Apparently the need to add “cuteness” to puzzle games isn’t going away any time soon, but that’s okay with me as long as the game is fun to play. Thankfully that is the case with Cannon Cat, the premiere offering from new iOS developer Loqheart. It would probably be more accurate to label the game action than puzzle, though there are definitely situations that will require a bit of thought if you want to score all the fish in a level. However you want to classify the game it’s enjoyable and quite habit forming.
The basic idea is that you must recover a slew of fish that have been captured by some evil penguins. The irony, of course, is that it seems like a bit of an “out of the frying pan, into the fire” experience for the poor fish, seeing as you are a cat, but I guess that’s just a plot hole you’ll have to live with. In order to rescue the fish you’ll have to fire your cat out of a series of cannons, making sure that you cross the path of each fish in order to set them free. You don’t have to rescue all the fish in order to complete a level, but you do have to finish the level in order to move on to the next one.
In the lower left corner of the screen are icons for each of the up to four power ups you can have, and you simply tap on the icon to use the desired power up. Otherwise you just have to tap somewhere on the screen to launch the cannon that the cat is currently in. The game handles everything else for you. The key to success on any level is a simple matter of timing. The cannons will always eventually point in the direction you need them to go – it’s just that there is no guarantee they will stay that way for long.
The main adversary I’ve run into so far is the helicopter-blade equipped penguin (after all, penguins can’t fly). There is also a fish that plays both sides of the fence; if you hit its belly you can bounce off and use that to your advantage, but if you hit its back you won’t be happy with the spikes that await you. As you collect fish and complete levels you’ll earn sparks that you can use to buy power ups. These bonuses do things like provide a temporary shield, make the captured fish bigger so they’re easier to hit, and slow down time. The problem is that you don’t really need most of them, since with a little persistence you can pass most levels in a few tries. Hopefully the third level set will provide a bit more of a challenge.
Cannon Cat looks good. Like I mentioned in the beginning, the graphics are rather cute, but they are also well drawn. The background is a bit sparse, but the islands that are back there are nicely detailed. Foreground objects are well animated and look pretty sharp. The color palette is bright and lively, and reminds me of SNES graphics. There are actually some pretty cool effects throughout the game, and I love how you can see the cat’s eyes really big when he’s in the cannon.
The sound effects are decent enough, though they can get repetitive if you have to play a certain level over enough times. I do like the various noises the cat makes both when he’s happy and when things aren’t going so well. The penguins aren’t very chatty, though. The music is good. Unfortunately with only one track it can get kind of old after a while. What I do appreciate is that the music keeps playing and doesn’t reset every time you die, which would be infinitely worse given how often I’ve died on some of these levels.
I often think of the old Donkey Kong Country game as I play this, which both says a lot for this game and fosters a lot of fond memories. Cannon Cat has a lot going for it, and I think it’s a great first effort from a new iOS development company. I’m eagerly awaiting the third level set, and I hope sales will encourage the developers to make even more packs. That being said, the game could use a bit more variety all around, as well as some more difficult levels. Of course I’m certainly enjoying what’s already there.
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||4.3.0|