I recently got an iPad 2. Yes, I know... I'm a traitor to the cause, but in my defense there's a lot of great stuff available for iDevices (board game conversions in particular) coupled with my desire to move into mobile development soon such that the pros outweighed the cons. Plus, I still have an Android tablet on order which will be my primary usage device. Anyhow, two of the things that have really stuck out about having a tablet are a) how much my five year old has been attracted to it for games, books, music... etc (and so has the two year old) and b) how much fun it is to lay it flat on a table and play games with it against other players. Paper War for 2 Players, as you'll read, is a game that would be great for a tablet.
The concept is simple. Using 'doodle' style artwork, Paper Wars for 2 Players features 3 simple mini-games that require two players. It might be nice to have had a computer player as an option, but the title says it all. The three games are Shoot Mode, Canon Mode, and Tap Mode. In shoot mode you and your opponent man guns on the opposite sides of a chasm and planes float and whiz by. You have to shoot down planes of your opponent's color and the first one to 30 points wins. There are three kinds of planes... slow ones worth a point, medium ones for two, and fast ones for three points. There are also bonus objects that either player can shoot. Control is done by holding and dragging to aim your gun and removing your finger from the touch screen to shoot. Canon mode has you shooting at your opponent's canon and adds a power gauge that just cycles from low to high and then back to low to repeat the cycle. Tap Mode removes guns altogether and has you simply tapping on enemy planes to destroy them.
The doodle style graphics are done well for doodle style graphics and the games all play smoothly. Tap Mode was very difficult to play on the small screen of a phone especially as there's no concept of sides. Imagine trying to coordinate sharing an app with another person and you get the idea of how well that works. The other two games played ok on a small, phone sized screen, but all three would really benefit from a larger table style device making me all that much more excited about getting an Android tablet soon.
I really like these kinds of games as they make great time killers while waiting for food at a restaurant. I'm also seeing more and more board gaming done on tablets and while it's still a tiny fraction of people I see gaming at conventions it is a medium with much potential. I think we're all seeing that the best tablet games aren't the ones that try and pretend it has a joystick by using a virtual game pad, but rather those that take advantage of the device's strengths and avoid its weaknesses. This set of mini-games is all about tablets and touch screens. 4/5 stars.