Battle of Puppets in Review- Pinocchio, There’s A New Puppet In Town

There are plenty of castle defense games out there, so what would make you choose one over another? Ease of control, amount of features, and replayability are certainly all contributing factors to such a decision – and I’m sure you have your own as well. You might find those factors in Battle of Puppets, but what attracts me most to this game is theme and style. I can guarantee that you’ve not seen anything quite like this before in the realm of castle defense games, and while I’m not a big fan of the genre, Battle Of Puppets makes me want to explore it just a little bit more. Feel free to discuss this review of Battle of Puppets in our forums.

In Battle Of Puppets you play a puppeteer with dreams of making it to Broadway. All you have to do is conquer the best of the best across the country, and the stage will be yours. What better way to do that than with a troop of puppets? So the plot goes as you make your way across the great United States, fighting it out on stage with rival craftsmen to prove that you are in fact the best puppeteer in the country. One would think that simply putting on a dazzling play would be proof enough, but that wouldn’t be any fun for us, now would it?

You can pick from one of five groups of puppets, each the representation of a famous opera (Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Aida, Valkyrie and Solme). Solme must be unlocked, however. Each group has its pluses and minuses in terms of things like attack strength and time needed to create troops, and this information is detailed in the selection screen. Once you pick an opera you’re stuck with that opera throughout your trip unless you decide to wipe the game. Thankfully you have 3 save slots, so you can try multiple operas to see which one suits your playing style the best. The differences are actually taken into account during game play, so don’t think they’re spelled out for reference only.

Game play is a simple affair of selecting your “castle” – which is styled based on your selected opera – and picking a troop to build based on the menu that drops down. You can queue up to six troops at a time to be built, though you are limited overall to how many troops you can have on the battlefield at once. You can also upgrade your castle, which gets queued up like everything else. Between your castle and your opponent’s castle are waypoints that you can capture. If you capture one you can build a tower on it, and this tower will let you build limited types of troops. It’s a good way to get soldiers to the enemy’s castle more expediently. Combat is handled automatically, so if your queue is full and the enemy isn’t at your front door, you can scroll the playing field by dragging it to see what is going on elsewhere. Since it appears that there are only two waypoints per level it would be nice to have a “quick jump” to each of the waypoints, but scrolling isn’t that bad.

Most game play is handled through simple tapping, since the game is basically menu driven. However, along the way you can earn professions (there are 6 in total). To execute a profession you double-tap the screen and then trace the pattern that matches the profession you wish to execute. They’ve even provided a training screen where you can practice executing professions.

The graphics are fabulous. The puppets look great, the backgrounds are constantly being switched and have that 2D cardboard look to them that stage backgrounds are supposed to have. Even gruesome death scenes have been replaced by the puppets simply being pulled up by their strings when they have been defeated. The sound effects are fine, though while I’m not sure what they could have done differently, I would have expected them to be a bit more quirky given the overall theme of the game. The music is great, sounding like a cross between Lemony Snicket and Pee Wee’s Big Top Adventure.

Overall I was quite pleased Battle of Puppets. The one unfortunate thing, if I remember reading correctly, was that the AI levels were bumped up a bit on the last update. If that’s not true, than easy is just plain tough, because I can’t seem to pass Las Vegas no matter what I do, and that’s only level 3. Still, the great atmosphere and lighthearted nature of the game make it worth repeated attempts, at least for a while. If you can tough it out, it looks like there are plenty of levels to conquer – which should keep die hard castle defense fans busy for some time. All in all this is one puppet show you don’t have to be embarrassed about liking as an adult.


App Summary
Title: Battle of Puppets Developer: Small Wonders
Reviewed Ver: 1.2.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: 49.0 MB
  • Easy to manage
  • Fun variation on the castle defense theme
  • Excellent audio / visuals
  • Easy doesn’t feel very easy
  • No direct help – only a tutorial


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