On the eve of what could be the biggest Apple announcement since the iPhone, Battle of Puppets [App Store] somehow is successfully holding my attention over obsessively refreshing every tech blog on the planet looking for more tablet tidbits. (A lofty accomplishment, to say the least.) While at the heart of the game it's little more than a castle vs castle battle, Battle of Puppets is absolutely oozing character and charm through its amazing art style and other really clever features.

If you've played one castle vs castle game, the gameplay mechanics will be instantly familiar to you. If not, here's the genre in a nutshell: Two castles are on opposing side of a battlefield, you need to manage various resources to produce units, often limited by a unit cap that may change on each level. You must formulate a strategy based on the different strengths of your units playing off the weaknesses of your opponents units to fight your way to their castle and eventually destroy it.

The battlefields in Battle of Puppets are amazingly cute stages with scenery that moves around depending on the time of day, and when a unit dies it's yanked off stage. Continuing with this theme, each of the armies in game are themed after a different classical opera, with everything from spanish forces themed after Carmen and to asian themed armies inspired by Madame Butterfly.

Compared to other castle vs castle games, the amount of thought and small touches developers Small Wonders put in to the game is awesome. The animations are great, each army feels a little different, and there's even three save slots so multiple people can be playing the game on a single device. The following gameplay trailer should give you an idea of the atmosphere of the game:

There are a bunch of castle vs castle strategy games on the App Store, but few can come close to rivaling the look and feel of Battle of Puppets. Playing as each of the different opera forces should provide a decent amount of replay value for people who become engrossed in the game, but under the hood it's still a castle battle game. If you haven't been interested in them in the past, the eye candy in Battle of Puppets likely won't be enough to sway you over.

App Store Link: Battle of Puppets, $1.99

  • greg

    omg its littlebigplanet

  • greg

    omg its littlebigplanet

  • GodSon

    Just posted some initial impressions in the thread. Hope it helps. xD

  • GodSon

    Just posted some initial impressions in the thread. Hope it helps. xD

  • Symbolist

    A must have for me. Love classical music! (A little nitpicky: It is not "Madame", it is "Madama" Butterfly.)

  • Symbolist

    A must have for me. Love classical music! (A little nitpicky: It is not "Madame", it is "Madama" Butterfly.)

  • Adams Immersive

    I’d never even HEARD of castle vs castle games. How can this be? (I’m not counting archery-based games like Medieval.)

  • Adams Immersive

    I’d never even HEARD of castle vs castle games. How can this be? (I’m not counting archery-based games like Medieval.)

  • Poedonk

    Sometimes art is just enough for an insta-buy.

    I guess i'd also be wary if it wasn't for that super awesome wii castle vs. castle that sold me on the genre.

  • Poedonk

    Sometimes art is just enough for an insta-buy.

    I guess i'd also be wary if it wasn't for that super awesome wii castle vs. castle that sold me on the genre.

  • Elijah

    This game looks great. I love the art style. Does this game have multiplayer or does anybody know any castle vs castle games that are multiplayer?

  • Elijah

    This game looks great. I love the art style. Does this game have multiplayer or does anybody know any castle vs castle games that are multiplayer?

  • Matt

    Warning, doesn't work on 1st gen ipod touch.

    • Matt

      Scratch that, looks like they fixed it, I redownloaded it and now its working. Sweet.

  • Matt

    Warning, doesn't work on 1st gen ipod touch.

    • Matt

      Scratch that, looks like they fixed it, I redownloaded it and now its working. Sweet.

  • Cookies

    Important question before I get it:
    How are the controls?
    Because so far my impression of the controls in these games is that they're awful but this just looks to awesome to overlook.

    • GodSon

      The controls are great. Simple and to the point.

      • Cookies

        Thanks, I like that, it's definately better than the other's I've tried.

  • Cookies

    Important question before I get it:
    How are the controls?
    Because so far my impression of the controls in these games is that they're awful but this just looks to awesome to overlook.

    • GodSon

      The controls are great. Simple and to the point.

      • Cookies

        Thanks, I like that, it's definately better than the other's I've tried.

  • Jas

    No mention of multiplayer. Is there any?

    Local Wifi perhaps?

    • MrMuesli

      Not as far as I can see. Just got into it. Easy so far. Hoping for more challenge. Love the atmos and graphics: )

  • Jas

    No mention of multiplayer. Is there any?

    Local Wifi perhaps?

    • MrMuesli

      Not as far as I can see. Just got into it. Easy so far. Hoping for more challenge. Love the atmos and graphics: )

  • ECM

    This looks just like Swords & Soldiers on WiiWare, almost down to the art style.

  • ECM

    This looks just like Swords & Soldiers on WiiWare, almost down to the art style.