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    cjvitek's Avatar
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    Default Review: Cannon Game

    Cannon Game from Discovery Channel is a standard, non-line of sight firing game. This style of game has been around for a while - I remember playing back on my 33mhz computer in college.

    Basically, the idea of the game is that you control both the angle of the gun (or shot elevation, from 10 degrees to 85 degrees) and the velocity of the shot (10 to 100). Using these in combination, you have to shoot a variety of targets that can not be hit via line of site due to altitude differences, as well as intervening landscape features that block a direct shot. You have to estimate the parabolic pathway of the projectile, trying to hit the target as the projectile falls.

    The goal of the game is to advance through 15 levels, with varying targets in each level. At each level, you have only 15 shots, so use them wisely. It will usually take one or two shots to "size up" the target, and hopefully you can start hitting them after that. The nice thing about these games is that there is no single solution - varying combinations of elevation and velocity will hit the same target.

    First, the good. The graphics are great in this game. The background are varied, changing from level to level, and the little explosions when you hit a target are great. The user controls are also very intuitive. The left have used a "dial" to control a shot elevation, and the right have uses a dial to control the shot velocity. It is easy to play just using a thumb for each control to set your shot, and then hit the fire button in the middle. The fire button is in a distinct location, so you can't hit it accidentilly (which is good, since you have a limited number of shots per level). The levels you advance through are good - the target get both more numerous as you advance, and more difficult to hit (with targets such as helicopters and missiles that move!).

    Now the bad. Well, not so much bad, as stuff I found lacking. Many of the old games in this style had a two player mode. It becomes a little more desperate if your target is firing back at you! In this game, the targets do not fire back, so once you "lock on" it is like shooting fish in a barrel. The addition of moving targets is nice, but it would be nice to include horizontal movement (say, a jeep or something) in addition to the vertical movement.

    In addition to lacking a two player mode (or at least targets that shoot back), this game also lacks any variable factor. Basically, there is no wind. In other versions on the PC, wind would influence your shot - a strong wind behind you would add distance - especially if you shoot with more elevation. While a strong head wind would reduce the distance (again, especially with more elevation). There is no wind, so once you get to round 15, it is pretty easy to figure out the elevation and velocity you need for your shots.

    However, this game is free, and it has really nice graphics, and can be a fun distraction. I hope they will release an update that will incorporate wind, and include a two player mode (or at least targets that return fire) but even without those features, it is fun to play.

    Pros: Great graphics, VERY good user interface, free
    Cons: Game gets simplistic after a while.

    All in all: A game I am keeping on my iPhone to play every once in a while, and worth trying. Four out of five stars, since it is free.

    Last edited by cjvitek; 08-24-2008 at 11:48 AM.

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