A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What 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'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?
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Science: gravity, momentum, physics
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, solving puzzles, strategy
- 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