must-have
  • Highly recommend - Minor flaws, but a great product
  • Recommend - Flawed, but still a solid product
  • So-so - Problem product that may find a niche market
  • Avoid - Why did they bother making it? A money waster.