Cannon Defense in Review – Paper cutouts have never been this aggressive

Back in my childhood, when all I had to entertain myself were toys and boatloads of imagination I used to love drawing up armies of creatures and playing out full-scale castle defence battles. Matchsticks would become arrows and marbles – cannon balls. With this awesome firepower I would defend my castle from the onslaught of aliens, ghosts, robots and demons. Apparently I wasn’t the only one stuck gifted with the glorious imagination. Introducing – Cannon Defence

Cannon Defense is a shooter game, where you have to defend your castle from the masses of enemies. As with most such games there is no story, you’re just thrown smack in the middle of action save for a short tutorial.

Decimating the oncoming hordes is what you’ll be doing throughout Cannon Defense. In contrast with games like Knights Onrush (TMA Review) you won’t have quite the hands on experience killing the baddies. Instead you have to drag your finger from the cannon on the castle to send the currently select ammo flying at the poor sods. Another interesting but frustrating feature is the way to power your defences. Each shot costs mana, which is gained either from killing the enemies or from tapping stars on the screen. And since in almost every case you’ll have to spend more mana on killing the bad guy than you gain from his demise you’ll end up frantically tapping on any star that appears.

Enemies have their own strengths and weaknesses to certain ammo types, with some even being completely immune to the most common stuff like the arrow. To combat them you can switch to any one of the 5 currently selected skills, which are upgradable between levels. The skills offer a nice variety, though in a number of cases are completely unbalanced, being useless even at master-level affinity. Also, most of the game you’ll have only a single skill available at a moment to upgrade, which makes the process rather boring. Oh yeah, there are also several “premium” skills, which require you to dish out additional cash via in-app purchases to acquire. Each of them costs a hefty $0.99, though at the moment you can also buy a whole pack of 3 for the same amount.

Graphically the game is done in doodle-style drawings on paper cutouts. The enemies are colour coded to help you remember their weaknesses and do fine in purveying a childlike atmosphere. The interface works well, though it’s often difficult to estimate the weapon’s trajectory, which seems a bit random at times.

Unfortunately once all’s said and done, Cannon Defense just doesn’t manage to provide the addictiveness that is required to make a castle defence game a success. While the graphics offer a nice and atmospheric view on the genre, the gameplay is rather boring and at times – simply frustrating. The poor balance of mana/power for many weapons leave you feeling you wasted the skill points spent. And considering you mostly don’t have any real choice what to spend them on, you are left to fall back on the basic arrow and a few other skills only. And the opportunity to spend additional cash to unlock the “premium” ones left me completely bewildered.

With this I declare Cannon Defense officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Cannon DefenseDeveloper: Biscuit Games
Reviewed Ver:1.1Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$0.99App Size:29.69MB
  • Nice graphics style
  • Boring and at times frustrating
  • Poor weapon balancing
  • “Premium” skills via in-App purchses

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