Time for a launch break…
So there’s this game on iOS which is kind of popular. It involves using a bird as a projectile to destroy wooden platforms on the other side of the level. The more you destroy, the more points you get and the further you go. I think it’s called Grumpy Pigeons or something.
Hold on. Sorry. Apparently it’s called Angry Birds. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
Now if I took your phone, swapped your bird for a wooden catapult, exchanged the birds on the platforms for soldiers and turned the whole thing into a 3D fantasy title, what you’d get is Catapult King from Chillingo. You’d probably also be very confused when I handed back your phone.
A generic Princess has been captured by a generic dragon – good work for a dragons if they can get it -and held hostage in a generic castle. It’s up to you to smash your way through 64 levels of soldiers hiding in and around various fortresses and ramparts using an oversized catapult.
Pull back your catapult to load a rock, swivel to aim and release to shoot it. Destroying their hideouts gains you points, but until you eliminate every soldier in the level, you won’t progress. People, my friend, are the priority.
You start off with a boring looking boulder – which is what my wife used to call me before I charmed her into marrying me – but as the levels move on, you’re introduced to upgrades. The bomb rock explodes on contact, the heavy rock is more weighty, the splitter rock separates into smaller rocks and the soft rock is something I chill out to after a day at the office.
Power ups in the form of spells are also available, giving you better aim, an earthquake that can destroy hideouts from the ground up, or a hailstorm that rains from the sky. You can trigger these once you gain enough magic points from completing levels in good time or accruing other points bonuses.
One of the great things about the game is that although the spells are at your disposal (and naturally you can purchase more using real money), you don’t actually need them to complete the levels. With a little patience, you can suss out the vulnerable points of each structure that will cause maximum damage when hit. But of course, magic just makes things more fun. After all, if you had to deal with a bully by either throwing stones at him, or making the earth open and swallow him up, which would you choose?
The 3D perspective provides a fresh take on the genre, and allows for more complex destruction physics and animation. The graphics engine is lovely, especially the hilly backdrops which really shine as the sun sets and day turns to night. When your rock hits the right weak point of the enemy structure and it comes tumbling down, the satisfaction is addictive. Especially as the soldiers take to taunting you beforehand with a cacophony of childish noises, and even showing you their bums in defiance. You read that right. Count yourself lucky I didn’t approach the review from that angle.
And on that note I’m not sure there’s anything else to say. A game where your enemies mock you by exposing their derrière has to be played immediately.
And that’s the bottom line. Heh.
Catapult King is out now for $0.99 as a universal app for iPhone and iPad. Get it now on the