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Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder

iFun4all, the developers behind Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder, bill it as the worst game ever made. This is a brilliant strategy. Not only does it stand out in a crowded industry, but it also lowers players’ expectations before they dig into a title that reveals its simplicity instantly. Going in, you expect something that may barely work at all and instead are treated to a boring take on tower defense.

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Unlike the typical entry in the tower defense genre, Paper Wars puts players into the turret of one of the towers. From the right come hand-drawn enemy troops seeking an unseen objective to the left. Enemies, generally infantry and vehicles drawn on scraps of paper, are incinerated en masse under the slow-but-steady shells of the player’s cannon. On occasion, power-ups that improve the cannon’s firing speed or land mines that obliterate whole squadrons will appear on the field.

Power-ups are susceptible to being blown up by careless firing, which helps keep players engaged in what is otherwise a very simple game. If you aren’t concerned with the power-ups, you can literally just bomb the same two spots on the screen over and over again and win a good majority of the challenges featured over the three campaigns. There are additional difficultly levels, but most players should expect to cruise through it on normal mode. Players are invariably tasked to destroy a certain amount of troops in a limited amount of time (generally, less than a few minutes).

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Some complexity is introduced in levels that have certain parameters, which are usually ammo limits or only a certain type of enemy counting toward your kill goal. But these levels aren’t much of a challenge, either. I was left craving more. Additional weapons, different objectives, anything. There’s just so little to the game that it’s hard to be enthusiastic about it. Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder is hardly the worst game ever, but it isn’t likely to keep your attention for very long.

4 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2003.

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