Congratulations, 'Sperm Wars,' you're the weirdest game of 2012

Forget everything you thought you knew about human reproduction (and the App Store)

  • "Sperm Wars" is neither educational nor entertaining, but it has stellar reviews on Apple's online marketplace.
"Sperm Wars" is neither educational nor entertaining,… (appemake )
April 26, 2012|By Dave Gilmore

Were you paying close attention during all those awkward “birds and the bees” talks and sex education lessons? If not it’s OK, because you’re about to go download a game for free (on sale from $.99) that will obliterate everything you would’ve picked up anyway.

“Sperm Wars” is a sort of turn-based RPG where you fight other sperm cells for reproductive dominance. Why you’re not trying to fertilize an egg is anyone’s guess, but then again, this game was so confusing that maybe I didn’t get that far.

To start off, you’re shown a map of the world that makes the game seem a little like “Risk.” For reasons unknown, North America is locked to me, and you have to choose “attacking” a territory off the coast of Africa. Logic would reason that the goal is to have one’s sperm conquer all the territories of the world. This seems ... problematic.

After being thrust into an odd scenario with two orbs, intimidating music, and a few swiping motions, I’m at a character creation screen of sorts. My sperm, which currently holds the rank of “squire,” has no bonuses applied. I tap a box and a piece of broccoli appears. I do it again. I try a third time, but a dialog box pops up and informs me “broccoli not have.” Does broccoli help your sperm count? Is this something I should know?

Whether the reproductive benefits of broccoli have been proven or not, it seems to be an integral part of “Sperm Wars.” For just a meager $29.99 you can buy an in-app pack of 300 broccoli. Imagine how virile you’d be!

In fact, when you start up a new game, you’re greeted with a dialog box that says “Please review, you can get broccoli 10. Would you like to go for review?” Apparently, lots of people are interested in getting “broccoli 10.” The game, which sometimes goes by “Sperm Wars” and other times is listed as “War of Reproduction,” has more than 7,000 mostly stellar reviews pulling in a 4.5 star rating on the App Store.

I wish I could tell you more about who made “Sperm Wars” and why, but the developer site listed (the aptly-named “appemake”) is in Korean and doesn’t seem to translate well. All I can tell you is that they two other games called “Sniper vs. Couple” and “Zombie vs. Sniper.” Most of the reviews for appemake’s games are one or two words like “great game,” along with a five-star rating.

“Sperm Wars” sheds light on the fact that the App Store is, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, “the worst [digital marketplace] except for all the others that have been tried.” While elegantly simple and sophisticated, it’s still a perplexing puppet show of meritocracy where more than 4,000 five-star ratings can be bartered for sperm broccoli.

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