By Crystal Colwell / January 19th, 2015
|Release Date||September 19, 2014|
|Genre||2D action strategy|
|Platform||PC, Mac, Linux|
Cannon Brawl is a real-time strategy game with (you guessed it) lots of cannons. Watching the trailer before I started playing the game definitely intrigued me. I do enjoy having a lot going on in a game, but, man, did it look like there was a lot happening all at once! Cool-looking characters, lots of cannons and stuff exploding! What could go wrong? Well.. honestly, lots could, but that doesn’t mean it will.
I started the game up and got a feeling for what was going on. Apparently the King’s jealous brother has started a war and he wants the throne for himself. Isn’t that always how it goes? Luckily for the world at large, the Kings daughter steps in (woo hoo for girl power) to help save the day. She learns about war-time economy and a few other things and sets out to save the day.
As you begin playing the game, you get a bit of a tutorial that does exactly what a tutorial should do. You can pretty much play the whole thing using the Arrow keys, Space Bar and a couple other keys. It’s probably best to keep the controls easy when you have so much going on. Once you get a feel for how the game plays, it is up to you to come up with a winning strategy for beating your opponents. Don’t think the same strategy will always work, though! That would be too easy.
On your way to glorious victory, you get a ton of weaponry to play with. Err.. to do battle with! The Cannon Tower, Bomb Bot Blaster and Drill Tower are a few examples of the cool stuff that will help you blow up your opponent and even the stage. Each does something a bit differently. The Bomb Bot Blaster throws bombs that can walk right through enemy shields. This might not sound like a huge thing, but, when your opponent has 20 damn shields set up and you are firing everything you have at them without causing any damage, well, let’s just say the bombs can help you to keep your cool. The Cannon Tower can be upgraded to break through the shields, but, even at its most powerful, it will only destroy the shield, and not do any damage. The Drill Tower drills (duh) into buildings or the ground below them and blasts the enemies’ weaponry right off the map.
There are also offensive weapons that help you fix your cannons or even your castle. The Repair Center and Shield Tower help you keep things safe and fix them when they do ultimately get messed up. Sometimes, the best offense is a good defense, or so I’ve been told. I did use the Repair Towers quite a bit. Some of these nifty items will become unlocked as you play along and level up, and others will need to be purchased in the Armory.
Each weapon has a cooldown time that will vary depending on which character you are using and how leveled up the weapon is. A timer will appear on screen, letting you know how much time must pass before you can use it again. It’s a matter of seconds, so it’s nothing too terrible. Upgrading is as simple as clicking the Shift key as long as you have enough in game cash to do so.
Once you have placed your weapon and waited a few seconds for it to be built, you are ready to aim and fire! To aim, use the Arrow keys. A line will appear and show you where the bullet, drill, bomb, etc. will land. Line things up and click the Space Bar to fire. Then sit back and watch things blow up! Work your way towards your enemy’s castle and explode the hell out of it to win each map.
I rather enjoyed the look of the game overall. Each of the characters offers a unique look that helps to show off their personality, and all of the weapons give you something different and neat to look at. The animations of bullets flying around is pretty cool, and you can visibly see your shield, so you know how much protection you have at any given time. Each map manages to have its own look, which is hard to pull off given the fact that you play in such a small area. They are all set up in a similar way, but some are green and grassy while others are set in icy locations. With the land masses being located in different places on each map, it really helps set them apart.
There are different characters that you can play as who all do a little something different. Some are unlocked as you level up and some must be purchased in the Armory. You can use EXP or in-game cash to do so. Each character offers a little something different while you play. Some shorten your cooldown time while others give you a shield that helps protect buildings when your ship is close to them.
The music is very battle-oriented and gets you in the mood to blow shit up. Once the battle begins, the music continues, and a variety of sound effects are added to it. As you build each different building there is a cute blop-blop-blop noise that lets you know there is some construction going on. Each building destroyed or enemy weaponry hit gets you a satisfying explosion sound that makes your effort of frantically placing buildings well worth it. The Castle exploding as you win offers the loudest explosion of all and a DUN-DUN-DUN-DUNNN-DUNN crowning glory achievement (mini wave and celebration for you) sound effect that really lets you know that you have accomplished something.
Adventure Mode, which also includes Nightmare Mode, offers players a chance to battle it out in a story mode type of setting. Nightmare Mode is a bit more frantic. You play the same maps, but they are a lot harder. You get to hear a few seconds about what is going on, and then begin the battle. On each stage, you can complete different things like a certain amount of moves per minute and clearing the stage within a time limit to earn a medal. There is also a Battle vs AI, and Multiplayer Mode to check out, so there are plenty of things to do once you start playing. There are also puzzle levels in which you must complete the map within a certain amount of moves, using only preselected equipment.
So far, I have played the game for about 80 hours, but I doubt that much time is necessary to beat the game. I’d say a solid 40 hours, and you can beat it. The fact that I’ve played it more than need be says a lot about how much fun I had, and am still having, playing the game. If you are a fan of cannons or just have a crazy uncle you would like to be able to battle, you should pick this game up for the price of $14.99 and play on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Review copy provided by publisher.
Cannon BrawlstrategyTurtle Sandbox