Catapult King App Poster Image

Catapult King

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

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

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. 


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. 

Not applicable
Not applicable

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

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

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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. 

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
Subjects:Science: gravity, momentum, physics
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, solving puzzles, strategy
Release date:June 7, 2012
Category:Action Games
Size:43.90 MB
Publisher:Chillingo Ltd.
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.2 or later

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Kid, 11 years old November 24, 2012

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