Catapult King

 

Learning(i)

Angry Birds clone adds tricky 3-D twist; some violence.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game is very Angry Birds-like in that it's easy to learn, but hard to master. It takes trial and error to achieve top scores on each level, but simply moving on to the next level is not especially hard. 

Violence

The app features cartoon-like violence as you launch projectiles at barracks filled with googly-eyed guards who stick out their tongues at you and make raspberry sounds. When the guards fall, they break into pieces, but there's no blood. Magic ammunition can bring a meteor shower or cause an earthquake. 

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Players can use real-world cash to buy in-game currency to purchase upgraded weapons. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Players can opt in to Crystal, an interactive network that allows users to upload real avatar photos, create a profile, set location, post scores on leaderboards, add friends, post status messages, and connect with Facebook friends or Twitter followers. The Crystal privacy policy states that it may collect and use information including name, email address, a phone's Unique Device ID, and IP address. Crystal gives users the option to disagree to terms and conditions, after which new personal data will not be stored on their servers. This will reduce the functionality of the Crystal network for the user.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Catapult King is an Angry Birds-like game where players attempt to knock taunting guards from towers in a very, very loose quest to rescue a princess. The violence is cartoonish, but the game has more in-app purchase opportunities, which could be tempting for impatient young players who want to get the top score on every level. The game is more difficult than Angry Birds, as well, and could frustrate some people used to that title's ease. The app uses the Crystal network, which connects to both Facebook and Twitter; players can post scores and achievements, and they can challenge online friends to games.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • gravity
  • momentum
  • physics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • hypothesis-testing
  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Catapult King is the first Angry Birds clone to move the now-familiar gameplay style from 2-D to 3-D, giving the game a breath of fresh air. The magical ammo is a fun twist as well.

Learning Approach

As with Angry Birds, gravity and trajectory are key parts of the game. The move from 2-D to 3-D in this popular gameplay style adds a degree of difficulty that, in turn, teaches a lot about physics and telemetry. 

Support

The app uses the Crystal network, which connects to both Facebook and Twitter; players can post scores and achievements, and they can challenge online friends to games.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • gravity
  • momentum
  • physics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • hypothesis-testing
  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Kids can learn about gravity and trajectory in Catapult King. By being able to adjust the firing angle of the catapult, kids will better learn how angles are important when throwing. Kids can also learn about momentum -- in that objects that slam into each other cause chain reactions (i.e. a hit on one key support beam can cause the entire structure to fall). The app allows kids to observe real-world physics concepts through hands-on, trial-and-error puzzle-solving.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Using a catapult, players try to knock down guards who taunt them from their towers. Standard ammo destroys the support structure, while magic ammo (purchased with the game's in-app currency) lets you rain meteors down on their fortresses or cause earthquakes to shake their foundation. It's trickier than Angry Birds in that players need to better master trajectory to win. Players must not only determine the best force for their weapon (i.e. how far do they pull it back), but also the best angle via a cog on the lower right side of the catapult.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While there are hundreds of Angry Birds clones on the market, Catapult King is the first to move the now-familiar gameplay style from 2-D to 3-D. That ratchets up the difficulty, but adds a new layer of depth to the game. The lack of an aim assist is frustrating (and becomes more annoying when you have to pay for it each turn via in-app purchase), but it does give the game a breath of fresh air.

The magical ammo is a fun twist as well (also bought with in-game currency), though hardly necessary. Still, despite the advances, the game still feels like homage to Chillingo's hit game -- and that overshadows its other accomplishments. 

Families can talk about...

  • Show how angle is important in real-world situations, such as shooting baskets at the local playground.

  • Play a game like Jenga to show how moving a key support beam can cause an entire structure to fall, much like in the app.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$.99
Release date:June 7, 2012
Category:Action Games
Size:43.90 MB
Publisher:Chillingo Ltd.
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.2 or later

This review of Catapult King was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old November 24, 2012
age 10+
 
LEARNING

Catapult King

A OK time killer. More of a challenge than Angry Birds, but not worth .99 cents. Some privacy concerns and moderate violence. Kids can learn about the effects of gravity and trajectory
What other families should know
Too much violence

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass