And from that day forward, he was known as “King of the Catapult”
The slingshot genre really grew into its own after a line of successful games for PC and iOS. Angry Birds was (and is) undoubtedly the most popular, going on to inspire a line of merchandise ranging from gummies to flash drives. Unsurprisingly, this has spawned a league of developers trying to catch lightning with similar games. And then there’s Catapult King, a game that adds both a new dimension and a new perspective to the formula.
Just as a captured princess inspired Mario to enter castle after castle, a captured princess is what will have you toppling one knight-filled structure after the next. It’s a threadbare plot, but it’s enough to contextualize what’s going on, and it’s hard to expect more from a game of this nature. It may leave you wondering why the enemy is willing to just sit there while you fire cannonballs at them, but these are questions that just can't be answered.
Firing the catapult is pretty straightforward. You place your finger over the ball, pull it back, and aim where you want it to go. There's also a gear on the side that controls distance. It works well, but the scope of the levels at times makes it difficult to tell if your aiming is anywhere near correct. You'll eventually pick up on where to aim through trial and error, but this can get incredibly frustrating after a while.
It’s a problem that exists in most games where you fire a catapult or slingshot, but going 3D has definitely intensified it. It dilutes the strategy element a bit, as you spend more time figuring out how you’re going to hit something, and less where you’re going to. Which, I’ll admit, isn’t something all players will mind. And furthermore, it’s only a problem in levels with faraway structures.
But, hey, even if you find yourself a little irked now and then, at least you’ll be treated to some eye candy along the way. Catapult King is a gorgeous game, featuring multi-colored skies and beautiful vistas. There’s nothing like watching a tower filled with antagonistic knights topple in front of a peachy sunset.
If you’re having trouble beating a level (and believe me, it will happen), there are a variety of ammo types you can purchase to help you get by. Points provided at the end of each level can be spent on these, but you can also purchase “Magic Packs” that immediately fill your coffers with the necessary funds. A well-timed fire from certain types of ammunition can lead to victory in just a single shot, so opening your wallet before you want to throw your iPhone in anger isn’t such a bad idea.
It should be noted that Catapult King isn’t the first slingshot game to brave the world of 3D. Games like Bizango Blast and even Boom Blox before it provided players with the same opportunity to topple towers in a non-2D environment. But there aren’t many, and not all of them are enjoyable. For that, Catapult King deserves praise.
There are some flaws in how it plays, but it gets easier the more time you spend with it. And if you find yourself invested in what it has to offer, you’ll be provided 60 levels to sling your way through. It will get frustrating at times -- particularly in some of the larger levels -- but all in all it’s an enjoyable take on the slingshot (or catapult, in this case) mechanic.
- Gorgeous graphics. Toppling towers feels oh-so satisfying. Clever power-ups.
- Taunts from knights get annoying after a while. Some levels too large for their own good.