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Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder Review


See PixlBit's Review Policies

On 01/20/2012 at 12:00 PM by Nick DiMola

It's not the "worst game ever" but that certainly doesn't mean it's good.
RECOMMENDATION:

If you're interested, get it on your mobile phone.

Finally joining the WiiWare ranks, Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder has earned something of a reputation thanks to its unique marketing spin. Sarcastically referred to by its developers as “the worst game ever,” Paper Wars doesn't quite fit the bill. Don't mistake that to mean that Paper Wars is actually good – it's not. Like many of WiiWare's recent offerings, Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder would be better served as a free Flash game in your browser, made specifically for wasting time at work.

To make up for the low investment gameplay, Paper Wars is absolutely packed with missions to complete. Three full campaigns are available, each offering a slight riff on the gameplay of the classic adventure mode. Even still, the game mostly hits a single note across all of the various quests.

Controlling a reticule on screen with the Wii's pointer, you must defeat enemies advancing toward the left side of the screen from the right. You'll do this by charging shots and strategically placing them so the blast radius consumes the marching soldiers. The longer you hold the button, the larger the blast radius will be when your shot makes contact with the paper battlefield.

Winning is typically a matter of defeating a set number of troops without letting a certain number cross into your base territory (like a tower defense game). Other missions will task you with defending the base for a set amount of time; either way you'll be blasting enemies as quickly as possible.

To shake things up, various power-ups will drop from defeated soldiers. Some will cause an instant explosion when clicked, others will change how fast you can fire, but you mustn't set off explosions near these power-ups lest they be destroyed. In the Cyber Wars quest, you'll have to correlate your shots to match the colors of the enemies, which adds a bit more complexity to the standard formula, making quarrels a bit more hectic.

Like the recently released, Zombii Attack, Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder is an extremely shallow experience that won't hold your attention for long. By no means is the game as atrociously bad as Zombii Attack, but it's poorly placed on WiiWare. The smart phone iterations of the title will provide the biggest bang for your buck because you can boot them up whenever and wherever to waste a bit of time with some mindless fun. As it stands, it's unlikely anyone would bother booting up their Wii to drop shells on some paper soldiers.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

Comments

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

01/20/2012 at 12:39 PM

Was this originally a Cellular release?  It seems like it would be better suited to the Iphone or Android than Wii.  

Nick DiMola Director

01/20/2012 at 03:28 PM

I don't know if it was originally, but it is on the iPhone/iPad. As you mention, it's better suited for that platform and for that audience.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/22/2012 at 02:46 PM

Oh, man, I used to play paper wars with my friends in school all the time. We made our games really elaborate, with troop carriers, tanks, and nukes (read: really big pencil dots). I've often thought that a video game version could be a lot of fun, but this game doesn't seem to execute on the idea properly.

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